Coming to the conclusion that you might have depression can be a mixed moment for people. On the one hand, giving a name to any symptoms you might have been experiencing can be a reassuring moment, and can give you a base to work from in treatment. However, there may be other points to consider. How do you know if it is really depression that you are experiencing? The emotions and thoughts you might be experiencing may well be caused by other reasons. Moving forwards from this moment can be difficult, and knowing where to turn next can be tricky.
The most important thing you can do next is to talk to someone about how you have been feeling and your concerns. The most recommended person to talk to is your doctor. Your doctor will have been trained in depression, and will have a strong medical understanding of the condition. They will be able to listen to you and tell you whether it is depression that you are experiencing. They may well be able to discuss the cause of your depression with you. If not, they will certainly be able to refer you to the best person to diagnose the cause. They will also be able to point you in the right direction when it comes to treatment. If you feel that you are not happy talking to your doctor, there are other people that are available to talk to.
Psychologists and Counsellors will similarly have training in understanding and treating depression, and will give you the space to discuss your feelings as well as being able to advise you. If you feel first you would like to start the steps towards treatment more anonymously, there are help lines and websites available. Even talking to friends informally may be a good start to working out exactly how it is you feel, and maybe even start to unravel the causes.
When it comes to coming to terms with the possibility, or indeed certainty, that you have depression, you may be reluctant in seeking treatment. Some people can find it an easy step to take to try therapy or medication, but for others it can all feel uncomfortable or like more of a big deal than it needs to be. This can be for all sorts of reasons, such as a belief that the depression is simply a phase that will pass soon, or feeling that medication or therapy will not help, or even that you do not want people to know that you have depression.
However, it is worth bearing in mind that depression is a surprisingly common illness, with one on five people thought to experience depression in their lifetime. Depression is also shown to not be the sort of illness that just “passes”, and instead is likely to flare up again in life. It is much more effective to treat depression as you would do any other illness. Your doctor will be able to advise you on the various treatments available to you, and with so many possible treatments you should be able to decide on a programme that would suit you most effectively.