7 Risks of Not Treating Depression

risks not treating depressionIf you’re not treating depression, you’re taking on a range of risks – which I share in this comprehensive guide on wellness.

Depression is a mental disorder that affects many different areas of life.

Despite the challenges depression presents and the availability of professional help for depression, it often remains undiagnosed and untreated in many individuals.

Unfortunately many people try to ignore their depression, and there are many risks involved if you attempt to sweep your challenging emotions under the rug.

I’m writing about repressed depression because I’m a bestselling author on depression with about 2 million books sold globally.

Plus I founded the therapist recommended self-paced online course called The Anxiety Cure.

I love to help people to live happier lives. So I put together this article all about how to treat depression – and the risks of not treating it.

So read on to learn the importance of asking for help if you are depressed – and learn about the risks of not getting professional care.

Understanding Depression

Depression is a mental health condition marked by prolonged sadness, despair, and a lack of enthusiasm and enjoyment. It goes beyond typical mood swings. It dramatically affects a person’s thoughts, feelings, and day-to-day functioning.

Pessimistic thinking, altered eating and sleeping patterns, exhaustion, and social withdrawal are just a few of the symptoms that may appear.

The Stigma Around Depression

People with depression may experience social stigma, as it is commonly perceived as a sign of weakness. This often creates a barrier to treatment for depression, which then leads to reduced self-esteem, social isolation, and limited motivation to seek support.

Fighting the stigma associated with depression calls for a strategy to dispel myths and promote a supportive environment. Advanced awareness of depression can motivate people to seek treatment, get support, and free themselves from the weight of the stigma.

The Risks and Consequences of Untreated Depression

Untreated depression may have wide-ranging adverse effects. The following are some possible risks.

1. Symptoms could get worse.

If depression isn’t treated, it usually worsens over time. The symptoms could become debilitating without proper treatment, making it harder to go about everyday activities.

2. Impaired work or academic performance.

Concentration, decision-making skills, and performance at work or in academic environments can all be negatively impacted by depression. One’s professional or educational goals may be compromised due to decreased efficiency, absences, and poor performance.

3. Relationship problems.

Untreated depression can cause tension in friendships, family, and romantic relationships. Conflicts and feelings of loneliness or isolation might result from emotional withdrawal, anger, a lack of interest in social activities, and other common symptoms of depression.

4. Physical health problems.

Several physical health problems have been connected to depression. These include persistent pain, sleep issues, eating changes, and a weakened immune system. Untreated depression can also accelerate the onset or progression of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

5. Substance abuse.

Some people use alcohol or drugs to ease the tension brought on by depression. Self-medication with drugs or alcohol can result in addiction and worsen mental health issues.

6. Increased risk of self-harm or suicide.

Untreated depression significantly raises the risk of self-harm and suicidal thoughts and attempts. Any indications of suicidal thoughts must be taken seriously and require immediate professional assistance.

7. Reduced quality of life.

Depression can significantly impact a person’s general well-being and quality of life. If left untreated, it may result in low self-esteem, lack of interest in once-enjoyed activities, and reduced happiness and fulfillment.

These outcomes highlight the significance of receiving prompt, professional treatment for depression. Different therapies can lessen these adverse effects and enhance mental health and general well-being.

Treatment Options for Depression

There are various effective treatments for depression. The choice relies on the severity of the symptoms, the patient’s treatment goals, and the advice of medical experts. The following are some typical treatments for depressive disorders:

1. Psychotherapy.

Working with a qualified psychotherapist or talk therapist allows one to investigate and treat the root causes of depression. The widely used method of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) enables people to recognize and alter negative thought and behavior patterns linked to depression. Interpersonal therapy (IPT) and psychodynamic therapy are two more types of therapy that may be helpful.

2. Medication.

A psychiatrist or Family Physician may recommend antidepressant medications to treat the symptoms of depression. Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are two types of antidepressants used frequently. In some circumstances, it may be appropriate to utilize antidepressants from other medication classes, such as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs). Finding the optimal medication and dosage requires close collaboration with a healthcare professional.

3. Lifestyle changes.

Specific lifestyle changes can support other forms of treatment and lessen the symptoms of depression. These include regular exercise, a healthy diet, adequate sleep, stress management, and participation in enjoyable and relaxing activities.

4. Support groups.

Participating in support groups or group therapy sessions can provide a sense of belonging and comprehension. Connecting with those who have experienced or who are presently experiencing comparable struggles can provide invaluable support and information about coping mechanisms.

5. Alternative therapies.

Complementary and alternative therapies can be effective for some people in treating the symptoms of depression. Acupuncture, yoga, meditation, and mindfulness exercises are just a few examples of alternative therapies. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). TMS is a non-invasive method that uses magnetic fields to stimulate brain nerve cells. It has shown promising effects in treating depression and is often used when other treatments have failed.

Charting a Course to Wellness

The importance of seeking help for depression cannot be highlighted enough. Treatment helps to provide a secure environment for expressing feelings, comprehending the underlying causes, and learning more effective coping skills. It guarantees proper medical interventions, such as medicine and psychotherapy. As an act of self-care, seeking treatment for depression can result in hope, enhanced quality of life, and a better future.

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