It is a known fact that each of us experiences bouts of depression on occasion. We all experience emotional lows, emotional highs, and everything in-between. This being the case, how are we to tell when it is time to seek professional help for depression? It is a common misconception that only those that feel as if they are teetering on the edge of a breakdown or those that are considered to be “crazy” are the only ones that need professional assistance to cope with their psychological woes. In fact, most people that seek out assistance are actually considered as quite normal. The professional help received simply provides them with a means of coping with that which detrimentally impacts their life so that they are able to lead a more positive and productive life. If you are reading this, chances are, you could benefit from professional help; however, just to be clear, we will outline some signs that this type of assistance is needed.
In order to understand just how common depression is, we feel that it is important to first expound on a few basic statistics regarding the issue, as outlined by the National Center for Health Statistics or NCHS:
- 8% of all people 13 and older in the United States state that they have recently experienced some degree of depression.
- 3% of people that experience depression state that they feel as if the symptoms of the mental health issue are “severe”.
- 90% of all people who consider themselves depressed state that they experience difficulties in work, academics, social life, and their day-to-day activities.
- 65% of all people who state that they are experiencing severe depression have not, are not, and do not plan on seeking professional help.
- 30% to 70% of individuals that succeed in committing suicide is said to suffer from untreated depression.
- 44,193 people in the United States die by suicide each year.
- 100% of ALL suicides are preventable.
Signs It Is Time for Professional Help
Now that you understand the prevalence of depression, that suicide is the worst case of untreated depression, and that 100% of all suicides are preventable, it is time to learn the signs that it is time to seek professional help:
- If you are suffering from sadness, anger, despair, hopelessness, or similar devastating emotions and are unable to control these emotions, it is likely that it is time to seek out professional help.
- If you are engaging in unhealthy behaviors to cope with your depression, it is time for professional help. Examples include consuming high levels of food, excessive alcohol consumption, drug use, and turning to sex.
- If you are coping with grief, you may need to seek help to cope with your depression. Grief is the feeling that consumes you when losing something important or someone important in your life.
- If you have experienced a trauma and depression is overwhelming you, seek therapy.
- If the distress that you are experiencing with depression is leading to thoughts and behaviors that are considered to be “dangerous” – such as self-harm, imagining how great it would be to no longer be part of the world, or contemplating suicide -it is time for professional help.
If you are suffering from any of the signs outlined in this comprehensive guide, be certain to reach out to a trained professional for assistance. If you are contemplating suicide, you may call the National Suicide Prevention phone line by dialing: 800-273-TALK (8255). Do not wait or delay the help if you have determined that you are in need of it.