Depression is quite common compared to other mental health disorders. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), around 8.4% of all adults in the U.S. have had at least one major depressive episode. Millions of people around the world have experienced depression at some point in their lives. Depression may be common, but it doesn’t have to last forever.
Anyone can recover from their depression. However, it takes work, time, and proper treatment to successfully recover and stay in recovery. Recovery does not mean “cure.” It means learning to live with your disorder to the point that it no longer rules your life. Depression can seem daunting at times, but there is hope. All it takes is a spark of bravery to begin your recovery journey.
Getting Help for Your Depression
You cannot recover from your depression without first acknowledging that you have depression. Some may believe that they don’t have depression. Others may think that they are just sad and that they can get better if they just “got over it.” That is why you must be aware of the symptoms of depression.
The most common symptoms of depression are:
- Persistent negative feelings, such as sadness, hopelessness, guilt, helplessness, frustration, and irritability
- Feeling constantly numb or “empty”
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that you once enjoyed, such as hobbies, activities, and even sex
- The slowing of the mind, making it difficult to remember things, concentrate on tasks, or make decisions
- Changes in sleeping habits, such as oversleeping, difficulty falling asleep, and waking up unusually early
- Constant feelings of fatigue or exhaustion and a lack of energy altogether
- Changes in appetite and unplanned changes in weight
- Digestive problems, aches, pains, cramps, and headaches without any clear physical cause that persists despite treatment
- Constant thoughts of death, self-harm, and suicide
- Attempting suicide and other forms of self-harm
If any of the above symptoms persist for more than two weeks and directly interfere with your quality of life, you may have depression. Remember that you are not a bad person for developing depression. This mental health disorder can affect anyone at any time and is often triggered by events far beyond anyone’s control. Trauma, grief, abrupt and sudden major life changes, and stress can all cause depression.
Treatment will only work if someone accepts that they need help and then work on helping themselves. Nobody can “cure” depression for you; it’s up to you. Thankfully, you don’t have to do this alone. Mental health care professionals exist specifically to help people find the right treatments they need to heal and recover. To find treatment, contact your local mental healthcare facility, and speak with a mental healthcare professional.
What to Expect in Treatment
When undergoing treatment, a person can expect to be treated with compassion and respect. Cruelty and judgment do not help someone recover from a mental health disorder. Any mental healthcare provider wants to see people not only recover from their disorder but learn how to flourish as healthy people. In that regard, you won’t have to worry about being treated badly or judged should you ask for help.
There are many different treatment options someone can use to help them recover. One of the most common types of treatment used is psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy. This type of therapy helps someone talk about the underlying cause of their depression. It teaches the skills a person needs to cope with their disorder. Psychotherapy can also help someone recognize their strength in themselves and find something to be proud of.
Another type of common treatment is the use of medication. Medication helps by lessening the symptoms of depression so a person can function in their day-to-day life. Sometimes it can take trial and error to find the right type or combination of medications needed to help treat depression. For this, you will need to see a psychiatrist. This is a mental healthcare professional that can prescribe medicine and order medical tests. Never suddenly stop any form of psychiatric medication, and never share your medication with other people. Not everyone needs medication in treatment.
There are new alternative forms of treatment that have been proven to help depression. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy has shown great results in helping those with treatment-resistant depression. Eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy can also help those with depression stemming from trauma get treatment without being re-traumatized. With more attention being given to the mental healthcare field, you can expect to see new effective treatments in the future as our understanding of the mind grows.
Many mental healthcare facilities take a holistic approach to their treatment programs. Yoga, nutritional counseling, and meditation are all valid treatment routes for depression. Don’t be surprised if a treatment provider recommends mediation or asks you to practice mindfulness techniques, as they are very effective.
Recovering From Depression
Recovery takes time and effort to achieve. It’s important to stick with your treatments, no matter how hard they are, to succeed. It can be hard to do, especially when one’s depression stems from trauma and abuse.
However, you have the strength you need to heal, and you don’t have to do everything alone. Alongside your treatment providers, you’ll have the support you need to help you recover. Finding and forming a support network is vital in letting you continue to not only recover but stay in recovery. Many mental healthcare facilities have support groups where you can find people who also live with depression. There are also plenty of online spaces where people living with depression can meet and share advice and experiences that are valuable for those in recovery.
Anyone can recover from depression, but it takes help. Call your local mental healthcare facility today to speak with a mental healthcare professional. A journey starts with a single step. Take the first step and call for help today.
Depression is a common mental health disorder that affects millions of people around the globe. Sometimes it can feel like depression has taken over your life, making it hard to function and enjoy life. However, anyone can recover from depression with the right type of help. At Acera Health in Costa Mesa, California, we help those with depression find the right treatment to help them heal. We offer the support you need and compassionate, quality treatment to help you on your road to recovery. It’s okay to need help, especially when it comes to you and those you love. If you or someone you love is struggling with their depression, don’t wait. Call (949) 647-4090 today.
Melody is a highly skilled proactive clinical administrator, with more than 17 years of experience serving the community in the behavioral health field.
Her clinical management career started in 2011 as a compliance manager and program director. In 2018, she became an executive as chief clinical officer (CCO). She is a seasoned licensed marriage & family therapist.