More than 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression.
It’s the leading cause of disability worldwide, and is a major contributor to disease worldwide.
So with so many people worldwide suffering from depression, why does so many people feel so alone when they are depressed.
Well, it’s the nature of the condition to feel alone. When you are depressed you push friends and family away. You distance yourself from others.
The condition affects more women than men. Yet women are better at reaching out to their own support networks for help.
However, there is still a negative stigma attached to depression. A lot of people who have never suffered from the condition are quick to dismiss it.
This makes reaching out even harder. Many people question, “What if no-one believes me?”, “How will I be judged?”
There are a lot of factors that make it difficult to ask for help. But staying inside your shell makes the condition a lot worse.
Left untreated depression leads to other mental and physical health conditions. You can end up with heart problems, chronic anxiety, and high blood pressure.
If you are reading this and you are currently suffering from depression, the most honest words you can read are – you’re not alone. I know from experience this is true.
There are lots of ways you can seek help, and endless support networks waiting to help. Whether you turn to family, friends, or professional services. There is help out there.
As with any recovery process, the most difficult step is the first. But after just the first step you will feel a massive weight lifted off your shoulders. Trust me, you will look back at the day you decided to take the first step and thank yourself.
Here are 4 Ways to Ask for Help When You’re Depressed:
Talk to Friends, Family or Someone in Your Trusted Circle
You may be looking at your family and friends thinking they are too busy to help. Sure, we all have our own busy lives, but you’re underestimating how much they care about you.
Some people are going to be a lot better than others at dealing with the news that you’re depressed. Think carefully before you unload your problems, and who you choose. But anyone in your close circle should be more than happy to help in any way they can.
You need to control your emotions when talking to someone who isn’t qualified to deal with this magnitude of problem. Remember, you’re talking out about how you feel, not seek professional advice.
Talking through problems lifts a massive weight off your shoulders almost instantly. Don’t ask anything of the person listening. Just allow them to listen, and see what they say in return. If they know you well, they will likely offer some solid advice and offer ways to make you feel better.
Once you’re comfortable talking to friends and family, it’ll be a lot easier to talk to a professional you’ve not met before.
Look into Support Groups
Support groups are one of the best resources for people seeking recovery. Being able to talk with people who are going through the same disease, emotions, and issues as you are is invaluable.
It’s normal to think that you have the worst condition. However, you will quickly realize that a lot of people have been suffering longer than you are, and with much worse affect. You need to choose a support group carefully though, here are some things to consider:
- Meet with the group leader, are they experienced and able to deal with the support group?
- View a group session, do you feel like the style of the group suits your needs comfortably?
- Are there long-term goals in place to facilitate a full recovery?
Use Anonymous Support Lines
If you’re finding the idea of talking to someone you know. Or talking face-to-face with someone else. Calling an anonymous phone line is an option. This form of support has been around for a long time, and proven to be very effective.
Most countries have a free-phone number to call. There is a trained councilor on the other end and they can set you on the right path. It’s certainly a good place to start, and there is no commitment.
There are a lot of support groups online too if you want to be anonymous. You need to be careful about getting to know people as you never know who you’re talking to. But joining forums and closed support groups are helpful.
Read the Stories of Others
You can find stories of other suffering with depression online. Being anonymous the authors are usually very open and honest. You will soon realize that you are not alone, there are a lot more suffered than you thought.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to the people if they leave their contact details as well. People who are venting and offering their story are often willing to discuss it. As mentioned earlier, you’re not alone. When you’re ready to share your story, think about posting it online too and helping someone else.
They key take away here is that there is help if you’re suffering from depression.
I have had to face up to my own demons, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of others.
Don’t feel like you’re alone, don’t suffer in silence, and don’t keep putting it off. Take the first step and reach out for help today.
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.