3 Excuses People Use to Avoid Getting Professional Help

January 30, 2021

Everyone feels sad or low sometimes, but these feelings usually pass with a little time. Depression—also called “clinical depression” or a “depressive disorder”—is a mood disorder that causes distressing symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. To be diagnosed with depression, symptoms must be present most of the day, nearly every day for at least 2 weeks.


Major depression is when you’re having symptoms of depression most of the day, nearly every day for at least 2 weeks that interfere with your ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy life. An episode can occur only once in a person’s lifetime, but more often, a person has several episodes. 


Have you been advised to seek professional help but have avoided getting treatment? Are you shy of asking for help? 


If yes, you’re not alone. About two-thirds of people with major depression never seek appropriate treatment, and the consequences can be devastating: personal suffering, missed work, broken marriages, health problems, and, in the worst cases, death.


The World Health Organization ranks depression as one of the world’s most disabling diseases. Yet with treatment, 70% of people with clinical depression can improve, often in a matter of weeks.


Depression and illness: Chicken or egg? - Harvard Health


Some of the most common reasons people do not take the steps needed to obtain help for depression include:


Fear and Shame


The shame of having a mental health problem keeps people from seeking help or even talking about suffering from depression. People recognize the negative stigma and discrimination of being associated with a mental illness. Fear of being labeled weak is part of the human condition, and it is natural to worry about the impact on education, careers, and life goals. 


But depression is nothing to be ashamed of. It is a medical condition, much like diabetes or high cholesterol, which requires treatment. It is also a very common condition. Depressive disorders affect nearly 19 million people in the U.S. every year — regardless of gender, age, race, religion, sexuality, income, or education. So there’s a good chance your doctor won’t hear anything from you that they haven’t heard many times before. 


Limited Awareness


You don’t need to feel sad or cry all day to be clinically depressed. Often people with depression see their primary care doctors for problems such as muscle pain, sleeping problems, or fatigue, not knowing those are signs of depression. Sometimes these symptoms accompany sadness; other times they don’t.


A person sometimes minimizes their issues and rationalizes that what is going on is “not that bad” or “everyone gets stressed.” Learning more about symptoms and conditions is advised for everyone wanting to better understand depression.


Lack of Insight

‘Didn’t think I needed it at that time’, is the reason many people give to avoid treatment for depression. Waiting for depression to simply pass can be harmful for a number of reasons. For one, depression that goes untreated may become more severe. The longer the delay in treatment, the more difficult it may be to control, and the more likely it is to recur when treatment is stopped. There also is growing evidence that untreated depression can contribute to or worsen other medical problems.


What are the Signs of Major Depression: Emerald Psychiatry & TMS


Depression is “highly treatable” for most people. Medication can help rebalance brain chemistry, and psychotherapy or counseling help build more resilient coping strategies. It is important to think of mental illness the same as you would a physical illness. 


Get in touch with me today to find out how I can help you cope with depression.

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