Do you have people in your life who tell you that they think you are depressed? Do you hear what they’re saying and think ‘I don’t know what they’re talking about?’ or wonder how that can be the case. Maybe you agree with them, but don’t want to admit it. If this sounds like something you’ve experienced, you may be depressed and not realize it. This is a situation where others are being helpful to you without you possibly realizing it. Depression is now so widespread in the world that it has recently been identified as the top causes of illness and disability worldwide by the World Health Organization.
What You Can Do In Response
Instead of argue with your friends and family members about how you’re ‘not depressed’ and how they should ‘mind their own business,’ you would do well to thank them for their frankness and ask for their support in finding out if they are really correct. This involves calling a mental health professional like me to get assessed for depression. Sometimes a depressed person is that last to know they are depressed. That doesn’t mean you’re to blame for being depressed, but you are responsible for getting help for yourself. You didn’t sign up for depression, but it may have happened to you anyway due to some circumstance. It’s not a death sentence, but it does require you seeking help to overcome it.
Depression is a Huge Worldwide Problem
As I mentioned above, depression is basically a global pandemic nowadays. The fact that you may be experiencing it puts you among many other fellow sufferers. The difference between you and some of these other people is that you have people in your life who care enough about you to tell you the truth of what they see. The fact that you may be blind to part or all of the symptoms they see has to do with the fact that you may have become used to having these symptoms. It’s like the frog that gets put in water on a stove as the heat gets cranked up to the boiling point. It doesn’t realize the water is getting hotter due to getting used to the heat. The difference between you and the frog is that you have the support to do something about it before it’s too late.
The Way Out of Denial and Depression
As I mentioned above, the key in overcoming depression is to get screened for it by a mental health professional like me and to get the help you need it it turns out they think you have depression, too. There are a lot of little things that can make profound changes in a person’s life who suffers from depression to help them get out of it. It can be as simple as dietary changes and increasing activity levels that can help reverse the course of the disease to pull you out. Not all people with depression need medication, but it may be important for you to at least consider taking antidepressant medication to recover from it. If you do get prescribed medication, it is also important to not take yourself off of it without your doctor’s consent. You may have gotten into depression by cutting yourself off from others, so getting out of it is a partnership between you and your support system (which includes friends, family, and mental health professionals).
How I Can Help
In my over 8 years of work as a clinical social worker, I have helped well over a hundred adults of all ages overcome depression in its various forms. I have also been told how some of the simple suggestions I’ve mentioned above have made a profound difference in my clients’ lives. It may also be a combination of working on negative thinking and traumatic incidents that can help turn your life around. Sometimes just working through a difficult loss can be the very thing that helps you pull out of depression. Whatever it is it doesn’t occur in isolation. It’s a cooperative endeavor with others that helps seal the deal in terms of getting back to being a fully-functional person who has recovered from depression. I would be happy to talk to you about what I can do to help you as well if you suffer from depression. I can be reached at 512-374-0100 or at scott@scottkampschaeferlcsw to arrange an appointment or just find out if working with me could be helpful.
About the author: Scott Kampschaefer, LCSW is a private practice therapist in Austin, Texas. He has an extensive background in working with depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder at a clinic for older adults with these disorders in Austin. He now works with adults and adolescents of all ages in private practice.