Get Advice

There’s nothing that takes the place of meaningful conversation about the pain you’re feeling with an experienced professional or someone you trust. But there are some things that some additional information and honest advice can help with.

Believe how you’re feeling.

There may be people who tell you that your problems are just “not that serious” or that you need to “forget about them” or offer other advice that minimizes your pain. This is certainly not helpful and reflects their lack of knowledge and understanding, not your unworthiness or inability to cope. Your feelings are real and valid. Believe them. Then find another source of help or a professional who truly knows and understands what you’re going through.

Many others feel just like you. Hear their stories.

While depression may make you feel alone, you are not. Many, many others feel the exact same way you do. They may feel that way for different reasons, but the feelings are the same. Knowing that may be comforting in itself, but using that understanding to connect with others is even better. That’s why many communities and organizations have depression support groups. They’re designed to help people who are suffering connect with others who understand their pain. By listening and sharing, these groups support one another, offer a sympathetic sounding board, and can refer you to qualified help in the community. Your local County Community Mental Health Board, NAMI office, or Mental Health America can put you in touch. Contact them.

Understand the reasons and treatments for depression.

Life situations aren’t the only cause of depressions. Some can be due to an imbalance in body chemistry. These types of depressions can’t be resolved by talk alone. Just like physical-health issues, mental-health conditions may require medication to put your body back in balance. Talk to your family physician or ask them to refer you to a specialist who can help determine if medication or another form of treatment may be helpful to you.