Language Translator

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Depression- When to See a Doctor

Question: Sometimes I get really down and depressed and I feel like just staying in bed. My wife is pushing me to get therapy, but my friends tell me that there is no need and that I should just pull myself together. Who’s right?
-Mike Faulstien, Kew Gardens, NY

Answer: Your question boils down to how to know when it is time for professional help with depression. The first question to ask is “Is my sadness negatively affecting my ability to function on a regular basis?” For example, when you mention “feeling like staying in bed” does that mean that you actually stay in bed for days on end? If so, then your sadness is having a profound impact on your ability to function at your job, at home, and socially. The clinical term used to describe that kind of behavior is called a “vegetative depression”. It usually happens when an individual feels overwhelming feelings of sadness and hopelessness and they don’t have the strength to face the world and their everyday challenges and responsibilities.

In any case, if you think there is a possibility that you may need professional help, go for a consultation. Getting a professional opinion is not a commitment to go to therapy on a regular basis. Just like you go to the doctor when you feel sick to make sure that you don’t need medical attention, similarly when you think you may need mental health assistance, make an appointment with a professional and get an evaluation.

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