I'm Embarrassed About My Depression. What Should I Do?

I'm Embarrassed About My Depression. What Should I Do?

Depression is much more than feeling sad. There are over 16 million people in the United States who are currently living with depression, and only a small number of people are receiving treatment. Depression often occurs with other conditions, such as anxiety and ADHD, and can deeply affect your quality of life, your work, and your relationships. 

Amir Ahuja, MD, a board-certified psychiatrist and Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, understands how depression can affect anyone who experiences it. At his practice in Beverly Hills, California, he treats patients living with depression, and specializes in helping people within the LGBT+ community. While anyone anywhere can experience depression, feeling embarrassed about living with depression is also quite common.

Do I have depression?

Depression doesn’t discriminate on race, age, or nationality. The World Health Organization estimates that around 5% of the global adult population deals with some form of depression, and it’s the greatest risk factor of suicide, with at least 700,000 people lost to suicide per year. Depression is usually defined as feelings of sadness that affect your daily life for two weeks or more. 

While depression has many signs, they may be difficult to spot if you aren’t familiar with them. Depression has both mental and physical symptoms, and like any chronic condition, has risk factors. Some of the mental symptoms of depression include:

Depression’s physical symptoms can be mild, but are noticeable, including: 

Depression affects both binary genders, as well as people outside of the gender binary, but women experience depression at higher rates than men. Transgender people are nearly four times as likely to experience depression as cisgender people. This risk is elevated if a trans person is not able to live openly in their gender identity. 

A family history of depression, particularly within the immediate family, raises your risk of developing depression. Environmental factors, like living in an abusive household, can also put you at risk. In addition, people who have high stress and low self-esteem can be prone to depression.   

I don’t feel safe or comfortable talking about depression

It’s understandable that you may have a difficult time discussing depression with anyone. Without discussing your depression, however, you run the risk of worsening your condition. Depression isn’t just a disease of the mind, either — as mentioned, it can cause fatigue, bodily discomfort, and produce other physical symptoms. 

If you’re not comfortable talking to friends or family about your depression, there are other options. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is a free hotline for people experiencing mental health issues, including depression. It’s available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, and may be able to help you understand the importance of seeking help for your depression. 

What can I do about depression?

The first thing you can do about your depression is reach out to an experienced mental healthcare professional, like Dr. Ahuja. Your treatment plan depends on the severity of your symptoms, and your overall health. If needed, Dr. Ahuja may prescribe medication to help you manage your symptoms.

Depression can’t be cured overnight, but making an appointment with Dr. Ahuja is the best first step toward healing. Call us today at 310-426-8938, or book an appointment online. When it comes to your mental health, the sooner you’re able to get professional help, the more time you’ll have to enjoy your everyday life.

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