General Question

nogjam's avatar

When should a person with depression seek professional help?

Asked by nogjam (131 points ) 2 months ago

As asked. I’d rather not provide personal details. Just looking for general, helpful answers.

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20 Answers

AshLeigh's avatar

The fact that you asked this question suggests that you think you might need to. It couldn’t hurt to seek help.

JLeslie's avatar

It varies I think. If you think you might need help, why not go ahead and try it. If you aren’t happy with the therapy you can quit at any time. I would say if you don’t like the first therapist, try another one before quitting altogether.

If you feel like you need to talk, or that yur depression is negatively impacting your life too much, or if the depression has lasted for a few months, then I think it might be time to seek help. If the depression is a reaction to a situation or situations in your life, talking things through can sometimes help you focus and either reframe what is happening or make changes so you can move forward.

Certainly if you think about harming yourself or others you should reach out to someone for help sooner rather than later.

Mimishu1995's avatar

When the depression becomes uncontrolable. That is, when it affect your daily life too much, or when all the “normal treatments” (family help, self help…) are useless.

Have you tried the normal treatment yet?

Judi's avatar

When it effects their ability to function or their relationships.
They should seek immediate attention if they present as a danger to them self or others.

sweet_star's avatar

I seeked help a little too late, after my first child was born I got the “baby blues” and I attempted suicide. So, I think at the first sign of depression I would go.

My psychiatrist was very helpful to me, in the sense that she listened to me, and basically helped me find the bottom reason of why I was so angry and discontent with me. She also thought me a few relaxing techniques, that really helped me with my anxiety attacks. She also gave me options of taking different type of antidepressants (which I decided not to take) with therapy or just therapy by itself.

It is really a great support to seek professional help for yourself, as well as for the people around you. So, I hope you go seek professional help, and in the first appointment I think you will really notice a change for good (or at least I did).
Good luck.

pleiades's avatar

When I’m depressed and I feel like my world is screwed. I try to ask myself, how could I help someone else instead of worrying about myself? That seems to help me most, and I don’t expect recognition for it.

Also when I’m depressed I try to talk to my friends first. If I’m still depressed I’ll try to make lifestyle adjustments like eating a lot of fruits and vegetables that day, or go for a 3 mile walk at a park or something. Just go out and see something, the beach, the forest, the highway, something… See some sunshine, go out to downtown, get off the internet. Watch a movie. Seek out inspiration. Try painting. I don’t recommend medication. I’m always free to message if you need to speak about your thoughts :_)

@sweet_star What techniques did you learn to calm yourself down from anxiety? I used to have it real bad.

sweet_star's avatar

@pleiades The one technique that really worked for me was one she was basically talking thru it for me, and then I just always remember.
She started by first asking me to close my eyes (for the entire process).
Then she asked me to imagine and visualize myself sitting down on green grass under a big green tree.
Then she asked me to “look” up, and to see the sun.
Then she asked me to feel the warmth of the sun in my body.
Then she asked me to visualize a “waterfall” of sunlight splashing in front of me. (Then I got to decide the color, and that color I always change depending on my mood. So today I want it blue.)
Then she said to visualize the stream of light entering my body through my toes, to my ankles to my knees, and then up to my stomach where it settled for a moment. Then it continued to go up to my arms and a to let some of the light escape through my hand fingers. Then I would the light stream would continue to go up to my head and then I also let it escape through my head.
She then asked me to open my eyes when the all the sun light had left my body and I could see the green tree again.

And as crazy as this might sound, it really really helps me with releasing the stress and it helps me relax and it does prevent my anxiety attacks from happening. So, if you want I really advise you to try it.
I also get nightmares and for that I play video games, because they help me be in control of what happens in my dreams 

Response moderated (Flame-Bait)
longgone's avatar

Please don’t take chances with that. A professional is much better suited to evaluate your emotional landscape than we are.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

The time to get help is shortly before it starts to become a real problem. It’s nothing to mess with. I’d go see someone pronto…and yes we are not professionals here.

filmfann's avatar

I use my depressions to help with the creative process. If I am unable to reemerge from that depression, and it is effecting my work, friendships, or health, I will see a therapist.
Usually, I can work through it without resorting to professional help. Depression can be quite helpful in writing, especially music. I can usually pull out of it by watching really good movies I have never seen before. I actually save movies to watch for such occasions.

and it’s a bitch when a highly regarded, well recommended movie turns out to suck.

zenvelo's avatar

Since depression affect’s one’s ability to evaluate oneself, a good indicator is when a loved one, friend or relative, suggests seeing one. And it can be a psychotherapist, who will evaluate for possible referral to a physician, or it may be one’s doctor, or even a priest or minister who does counseling.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

Is depression interfering with your normal, day-to-day life? Are you finding it difficult to focus on projects and achieve anything? Do you feel a profound sense of despair and hopelessness that doesn’t get better? Do you stay at home to avoid social interactions; by contrast, and equally telling, are you frightened to be alone and constantly needing to be with other people?

There’s no need to share your answers. I respect your privacy and just ask that you’ll consider the questions.

If you identify a pervasive pattern of depression, I do hope you have the financial resources, and the inclination, to see a therapist.

It’s worth mentioning that there are plenty of incompetent and unethical therapists out there (just as there are bad doctors, lawyers, accountants, plumbers, auto mechanics, etc.). Also, not every good therapist will be the right fit for you. If you meet someone who makes you uncomfortable, or who just doesn’t seem to helping, trust your instincts and look elsewhere.

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
BeenThereSaidThat's avatar

when their depression starts to effect their lives in a bad way. when their quality of life is worse due to depression.

nogjam's avatar

Thank you to everyone for your detailed and caring responses. For those of you who have dealt with this, is therapy usually enough or are pills often prescribed? I really don’t want to end up taking a pill for my depression. My depression started as situational and has continued due to multiple health problems. This has been going on gradually for three years now. I’m also without health insurance at the moment and I’m not eligible for public assistance. I hope to have insurance in a month or two.

JLeslie's avatar

I think there is every reason to believe talk therapy will be enough. A counselor or psychologist can’t prescribe you medicine anyway, so if you start there you don’t have to worry about a prescription being shoved in your face.

I hope you feel better soon.

lostinyoureyes's avatar

I’d say now.

I got help for anxiety. They did suggest pills for me but I said no. (I actually found out later that my poor diet was causing a lot of my anxiety, which really shocked me because I never made that mental-physical health connection. That’s something to also look into.) But talking to a professional was so crucial for me. Definitely get help if you are depressed, whether mild or severe. It’s a step forward.

sweet_star's avatar

@nogjam They might suggest it if you really need it, but you always have the final word into deciding to receive the prescription or not. and In my case I think talking was very helpful. I also did not have insurance, and my therapies were $60 dollars (I live in southern California) and my therapist also had payment methods.

I started with one appointment on the first week then another on the week after my first appointment. After those two, I received one therapy each three weeks (aprox. one per month) for 4 months and I now only go each 3–6 months.

And because I love it so much I think I will go for the rest of my life, because it really gives you a sense of self-control and stress-release. :)

- Hope this helps!

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