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According to the World Health Organization, over 300 million people worldwide suffer from depression at some point in their lives. For those of us that have experienced, are currently experiencing, or will experience depression, it’s nice to feel validated by someone other than a therapist. So, here are six things that people don’t think about that feels good to hear.
- Your depression is no one’s fault, not even your own. Depression is a mental illness and is caused by chemical imbalances in your brain. Although biological differences, hormonal shifts, and inherited traits can also explain your depression, the activity in your brain plays a significant role.
- Each medication effects individuals differently. Many people have to try multiple medications before finding one that works for them. Combining medication with therapy often leads to more successful treatment. Six percent of depressed adults in the United States receive treatment by medication only, but that’s better than the 37 percent of them who receive no treatment at all.
- Not every person suffering from depression wants to die, although it is the tenth leading cause of death among adults in the US and nearly 800,000 people die every year from suicide worldwide. But for others, sometimes it’s just the fight to get out of bed in the morning, or do laundry or the dishes. Suicidal thoughts and ideation are only symptoms and not everyone that is diagnosed with depression will experience them.
- Like medication, finding the right therapist isn’t always easy, and doesn’t necessarily happen the first time. Personalities, coping mechanisms, and style of communication between you and the therapist may clash. Find someone that you feel comfortable with and respected by. Also, make sure you’re being treated with current practice guidelines, at the very least.
- Being depressed doesn’t make you damaged or defective. It just means your brain needs a little bit of help overcoming the chemical imbalance (which you had no control of). Seeking treatment is a very important step to getting that help.
- Depression is an invisible illness, only the one suffering knows the true severity. It differs with everyone and there’s not just one kind of depression, but the only person who can really understand what someone’s depression is like is themselves.
I’ve struggled with depression for as long as I can remember. Over the years, I’ve tried several medications and different therapists until finally getting to a point where I was able to stop all treatment and learn to cope with it on my own. It’s a breath of fresh air to feel like I don’t have to depend on anyone or anything but myself, but I couldn’t have gotten to this point without getting help first.
Depression is so common today, among children and adults, women and men. Remember that it’s not your fault, and if you or someone you know starts to experience signs and symptoms, get professional help. I hate to sound cliche, but your life really could depend on it.
All statistics are from the World Health Organization (WHO) website.