Posted on July 02, 2019
Depression is a serious condition that will typically get worse if left untreated. Some people who are depressed might hide the way they truly feel from others. Without treatment, the symptoms of depression can get worse, severely impact your daily life, and can lead to suicide in some cases.
Depression feels and looks different for everyone who’s affected by it. Seeking treatment is always the best choice. Treating depression can help you feel like yourself again, so you’re able to enjoy life and return to a normal level of function at work or in school. In this article, we answer questions, such as “why is it important to treat depression?”
The Process of Treating Depression
In order to receive effective treatment for depression, a therapist would first need to diagnose their client. This sounds simple and you might think that anyone with depression would know they had the condition, but this is not always the case.
Identifying depression is the first step in treatment. You might go to a doctor or psychologist’s office and show some symptoms, such as lethargy and loss of appetite, but have no idea that these symptoms are a result of depression.
Once depression has been diagnosed, treatment can begin. Treatment for depression is different for everyone. Some common forms of treatment include talk therapy, antidepressants, and others.
Top Reasons Why it’s Important to Treat Depression
Depression shouldn’t be left untreated. With an effective treatment plan, your symptoms can be managed and a full recovery is possible. Here are our top reasons why depression should be treated:
Depression Can Cause Physical Health Issues
Depression is not just a psychological disorder. Did you know that it can lead to physical ailments, such as muscle pain, digestive issues, and sleep loss? You might not consider these to be serious problems if they last for a couple of days only, but the effects of depression can last for months or even years.
Over time, the physical issues from depression can take a serious toll on your overall health. In fact, depression can even affect the brain and cause irreversible changes. Treating the root cause of these physical symptoms starts with treating your depression.
Depression Can Lead to Drug Abuse
Did you know that people with depression are more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol? Usually, depressed individuals are more likely to develop a substance abuse problem as they try to self-medicate for their underlying struggle.
When people become depressed, the dopamine levels in their brain are usually very low. Dopamine is responsible for our feelings of joy and happiness. Some drugs provide a temporary dopamine boost, which is a large part of what makes these substances addictive.
Depressed individuals may turn to drugs to try and make themselves feel better. This is a slippery slope that can turn from bad to worse quickly. By treating depression early on, issues with drugs and alcohol abuse can potentially be avoided.
Depression Can Lead to Suicide
Some people refer to severe depression as a terminal illness because it can sometimes lead to suicidal thoughts. As depression takes hold, feelings of hopelessness, sadness, and low self-esteem can push people towards suicidal behavior. According to the World Health Organization, about one million people commit suicide each year.
Treating depression can be the difference between life and death. A depression treatment plan helps you to feel motivated to be happy again. At the most basic level, treatment can stabilize someone who has suicidal thoughts and provides them with the support and tools they need.
Treating severe depression is just as critical as treating any other health concern. Remember, depression can worsen and potentially become fatal if left untreated. Treating depression is the best way to ensure that the care you need will be given. Learn more about the effects of depression and the different treatment options available. Find the right match for a therapist on Advekit today.
Alison LaSov, LMFT
Alison LaSov is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist with experience treating clients struggling with anxiety and depression. She predominantly focuses on mental health intervention for children and adolescents, particularly those who are in crisis. She has worked within the Los Angeles education system treating students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), as well as supervised a non-profit Teen Crisis Hotline out of Cedars-Sinai Hospital. Alison earned her B.A. from UCLA and M.A. from Pepperdine University. She is a native to Los Angeles and co-founder at Advekit.