Depression is not a weakness. Do not believe for a second that you are weak if you suffer from depression; you, like many others who suffer from depression, are dealing with your body not providing enough chemicals to give your brain the ability to cope.
Depression is not just “in the mind.” While some degree of issues with depression can be temporarily “powered through,” the underlying issues must be addressed or they will continue to linger.
Depression is not something you need to address alone. If you let your trusted loved ones know you suffer from depression, you allow them a chance to help you.
More importantly, if you are willing to trust a medical professional (and, if you suffer from depression, you should consider being willing to do so), seeking professional help can make a difference in improving your mental health.
The Benefits of Seeking Mental Healthcare
Seeing a therapist allows you to share information that you may not be comfortable sharing with a loved one. Using a neutral party to discuss mental health can allow for a perspective that you may not have considered. And, because your therapist is a neutral party, you don’t have to fear sensitive information getting to loved ones who you may not wish to know about certain thoughts you are having.
Therapists, like all medical professionals, must behave within HIPAA guidelines; that means they cannot share any of your health information with a party unrelated to your healthcare unless you give strict permission.
If talk therapy isn’t enough, you can also consider seeking medicine to assist with depression. While using medicine to treat mental illness does have negative social connotations, there is nothing to be ashamed of in regards to taking medicine for a mental health issue; like any physical ailment, mental ailments sometimes require more than just talk.
If you have no sort of insurance, most therapists (most medical offices, in fact) will be willing to work out some sort of arrangement to help you with bills you incur. Some offices will even offer a self-pay discount.
Seeking Mental Healthcare is Easier than Ever
While the raging pandemic may make you believe that seeking a mental healthcare professional is going to be difficult, this is not the case. Medical professionals across the spectrum of healthcare have evolved elements of telemedicine into their practices.
Telemedicine, essentially, is the use of technology to communicate healthcare information to patients from a distance. This allows for underserved areas to receive healthcare without having to travel long distances to see a doctor, but it also allows for in-person visits to be phased out temporarily during a moment of crisis (such as the current pandemic).
While this may seem to open up healthcare to attacks from hackers, most physicians’ offices are knowledgeable enough in regards to HIPAA regulations to safeguard against such attacks. Most telehealth practitioners have strong encryption protocols to protect any information shared through telehealth from being hacked, in addition to traditional HIPAA protocols to safeguard your medical information.
Mental healthcare adjusts particularly well to telemedicine, as therapists tend to be tech-savvy and capable of talking over the phone at length. So, many mental healthcare practices have developed their telemedicine.
In fact, some practices that offer Online depression treatment don’t even have a physical presence, allowing for them to reduce overhead and offer treatment at a significant discount and to offer on-demand services, eliminating the need for a long wait before seeing a therapist.
And, should you experience a mental health crisis (e.g. suicidal ideations, or a mental breakdown), crisis intervention is easy to access: the Suicide Prevention Lifeline, at 800-273-8255, can offer live counselors at any hour of the day; texting HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 will connect you with assistance via text; and, of course, 911 can get you emergency assistance at any time.
If you suffer from depression, you have the means to alleviate the symptoms and continue living your life. Don’t be afraid to use these means; you owe it to yourself to live the best life you can.