Many Australians suffer from depression at one time or another during their life. If not, they probably know somebody who does.
Depression is a condition that affects anybody, regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation or religion. It doesn’t discriminate, and it can be crippling for those who suffer it.
It’s important to remember though, that treatment is available. You don’t need to go through depression alone, and as a society we’re becoming much better at talking about it. There’s help out there, and the condition can be significantly improved with treatment.
What types of depression treatment are available?
When considering depression treatment, there are several considerations. Usually, your treatment would start with a GP, who will then refer you to a psychologist or other mental health professional. It’s during your first session with a psychologist where some treatment plans may be discussed, however it might not necessarily be that quick. Treatment from a psychologist often starts with talking. Getting to know you, your medical history, and more specific information about how you’re currently feeling.
Once treatment starts, it could include but isn’t limited to:
- Psychodynamic treatment
- Cognitive behavioural therapy
- Schema therapy
- Dialectical behaviour therapy
- Eye-movement desensitisation and re-processing
Here’s some of the reasons why its important to seek help if you experience signs of depression.
Prevent your condition from worsening
Depression rarely comes out of nowhere. Often the symptoms will start very small, and gradually build over time. The thing that varies is how quickly people seek treatment. People who have never had a mental health issue or diagnosis in the past are sometimes reluctant to seek help. They may even not be aware they have a problem in the first place.
However, when left untreated, depression can worsen with symptoms becoming more severe. In extreme cases, depression and other mental health concern can even lead to suicide. So, to prevent your condition from worsening, seek help early. You may learn some valuable coping techniques to help you throughout life.
Look after your relationships
Depression can be hard on relationships. If you already have feelings of hopelessness, it’s possible you’re not seeing all the good things about your personal relationships. While many partners of depression sufferers are supportive, it can often change the dynamics of a relationship. Many couples report that when the condition is left untreated, their relationship takes on characteristics of a carer/patient relationship.
Naturally, communication is crucial to any relationship. Perhaps even more so when mental health is part of it. But seeking help early helps you understand your support networks, which can be a huge positive for treatment.
Learn valuable mental health strategies
Finally, one of the best reasons to seek treatment is you’ll learn so much. Not just about yourself, but how you react to situations and how your mind works. When you have a better understanding of this, you’re able to function more confidently and start to address negative thoughts before they take hold.
While it may be confronting to seek help for depression, the strategies and self-management skills you’ll learn will benefit you for the rest of your life.