Talking about depression isn’t easy. It’s a complex condition, and while symptoms are generally similar among depression patients, some people experience milder or more serious symptoms or different varieties of the same symptoms. It’s also just not that easy to open up about the darkest feelings you’re having, even with family and friends.
However difficult it may be, you may find during your depression that you really want to talk to someone. Depression can cause intense feelings of isolation and loneliness, and it’s important to know that you’re not alone. People do care. Talking to someone can help alleviate certain feelings, grant you a better understanding of your condition, and even help minimize those feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Just because you have depression, that doesn’t mean that you fully understand it or its symptoms. In fact, some people who suffer from depression don’t even realize their symptoms are of mental illness. Or, they simply don’t want to admit that they may have a mental health condition. Unfortunately, there’s still plenty of stigma surrounding mental health and depression, and some victims are too afraid to make it publicly known that they’re suffering from it.
Talking to someone else about your depression can help you put things into perspective. Maybe you’re talking to someone who has already battled and beat depression. Or, maybe you’re talking to a licensed therapist about what you’re feeling. A psychiatrist can help explore your depression and identify your symptoms, so you know what to look for and what to do when symptoms arise.
It’s not enough to simply read about your condition. Studying up on depression shows you the condition from a clinical standpoint, and there’s a lot more to mental health than just the clinical information. Everyone experiences it differently, and it’s sometimes helpful to hear someone else’s story.
Everyone can feel sympathy for someone who’s suffering. You’re looking in from a safe place and feeling pity for the person who is suffering, and while there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s still not as powerful as true empathy. True empathy comes from putting yourself in someone’s shoes or having experienced the same thing yourself. Someone who’s had depression is going to have a much deeper understanding of the condition and the emotions it invokes, and can therefore truly empathize with a fellow sufferer.
Talking to someone who’s battled depression makes things a little easier. You’ll learn that you’re not alone in your struggle, that other people have shared the same symptoms and feelings, and that there is an end in sight. Depression can feel like it’s consuming you if left unchecked, and sometimes, you just need an ally to help you through rough patches.
People who suffer from depression often feel incredibly isolated and lonely in their suffering. Depression makes you feel like no one cares, or like they shouldn’t care because you’re not worth it anyway. You are worth it, of course, but it’s difficult to convince a mind plagued with depression that this is the truth. Isolation can only further those feelings of loneliness and make your depression worse.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to friends, family members, or use online chat rooms to vent about what you’re feeling. Yes, it makes you vulnerable. You might have to share some things that aren’t exactly pretty, but you control how much and how often you share. Isolating yourself and never talking to anyone doesn’t help your condition at all.
Mental health is something we don’t take seriously enough as a society. It’s estimated that about 1 in 5 adults suffer from some kind of mental health condition. That’s 20% of the population. Your mental health should always be a priority. It’s hard to prioritize it when depression is gnawing at your heels, but know that there is always someone who cares. You can reach out whenever you’re comfortable, but be sure that you do reach out.
We should all be making mental health a priority. Without the health of the mind, the body will suffer, too. Depression doesn’t have to rule your life, but the first step to healing is reaching out to someone and talking about it.
Depression can be a scary condition to deal with on your own. Even on your best days, going it alone can make things worse, and may even be a danger to your personal safety. The longer you go without help, the darker it gets. Talk to someone today. It doesn’t have to be a friend, family member, or even a counselor. There are thousands of anonymous chat rooms available where you can talk about how you’re feeling while protecting your identity.