Seeking Help for Your Depression

Seeking Help for Your Depression

Today we have a guest blog from Melissa Howard of StopSuicide.info.  Melissa believes that every suicide is preventable. After losing her younger brother to suicide, she felt compelled to create StopSuicide.info. By providing helpful resources and articles on her website, she hopes to build a lifeline of information.

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While it is often forgotten about, our emotional well-being plays an important part in our overall health. Feelings of anxiety, sadness, suicidal tendencies and depression often go undiagnosed and untreated. Here are some warning signs that indicate it’s time to get help and how to go about getting help if you find you need it. 

 First, it is important that you are able to identify your emotions so you can determine how to best deal with them and know whether or not you can do it alone. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms below for a prolonged period of time you, you may be experiencing a form of depression.

  • Loss of interest in hobbies you used to enjoy.
  • Unrelenting pain.
  • Withdrawing from social activities
  • Calling in sick to work, arriving late, and or not completing   tasks.
  • Unusual weight gain.
  • Fatigue and having trouble getting out of bed. 
  • Feeling like you’re in a situation for which there is no escape.
  • Lack of purpose or meaning in life.

 Everyone struggles with life’s many challenges, but if you aren’t doing so in a healthy way and feel overwhelmed or helpless it could be time to get help. Excessive use of harmful substances such as drugs or alcohol for example can be especially dangerous to partake in during this time in your life.

 According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, “Conditions like depression, anxiety and substance problems, especially when unaddressed, increase risk for suicide.” While it is commonly thought that drugs or alcohol can offer a temporary relief, after a feeling of euphoria wears off, your feelings of sadness could possibly amplify and set the stage for a disastrous recurring habit.

 Additionally, pervading thoughts about taking your life shouldn’t be ignored or pushed aside, but also dealt with in a way that makes sense for you. In a recent study conducted by the Canadian Community Health Survey, “Although most young Canadians had never had suicidal thoughts or been depressed, suicide was the second leading cause of death among those aged 15 to 24.” If you are thinking about harming yourself, don’t be afraid to ask for help, especially if you have a mental health condition or family history of trauma.

 You can get professional help from a doctor, therapist or support group. The first step is usually to set up an appointment with your regular doctor who you see for colds etc. He or she will then be able to guide you through the process if needed and refer others who can help. If you think you lack the resources to be able to get the help you need, know that there are a multitude of nonprofit organizations still available to you within your community.

 By attending a support group, you will see that you’re not alone. There are others who deal with the same issues you’re facing, and you may even be able to learn from their experiences. A counselor will be able to provide an outlet for your emotions in what is a confidential and safe space.

 By taking one-on-one with a therapist, you will be able to better identify patterns of behavior as well as coping mechanisms you can apply to your lifestyle. Lastly, a doctor would be able prescribe you with medication to correct and treat a chemical imbalance or mental illness. Just be careful to consider any side effects and how they will intermingle with your other possible medications.

 Remember that while it takes time to see the results of your work, prioritizing your emotional health and wellness is worth it. Everyone is different, and you should keep in constant contact with your health care professional to ensure proper treatment. Be patient and stay committed as well as open to trying new self-care methods.