“So, you’re feling depressed? Why don’t you change your diet? You’ll feel better.” Says another well meaning friend. “Oh! Just go for a movie. Just go out, meet your friends – that will do it.” “You know, you just need to start thinking more positively.” “Actually, I know about this Babaji – my friend started visiting him and felt better.” Another friend, writes in “My sister felt depressed after her baby was born and she went to this great psychiatrist. He just gave her some pills and she started feeling better.” “No, no!” another fried counters this advice – “don’t try allopathy. Homeopathy is a lot better.”
Leaves you feeling confused? Maybe you have tried some of these things but they did not work for you. They did not work for Amy Bluel, the Founder of Project Semi-colon, a suicide awareness and prevention project. Amy struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts for several years and finally succumbed to suicide. On the other hand, a young person recently talked about finding help on Facebook and was cured of his depression.
Depression is the cancer of the soul. Not everyone experiences depression in the same way and not everyone feels better with the same interventions. While western medicine offers certain treatment protocols as it does for various kinds of illnesses, diagnosis and treatment varies with each individual. A simple viral infection may not need you to visit the doctor but if you feel very sick or the illness lasts a longer time than expected, you have to visit the doctor. Similarly, we go through different moods and the blues may pass. But, if you continue to feel sad, anxious, helpless, overwhelmed or your everyday life, studies, work or relationships are beginning to suffer, then you do need to seek help. In addition, if you find yourself self medicating with alcohol, drugs, or sleep medication, then you need to know that those will only leave you feeling worse.
Seeking help is not a sign of weakness – it is an important step towards taking charge of your life. You deserve to feel better and you owe it to yourself to do what you need to do to feel better. Clinical psychologists and psychiatrists are trained professionals who can help you feel better. Research has shown that sometimes talk therapy, which is how clinical psychologists and psychotherapists help, is all one needs. In other cases, a combination of medicines that psychiatrists are trained to prescribe and talk therapy is more effective. Be patient, and be persistent. It is a journey – it can take anywhere between a few months to longer to feel better.