Depression affects 10% of the American public, but we still refuse to talk about it.
The number of cases rises every year, but over 80% of the people suffering from depression fail to seek treatment.
Women are more likely to experience depression than men. To many, living with depression has become the norm.
For these people, it’s hard to even acknowledge that they have a mental illness. It just seems like a typical, drab, day.
Below we take a look at some of the things women living with depression need to know. It’s not a simple fix, but hopefully, we can take a few steps together in the right direction.
You’re Not Alone
A lot of women living with depression think that no one wants to hear about their problems. Sometimes, nothing bad has happened to justify your mood, so it can be hard to talk about the way you’re feeling.
As we stated above, a considerable percentage of the population is suffering from depression, and most of them aren’t seeking any treatment.
Depression doesn’t discriminate. Just because someone’s social media feed is littered with a smiling, beautiful face, doesn’t mean they’re not depressed.
Confide in friends and family about what you’re feeling. More often then not, they’ll be the support system you need to start getting help. You may even find that someone close understands better than you know.
You Need to Seek Treatment
Depression isn’t just a feeling – it’s a real medical condition. You wouldn’t expect a broken leg to heal correctly without medical assistance. As hard as it might be, you have to start treating the problem before it will get better.
Treatment can come in many forms. Some people react well to therapy. Others may need antidepressants such as escitalopram to make progress. One thing’s for sure: doing nothing is not a treatment for depression.
In many cases, doing nothing can make your depression worse.
Depression Manifests Itself in Many Ways
People often use depression as a synonym for sadness. In reality, this sometimes isn’t the case at all. In fact, some depressed individuals don’t feel any sadness whatsoever.
Depression can come in many forms:
- Sleepless nights
- Decreased energy
- Physical pain
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty concentrating
There isn’t just one form of depression, and just because you’re sad doesn’t mean that you’re depressed. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, treatment is worth exploring.
Sometimes, people living with depression don’t even realize they’re depressed until they find something to lift the dark cloud hanging over them.
Control Negative Thoughts
Try to treat yourself the same way you’d treat a loved one. It seems obvious, but for many this idea is radical.
Thoughts of how wrong you are, what a terrible person you’ve become, or anything along those lines do nothing but add to the problem. You wouldn’t think this way about someone else you care about, so why should you think this way about yourself?
Changing your internal monologue is one of the best ways to change your outlook on life. Make a list of everything great about yourself. If you’re coming up short, try to make a list of everything you’re thankful for.
Be kind and understanding to yourself.
Some Depression is Specific to Women
Women are the only ones who experience certain kinds of depression. This fact is one reason a female support system is so important.
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder, perinatal depression, and perimenopausal depression are all examples of depression that are only experienced by women.
Women experience more hormonal changes throughout their lives than men. For this reason, it’s essential that you surround yourself with caring, empathetic women who understand what you’re experiencing during these hard times.
Change Treatment if it’s Not Working
Even those living with depression who seek treatment don’t always get the help they need. If you don’t see a difference, then try again with another form.
Medication doesn’t work for everyone. For some, over-medicating can make depression worse, especially when they realize it’s not working.
The same is the case with therapy. People often view therapy as a blanket-treatment for mental illness, but it’s not. Therapy doesn’t work for some people.
Don’t limit your treatment options to one thing. Some people need a combination of therapy and medication, and others need something completely different.
No two people are the same, and just because your friend recommended a therapist doesn’t mean they’re the right fit for you.
You Need to Push Yourself
Living with depression is a paralyzing feeling. For most, depression means a lack of motivation to do almost anything at all. Even getting out of the house to go to a party seems like too much work.
To start making progress, you need to start doing. Go out with friends, complete work assignments, and above all: seek professional help. Nothing will change if you stay parked on the couch.
Start making changes in your life. Look for a new job if that’s a source of stress. Change your diet or start exercising.
The paralyzing feeling of depression is real, but you have to force yourself to break through if you want to make a lasting difference in your life.
Depression doesn’t last forever, even if it feels like it will. You’ll get better if you take the appropriate steps.
Living With Depression
Depression is a medical issue, and you should treat it as such. Start seeking treatment, making changes in your life, and being easier on yourself.
There’s no single quick-fix to depression. Unfortunately, it takes work. Taking a single step forward can be terrifying when you’re living with depression, but you need to force yourself to move forward and change.
There are always people who will understand and relate to your problems. The internet is full of people experiencing the exact same thing.
Eventually, your depression will fade, and you’ll come out the other side. Depression isn’t a life sentence, but it requires you to put in a little effort.
For more advice on all topics, take a look at our blog.