Life is hard at times, and we all know that. But how do we know when it’s “too hard” and we need help? The signs aren’t always clear, and not only is it challenging to know when feelings cross the line into depression, we’re often reluctant to get help for fear of being labeled. However, getting help can make a difference in whether you live a happy, satisfying life, or live with the darkness and anguish of depression. For some, it can even make the difference between life and death.
Why treatment is crucial
Forbes explains the lack of treatment for mental health issues can lead to serious depression and even suicide. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Each year nearly 47,000 people die of suicide, and for each suicide, 25 more people attempt suicide.
Get help when you need it
While there are often measures we can take to help heal our minds and our lives, sometimes finding the right tools can be challenging. Maybe you don’t know where to start, or maybe you don’t feel like it’s worthwhile. If you or someone you know is struggling, it’s crucial to take action before things get worse.
Be alert to these signs someone is at risk for suicide:
- Social withdrawal
- Unable to concentrate
- Feeling like a failure
- Feeling overwhelmed, irritated, frustrated or angry
- Feeling guilty, disappointed, sad or miserable
- Continually exhausted
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Eating too much or too little
- Relying on drugs or alcohol to cope
- Negative or apathetic mindset
Alcohol and drug abuse are strong indicators that you’re depressed, but they can also be a significant predictor of suicide. People with substance abuse disorders are six times more likely to attempt suicide than anyone else, so it’s particularly important to get help for both concerns.
Feel better naturally
You should always check with your doctor before beginning any new therapies, but there are some natural options for combating depression. For instance, practicing meditation appears to help some people, reducing stress, encouraging positivity, and lowering feelings of anxiety. If you’re new to meditation, looking to adding an app to your phone to help guide you.
If you don’t currently exercise much, amping up your physical activity can help you feel better as well. Time Magazine explains exercise appears to treat depression naturally, helping your body produce feel-good chemistry, and suppressing some of the negative chemistry generated by stress.
Another option is to try CBD oil. Some studies indicate CBD oil offers several mental health-promoting qualities. It can cut anxiety levels, reduce chronic pain, help you sleep better, and calm your mind and body without generating a “high” feeling. One easy way to test drive CBD oil is by trying gummies, which come in a variety of flavors and you can even choose different ones to adjust dosage. Just be sure to discuss with your doctor or therapist before introducing CBD.
What should you do?
If you’re considering suicide, call for help immediately. Call a suicide hotline to talk to someone who can help you understand your feelings. Or get to a hospital emergency room right away. Your life is worth saving, so let someone help you.
If you aren’t considering suicide but know you need help, talk to your doctor and get a referral for a mental health professional. Your doctor can determine if you need medication or in-patient treatment. If you’re suffering from a mental illness, remember that it is just an illness — just like diabetes or pneumonia — and there is no reason to avoid treatment.
If you or someone you know is blue, it could be depression. There are effective treatments available, both through lifestyle adjustments and with professional assistance. Life can be full and satisfying, so don’t hesitate to get help.