Why is it Important to Treat Depression?
One of the most common mental health challenges that people struggle with across the world is depression. Recent research from the National Institute of Mental Health indicates that 17.3 million adults in America alone experience symptoms of depression. Depression can emerge as a unique challenge, or be linked to life issues such as addiction, grief, or the experiencing of a traumatic event. Regardless of where the roots of your depression come from, it’s incredibly important to seek out professional support in order to treat your depression.
While those experiencing depression will often become overwhelmed with feelings of isolation and loneliness, it’s important to remember and take comfort in the fact that millions of people across the world have been able to embark on the road to recovery with professional support.
If you’re uncertain whether or not seeking out in-person or online depression therapy is the right choice for you, here are some of the reasons why it is so incredibly important to be proactive in treating your depression.
Signs and Symptoms of Depression
Before seeking out treatment for depression, many people often take the crucial step to determine whether or not the feelings and behavior patterns they are exhibiting are indeed linked with depression. Symptoms of depression can range from mild to debilitating and can cause anything from a minor inconvenience to a complete shift in daily life and the way we move about the world. Below are some of these signs, however it’s important to keep in mind that this is by no means an exhaustive list.
- Intense feelings of isolation and loneliness
- General fatigue
- Weight loss or gain
- Low energy and decreased interest in regular daily activities
- Feelings of intense sadness, despair, or hopelessness
- Slowed motor reflexes or cognitive functioning
- Suicidal ideation
- Feelings of intense shame or guilt
- Issues with concentration or decision making
Leaving Depression Untreated
As was previously mentioned, millions of individuals across the globe have sought treatment for depression and begun the journey of recovery with the support of professionals. If left untreated, depression can have a long-term and lasting impact on your health and general emotional and social wellbeing. Here are some of the ways that if left untreated, depression can impact your life.
There is a deep connection between mind and body, and while most automatically assume depression solely impacts mental health, it can also cause impacts on your physical health. Muscle pain, sleep loss, and digestive issues are all common side effects of depression, and if left untreated for months or years, can cause more serious long-term health impacts.
It is not uncommon for people experiencing untreated mental health challenges to turn to substance use as a method of self-medicating. What this means is that for those experiencing untreated depression, the relaxation and escape that many often find in substances can be a tempting way to help manage the symptoms of depression, and in turn, lead to a long-term substance abuse problem. A large part of what makes substances so addictive is the dopamine boost provided, which in turn leads to feelings of comfort and happiness. For those experiencing depression, this dopamine boost can be very comforting and has the potential to lead to long-lasting addiction issues.
If left untreated, the intense feelings of isolation, loneliness, and hopelessness that are often brought on by depression can sometimes lead struggling individuals to thoughts of suicide. According to the World Health Organization, around one million individuals die by suicide each year. Because of this, treating depression can often be a life or death decision. At its core, seeking professional help for depression can help manage suicidal thoughts and give someone experiencing depression the tools they need to navigate the world without falling into this dangerous thought pattern.
Finding Support for Your Depression
If you’ve been experiencing the symptoms of depression for an extended period of time, then it’s important to seek out support to help manage the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that you’re dealing with. There are a number of different interventions that have been found to help individuals dealing with depression, and those include the following:
Counseling and Therapy
Seeking out professional support is one of the best ways to help tackle some of the symptoms of depression you’re experiencing and flesh out a treatment plan based on research and experience. Whether you’re receiving therapeutic services through in-person or online depression therapy, having a trained mental health practitioner to support your needs and help you develop tools for tackling your depression is a great first step on your treatment journey.
Taking medication to help manage depression is another mode of treatment that many find extremely helpful. Antidepressants are normally effective in reducing symptoms for around 50% of patients and can play a major role in helping to balance your brain chemistry and abate some of the symptoms you might be experiencing. Working with a registered psychiatrist to find out what medication and dosage work for you can be a huge factor in effectively treating your depression.
Contact Us for Online Depression Therapy
If you’re interested in taking the first step towards treating your depression, get in touch with our staff at ACT Teletherapy for expert online depression counseling.
Our knowledgeable mental health practitioners will work with you to develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs and will help you on your journey to a healthier and happier daily life.