Why Don't People Seek Help for Depression?

Although depression is the major leading cause of disability worldwide according to the World Health Organization, the vast majority of people suffering from this condition never seek treatment. What keeps people from reaching out and getting help?

Stigma: The stigma surrounding mental illness and the fear of being labeled "crazy" or "damaged" is what keeps many from ever verbalizing that they have a problem. There is a stereotype that those suffering from mental illness are violent or dangerous, despite the fact that a person with mental illness is much more likely to harm themselves than another person. Although advocates are working hard to diminish this stigma and open up the global conversation on depression and other conditions, it still persists and is especially prevalent in minority communities where reaching out for help can be seen as a sign of weakness. 

Not Understanding Depression: For those who have spent decades suffering, depression can feel "normal." Many of our patients report that they never knew that it was possible to live without the fog of sadness, lethargy, and apathy until they sought treatment and felt recovered. Some warning signs and symptons of depression are:

  • Changes in appetite resulting in weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting
  • Suffering from insomnia or oversleeping
  • Loss of energy and/or increased fatigue
  • Feelings of restlessness and irritatation
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Difficulty thinking, concentrating, or making decisions
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Lack of Knowledge of Treatment Options: For those that do realize they may be experiencing mental health difficulties, sometimes they don't know the different avenues of treatment that are available, including medication, talk therapy, CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), and Transcranical Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Therapy. Many of our patients have tried a variety of medications and talk therapy in the past but haven't experienced adequate relief from their depressive symptoms, so they assume that they will never feel better. Depression is treatable, and it's important to keep trying and exploring different treatment options. The majority of our patients who have been treatment-resistant with medications are finding that TMS Therapy is greatly improving their depressive symptoms. Many are achieving remission. 

If any of these reasons for not seeking treatment sound familiar to you, know that you are not alone and that it is possible to experience recovery from depression. Reach out to us for a free consultation to find out if TMS Therapy is right for you or a loved one. 

If Covid-19 and social isolation are heightening your symptoms of depression, Greenbrook TMS therapy may be able to help. At Greenbrook, we specialize in TMS therapy — an FDA-cleared, non-invasive treatment for treatment-resistant depression and OCD without harmful side effects. See if TMS therapy is right for you by clicking here to take a brief assessment:

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