Danny Baker is alarmed by the number of people who think they can deal with their depression without help.
Something that really alarms me is the number of people with depression who agree that it’s an illness, but who treat it as anything but. In the last week alone, I’ve heard a variation of the following statements a disturbingly high number of times:
Depression is impacting every aspect of my life, but I don’t want to ask for help because I want to “try and get over it by myself”.
I feel suicidal on a daily basis, but I don’t want to take medication or see a therapist because I don’t want to be relying on anything or anyone to make me feel better.
While you may pay lip service to the notion that depression is an illness, if you’re telling yourself something along the lines of the above, then you’re definitely not treating it like one.
Let me prove it to you.
If you had a physical injury or illness – like a broken leg, diabetes, or cancer – would you refuse to ask for help because you want to “try and get over it by yourself”? Would you refuse to have surgery, undertake chemotherapy or take insulin because you “don’t want to rely on anything or anyone to help you get better”?
Of course you wouldn’t, because you know that you’d never recover from a physical injury or illness without getting help, right?
Here’s the thing, though: it’s exactly the same for a mental illness like depression, because depression is just that—an illness—and if you don’t seek treatment for it, then you won’t get better.
It’s that simple.
So if you suffer from depression, then treat it like the illness you know it is. First, make an appointment to see a doctor. If he or she suggests taking medication, then take medication. If he or she suggests seeing a therapist, then see a therapist. If you can’t afford to see a therapist, then start reading self-help books or doing online therapy (or even better for you, do both). Treat your body like a temple – nourish it with a healthy diet and enough sleep, and strengthen it with regular exercise. Once you start doing these things, then you’ll gradually feel better, and eventually you can recover from your depression and return to living the happy, healthy life you want instead of always feeling miserable or suicidal.
If you enjoyed reading my post, I encourage you to visit my website and download a FREE copy of The Danny Baker Story – How I came to write “I will not kill myself, Olivia” and found the Depression Is Not Destiny Campaign – which is my memoir recounting my struggle and eventual triumph over depression. I wrote it so that sufferers of the illness could realise they are not alone – that there are other people out there who have gone through the same excruciating misery, and who have made it through to the other side. I also wrote it so that I could impart the lessons I learned on the long, rocky, winding road that eventually led to recovery – so that people could learn from my mistakes as well as my victories – particularly with regards to relationships; substance abuse; choosing a fulfilling career path; seeking professional help; and perhaps most importantly, having a healthy and positive attitude towards depression that enables recovery. Multiple-bestselling author Nick Bleszynski has described it as “beautifully written, powerful, heartfelt, insightful and inspiring … a testament to hope.”