If you suffer from any form of depression you have two choices. One, you can ask for help from a professional or two, you can live with depression hoping no one will notice and it won't affect your life much.
The statistics are staggering. Over 40% of women do not seek help for depression due to embarrassment. Over 50% of men with depression do not seek help due to fear of appearing weak. So lets look a little deeper at the costs and benefits of the two options.
1. Even a mild depression can turn into a severe depression very quickly. Depression not only hurts the person suffering from it but their family and friends will be effected as well. Hoping that no one will notice is not reality. Someone is likely to suspect something. Depression is noticable in my ways and on many occasions.
2. Depression is caused by a chemical imbalance. That is not your fault. It is not of your doing or your choosing. You did not go to Wal-Mart and buy a box of depression, take it home and give it to yourself like you would dye your hair or take a laxative. So why be embarrassed by something that is and was totally out of your control? As someone who spent over 40 years living with a mild depression, I am more embarrassed by those years than with the one that I've admitted to having Dysthymia. Being diagnosed and getting treatment was the best thing to ever happen to me. It is not weakness to seek help when you need it-it is weakness to NOT seek help when you need it.
3. Every day living with depression weakens you, your coping skills, your ability to be a good parent, spouse or sibling. If you seek help and improve due to treatment, that’s strength, not weakness. Seeking treatment for your illness will make you a role model, someone your family can look up to and turn to in tough times. Someone whose actions they can follow. Not having enough respect for yourself and your family to seek help for an illness IS weak and cowardly and arrogant.
4. You’ll won't save money on a mental health assessment, prescriptions and follow up visits-those things can be expensive- but the emotional toll it will take on your every day wil be immeasurable. The financial cost vs. the emotional improvement and stableness you will feel in your everyday life are not comparable. Before I was diagnosed, I would have given Anything, whatever money it costs, to find a cure. The cure is priceless.
5. If you don't ask for help, you don’t have to admit to your faults and your shortcomings. You might have to "bite the bullet" and eventually "tuck your tail in between your legs" but putting your ego aside might just be the best thing you ever do. It was for me. Admit your faults so you can learn and grow. Grow so you can be the person you were meant to be. Be the person you were meant to be because you are only here for a short while-make the most of it while you can.
Seeking help will do several things:
a)improve your quality of life
b)avoid severe depression
c)improve relationships with everyone you know
d) allow you to feel real freedom
e) expand your horizons
f) help others
The list can go on and on and on.When you are happy, your perspective changes, you are emotionally stable, willing to try new things and meet new people and you will feel good about yourself and others.
You’ll have to admit to your mistakes, misgivings and misperceptions. You’ll probably feel terribly guilty at first but those feelings will pass and you’ll be able to move on to a better life, move on to a new and improved you.
So which one do you prefer? A lifetime of denial, depression, feeling no joy and destroying relationships? Or would you rather set your ego aside, admit you need help, finding a treatment-the answers to what's been hold you back- and feeling better than you have ever felt in your life?
The choice is all up to you……
Which one do you choose?
Robyn Wheeler suffered from Dysthymic Disorder for years before asking for help. After less than a few months on anti-depressants she wrote Born Mad to help others who may be struggling with depression. Robyn Wheeler is an author and public speaker of depression, forgiveness and conquering your anger.