When to get help for depression
Experiencing episodes of sadness or grief following a traumatic event are normal psychological responses and are not considered signs of a mental health problem. Most individuals are able to overcome these feelings on their own and recover without professional help. However, if episodes of sadness and low self esteem are persistent and recurrent (symptoms continue for several weeks), it is recommended to seek professional help to avoid further mental health deterioration.
The decision whether to seek professional help for depression should be taken by the affected individual or by his or her family based on the following suggested factors:
* The duration of depression symptoms. If the symptoms are recurrent and are experienced on a regular basis for several weeks, it is recommended to seek mental health evaluation, although the diagnosis of depression is usually established after several months of persistent depression symptoms. Early interventions, whether through regular psychotherapy sessions or medication, dramatically increase the chances of a successful outcome and prevent depression recurrence in the future.
* The severity of symptoms. It depends on the degree to which depression affects one's quality of life. In severe cases, when an individual has thoughts of self harm or suicide, or depression interferes significantly with one's career and family life, mental health evaluation is required for an accurate diagnosis and treatment.