According to the World Health Organization, about 280 million people in the world today suffer from depression. The condition affects about 5% of adults, which means it’s likely that people you know are dealing with depression right now — or maybe you yourself are depressed.
At Arlington Family Practice in Arlington, Massachusetts, it’s our privilege to help patients who are struggling with depression. While there are some common characteristics when it comes to depression, every person is unique, and every situation is different.
If you think you’re depressed, or if a friend or loved one is dealing with depression, here are a few things we’ve learned over the years about depression that people won’t necessarily tell you.
You can’t just ‘get over it’
If it were that simple to fix depression, it wouldn’t be the widespread problem it is today. Depression is complicated and has to do with many factors, including genetics, stressful and difficult life events, chemical imbalances in the brain, and other health problems.
If you’re trying to help someone with depression, don’t tell them to get over it. You can tell them that you don’t understand what they’re going through but that you’re there for them and will do what you can to help.
Not all depression is the same
As mentioned above, depression is caused by a variety of factors. Treating everyone who is depressed the same won’t work — one person might’ve experienced a traumatic event, while another might be contemplating suicide, and a third might be having trouble sleeping.
Everyone’s experience is different, and no one with depression wants to be put into a box and treated the same as the next person. If you know someone struggling with depression, take the time to ask what they’re feeling and what they need from you.
Depression is all-consuming
When you’re depressed, the condition can consume you. Every thought and action and decision is magnified, normal tasks take much longer, you may be dealing with physical pain and discomfort, and just getting through the day requires a lot of energy.
If your depression is getting worse, the emotions become even more intense. You may struggle to focus, and you realize more and more that just living with depression is exhausting.
Regular therapy is one of the best ways to treat depression. This can include simply talking with a licensed therapist or counselor, as well as medical therapy to address hormone imbalances and brain chemistry issues.
If you’re ready to talk about depression, contact Arlington Family Practice. You can call our office or request an appointment online. Whatever you’re feeling, know that we’re here for you.