Many people find it hard to seek help for a mood disorder. In spite of a growing awareness of depression and bipolar disorder, misunderstandings persist - and these can deter people from seeking help as readily as they would for other more obviously 'physical' illnesses.
At HBH we aim to lead you through the logical steps involved in seeking help, and to provide you with information and explanations of the different steps along the way. We also recognize that for most people, 'help' involves a combination of approaches. So you'll find information on both professional help and other forms of help. Please note that the information in this section (or anywhere on this site) is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, so please see a qualified health provider if you have any health concerns.
When to seek help for depression
Everybody feels down or sad at times. But it's important to be able to recognize when depression has become more than a temporary thing, and when to seek help.
The following is a list of the features that may be experienced by someone with depression.
- Lowered self-esteem
- Change in sleep patterns
- Change in mood control
- Varying emotions throughout the day
- Change in appetite and weight
- Reduced ability to enjoy things
- Reduced ability to tolerate pain
- Reduced sex drive
- Suicidal thoughts
- Impaired concentration and memory
- Loss of Motivation and drive
- Increase in fatigue
- Change in movement
- Being out of touch with reality
As a general rule of thumb, if your feeling of depression persist for most of every day for two weeks or longer, and interfere with your ability to manage at home or outside the home, then you would benefit from assessment by a skilled professional.
It's also important to recognize that many of the above features could be caused by or related to other things, such as a physical illness, the effects of medication, or stress. A trained professional will help in assessing such things. Allow yourself to seek help. Struggling on alone can prolong the depression.