Are you struggling to have little pleasure or interest in things that you previously would have enjoyed? Do you find it difficult to fall or stay asleep? Cannot seem to get enough rest? You may feel tired all the time and cannot find energy. Perhaps you are fighting with yourself to eat because you lack an appetite, or alternatively you cannot stop eating. Do you find you are filled with hopeless thoughts and have a feeling of self-hatred? You many even feel so bad about yourself and your life that you entertain thoughts of harming yourself. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms you are likely suffering from Depression.

Depression is a medical condition and, just like any other, needs to be treated. It is not your fault that you feel this way and it is not up to you to feel you must overcome this disorder on your own. There may be reasons you can identify why you feel this way and there may not. Some people feel depressed based on life changes while others develop a chemical imbalance in their brain that leads to depression. It can certainly be a combination of both. All too often, people fail to recognize that they are ill and that they need, and deserve, to seek help.

As a therapist, I have noticed people feel shame when they are depressed. They feel they should be able to conquer their sadness and the lack of doing so is an admission of weakness. Society can perpetrate this myth. Often, we will hear” mental illness “referred to with such negative connotations and, equally as infuriating, suggestions of how to feel better. One of the most hurtful and insulting ones is, “just get over it.” The stigma remains where people equate emotional illness with “being crazy.” The judgement people fear may be an obstacle in seeking help. However, seeking help to feel better is not “weak.” On the contrary, it takes immense courage to ask for help. It is one of the most admirable, brave things one can do. It means you are facing your reality, fears and all. It is taking accountability and facing the potential demons in your life that you may so desperately want to forget. It means finding the strength to reach out to another person when all you want to do is hide. It requires mustering up energy to get out of bed and make a call, and then find the will to come to an appointment for help. I hope you will give it a try. Perhaps you have felt low for so long without any relief that it feels like there is no hope that you can feel better. Maybe someone else can hold hope for you until you can find it again. I urge you to give counseling and/or other treatments a try. You may not know this right now but you are worth it.

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