Are you feeling down?

Depression is a debilitating illness.  Some people wonder what depression is like or even if you are experiencing depression right now.  This article helps you to figure out if you are depressed, and it gives a depression treatment plan.

Am I Depressed and What to Do about it  The beginning of the article is diagnostic. Closer to the end is a plan for depression treatment.

If you do think you might be depressed, it is important to get help as soon as possible.

Depression often shows up as anger, especially in men.   Depression is a particularly nasty illness because, due to the nature of it, it makes you despair and believe completely that things are hopeless and will never get better.

The good news is that this is not actually true. Things can and will get better, but you need to take some action to help yourself. Sadly, nobody can do it for you, and I know that if you are depressed, you probably don’t really feel like doing much of anything and you feel despair that nothing you do will help anyhow or that you have tried everything.

There are apps to help you manage depression with CBT and other therapies. There are depression chat rooms that are moderated where you can speak to other people going through the same thing. There is online crisis chat. In short, help is available.

It’s not easy, but it is possible to recover from depression. I have seen people who were depressed for decades recover. It is a matter of finding the correct solution. Sometimes that is a physical therapy such as a nutritional, vitamin, or exercise therapy. Sometimes it is a hormonal therapy (thyroid?). Sometimes it is counselling. Or it can be finding the right medication or combination of medications.

It is not simple. Not everyone’s depression is the same. Sometimes it takes a combination of therapies to get the depression in remission. Take it seriously. It is an illness and you need to treat it like one and keep seeking treatment until you find the treatment that works.

Sadly, we are sort of in the dark ages when it comes to treating mental illness. There is no “blood test” that can tell a doctor exactly what is going on in your brain to cause the depression. They have to guess and give you a medication based on that guess. And it might not work. Sometimes the depression is caused because you were “programmed” incorrectly as a child and that’s where therapy really helps.

I have a computer science and psychology background and I tend to think of people’s brains as very complex computers that get programmed early in life. When they are abused or suffer some trauma (which can even happen in the womb due to being exposed to chemicals potentially), this can lead to incorrect programming such as the thought, “I am worthless”. Then you need to correct this programming.

I really like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as a therapy to help you correct these distorted thoughts. I highly recommend it, and if you cannot afford a therapist, there are books, free worksheets online, apps, and online programs such as Mood Gym.

Help really is available now more than ever because of the internet. You might not realize it, but you have the potential to live a much more fulfilling life. I hope you follow every possible lead until you have resolved your depression.

Mostly, I hope you find your way to self-love. It can be a long road, but the journey is worthwhile. I have seen this work for others. Imagine that your depression is like a dark room. You are in the dark and you cannot imagine how it could possibly be light, but there is a light switch nearby. You do not know where the light switch is or even that there is a light switch. You have never seen light and hardly know what that might be like. But, there is a light switch. Fumbling in the dark, you must believe in the light and find the switch.

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