I often worry about the effects my posts on depression have. Anyone who reads a lot of my posts has to realize I’ve had a terrible time with depression and antidepressant drugs.
I worry that folks who have depression and have never seen a psychologist or psychiatrist will be less likely to seek help after reading my blog.
I have had a lot of problems, but that doesn’t mean you will. I’m in that group of 30% or so that’s treatment-resistant. The other 70% are far more likely to get relief from standard low cost, low side effect antidepressants and talk therapy. The odds are in your favor. Why not feel better when it can be easily accomplished? The stigma? I hope not. My story? Don’t use me as an excuse.
If you think you have an issue with depression, consider getting a referral from your GP to a psychologist. There are also ministers, preachers, rabbi’s, etc. Your company may even have an Employee Assistance Program that provides 3-5 totally confidential sessions for free (fairly common in the US). That might not be enough time, but at least you’d know if it helps. If it doesn’t appear to help at all, you might want to consider seeing a psychiatrist or your GP to try some of the inexpensive, low side effect antidepressants.
Most people with depression can feel better pretty easily. It’s a crime against oneself, and the people around one, to not do something, IMHO.
If you have cancer or a terminal illness, things get a lot more serious, in my opinion. Depression is very likely. My oncologist offered to refer me to a terminal illness psychologist at our first meeting. I took him up on it. It was one of my best decisions.
If you’re seriously depressed, you may think you can handle it yourself along with support from your family and friends. I guess it’s possible, but I think the odds are against you and it’s a terrible burden to place solely on those other people. Your family is probably almost as likely to need counseling as you do. Then there’s the problem that they’re not trained to effectively handle depressed people. Talk to your GP about it.
One last thought for cancer patients who are seriously depressed. You deserve to enjoy what time you have left as much as possible. I suspect you want to be as emotionally available as possible for your family and friends for the time you have left. I know they want you to be. There is no time to waste! Talk to your GP about what you might do.