I didn’t get treatment for my depression until it was almost too late. I had never been treated before, and I didn’t know how to go about getting help. A few friends knew of my worsening depression, but they didn’t know how to get help either. On this side of treatment and recovery, I have realized that treating mental health conditions is largely a great unknown. Part of my mission is to help people get help early in their struggles to avoid suffering that can be treated. This page is a guide to help start a treatment journey for mental health conditions; these are things I wish my friends and I knew before I was at my lowest.
Below are links to other pages and posts on this site that go into greater detail. The posts on this site are categorized under the menu “Blog Posts” (some posts are in multiple categories). There are many more posts than linked below.
If you or someone you know is in crisis – a life threating situation in which self harm is imminent and a means to harm oneself is available – call a suicide prevention crisis hotline (in the U.S., 800-273-TALK; there are text and chat services also available) or go to (or take the person to) an emergency room or a mental health treatment facility, and remove the means of harm from their access.
- For background information on my struggles and journey, check out My Story.
- If you haven’t suffered from depression, or are not sure if you have, there is a short video that explains it quiet well.
- Understand the basics of professional treatment for mental health conditions, such as the roles of doctors and therapists. I go into greater detail in this post.
- Treating mental health conditions isn’t like taking a pill for an infection. Professional treatment is only one part of a broader treatment plan.
- If you are suffering from depression and have not yet sought help, speak up. I understand how difficult it is to say, “I need help.” It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to say in my life. It’s ok not to be ok. People get sick. Go get treatment.
- If you are suffering from depression and have sought help, realize that it’s a journey. You’ll likely still have ups and downs. But also recognize when your treatment isn’t working. Medications are trial and error. You don’t always “click” with a particular therapist. As hard as it is, you must be proactive with your treatment. Call your doctor if your meds aren’t working. Find a different therapist. Involve yourself in an additional support community (such as Celebrate Recovery).
- If someone you know is suffering from depression or thoughts of suicide, it’s ok to ask, “are you ok?” Here’s some ideas to help approach the topic. You can be that person’s lifeline. It’s a big responsibility, but its one you can handle with the right tools in your belt.
- Seek God.
I hope everyone can have the tools to help themselves or others when a mental health issue presents itself. If we have the tools, we will know what to do when we say or hear, “I need help.”