Depression is a mental health condition that’s suffered by millions of people worldwide. It’s nothing new; people have been dealing with depression for centuries, but only recently is mental health starting to get the attention that it deserves. For some time, society as a whole was slow and sluggish when it came to moving towards the understanding and acceptance of mental health problems, but thanks to increased awareness, the stigma is starting to shift.
So, why do people who suffer with depression fail to get the help that they need? With more understanding of mental health problems available today, it can be surprising to hear that suicide is a national epidemic. Here’s why those suffering from depression are still missing out on the help that they need.
#1. The Illness Itself:
Since depression is an illness of the mind and brain, it can cause the patient to act in a way that they normally would not. Depression is an imbalance of chemicals in the brain, which can lead patients to form thoughts, opinions, and even make decisions that are very unlike them. Even if you’re usually the first person to take yourself to the doctor when you feel that something is wrong physically, this does not always mean the same for your mental health. Depression can destroy your motivation and make it extremely difficult for you to do simple, everyday tasks. If you’re feeling this way, then you are not alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from those around you. Friends and family members can help you arrange the help you need and offer their support.
The world is slowly moving towards becoming more accepting and understanding of mental health issues, including depression. Recently there have been several campaigns targeting men suffering with depression, due to a realization of past societal treatment of creating expectations which make it difficult for men to talk about their feelings and their mental health. However, it hasn’t always been like this for those suffering from depression today. Some, particularly those who grew up surrounded by a mental health stigma, may still find it difficult to accept that depression is nothing to be embarrassed about. If this sounds like you, then know that you have nothing to be ashamed of. There is nothing embarrassing about caring enough for yourself to get the help that you need.
Depression doesn’t just kill your motivation and cause you to lose interest in anything that you enjoyed before; it can also cause you to be inherently fearful of life. In fact, this can even lead to suicidal thoughts. Certain patients feel that they will never be able to enjoy life again, whilst others put off getting help due to fears that it simply won’t work out. Getting help can seem like a very risky procedure at times, particularly if you are worried that it might affect your job or your family. Starting small is important if you have found yourself in this situation. Take small steps to make it easier for you to conquer your fear. For example, online counseling is a great alternative to visiting a therapist’s office; this allows you to speak to somebody confidentially from the comfort of your own home without the additional pressure of meeting face to face. You can find some more guidance on how to prevent suicide through the following link: https://reliasacademy.com/rls/store/suicide-epidemic-and-how-to-prevent-suicide. Relias Academy has also outlined some of the key statistics surrounding suicide in America that emphasizes how big of an epidemic it really is.
#4. Financial Concerns:
Sometimes, barriers to getting help for depression are out of the patient’s control. Not everybody with depression who fails to get treatment will do so due to their own desires, wishes, or even fears. In fact, it’s not uncommon to find patients who desperately want the help that they deserve but are unable to access it for several reasons. Financial concerns are a major reason, particularly amongst lower-income communities where depression is more likely to occur. Often, health insurance will not cover the treatment of depression, or patients may not be able to afford time off work or travel costs to get treatment. Some charities may be able to help you with costs. You may also want to consider changing your health insurance plan.
#5. Lack of Knowledge:
Last but not least, being unaware of what to do or where to go to get help is something that stops many patients from accessing the treatment that they need to improve their condition. It can be difficult to try and broach the subject with your doctor if you’ve never spoken to them about it before. Many patients aren’t sure how to go about speaking to their doctor about depression, or how to access other services available to them such as talking therapies. If you are feeling depressed but aren’t sure where to get help, the first step should be your doctor. Even if you’ve never spoken to them about your mental health before, they will be able to refer you to specialist services or prescribe suitable medication if needed.
Although the world is gaining a better understanding of mental health, many depression sufferers are still going without the help that they need.