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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5762
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Hi.. i am pretty sure i have been suffering from depression

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Hi.. i am pretty sure i have been suffering from depression all my adult life (i am almost 32 now). i have never sought professional help. I know "self help" things that are likely to work, like excersise. i know that if i can just get out and go for a walk every day, even just for 10 minutes, i will probably feel better. but how do i do that, when the depression is draining all my energy and making it feel pointless? how do i help myself, when depression is making me not want to do anything?
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

Depression is characterized by feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness, lack of energy or motivation, thoughts of death and/or suicide and trouble concentrating. It is common to feel there is no hope and no way out. And it is very common to lack motivation to do anything. And that can be a difficult sticking point.

Before you try to work on the depression through self help, you may want to try getting a solid diagnosis first. If you are not sure what you have, getting a diagnosis can provide answers as well as give you a direction. And a therapist will give you a treatment plan to help you so you know what you need to recover. Plus, therapy is often one of the best ways to feel better. Medications are helpful to deal with the symptoms of depression but they do not get rid of them permanently. Therapy can do that for you. To have a better chance at finding a good therapist, ask your doctor for a referral. Or try a local university or community mental health center.

You may also want to try medications. They are helpful to ease the symptoms but they do vary in their effectiveness so you may need to try a few different ones to see what works for you. Each person has their own body chemistry and what works for one may not work for another. Also, once you take medication for a while, your body becomes accustomed to it and you either need an increase in dosage or you need to try a new medication. But they can help you deal with the symptoms until therapy helps you. And they can help you with your motivation so you feel well enough to try other therapies.

Motivation is a very difficult symptom of depression. It often keeps people from helping themselves and reaching out to others. But support and self help are vital in helping you overcome depression. Consider support groups, either on line or in person. People who are experiencing the same symptoms as you are can offer invaluable support, ideas and companionship to help you feel better. Also, working on your depression at home can supplement your therapy or other treatment. Here are resources to help you get started:

Once you are able to reach out, you will start to feel better. Let others support you and offer help. You do not have to do this alone.

I hope this has helped you,
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thank you for the links, i will look into them. the reason i am trying to reach out now is because i have just recently learned about "Dysthymia", and i feel like it describes me very well. the depressions rarely get to a point where i stop functioning alltogether (which would mean that people would notice it i guess, so i have at least the amount of fight to avvoid that), and the main reason i havent sought any professional help is that i have thought "this is just the way i am" because i dont remember being any other way since teens, and because i dont identify with the more "severe" types of depression i have read about (i do recognize the occasional "double depression" though).
i am aslo pretty good at talking myself out of doing anything about it, telling myself that "It probably wont help anyway" or being afraid to make the call to make an appointment (i have always been struggling with anxiety around talking on the phone when it is something involving something personal), or having thoughts like "it will pass", "i've been dealing with it this long, i can go a bit longer", or "if i give in and get help now, my struggles will have been pointless".

but i am getting to a point now where i feel like my life is just wasting away by "excisting" instead of actually feel like im living. i am also sabotaging all my relationships by withdrawing from them and finding reasons to blame them or myself instead of the depression, and that again is of course making me even more depressed :( i think part of me is waiting for that point where i hit a rock bottom and i am almost hoping to not be able to get out of bed in the mornings, because then i will be unable to talk myself out of the fact that i need help. but i've been waiting almost two decades now and i always seem to be able to "get on with it" no matter what happens.

I would agree that what you have does sound like Dysthymia. With any depression that lasts for long period of time and is pretty much consistent, Dysthymia should be ruled out.

I think it might help to tell yourself that you will take small steps every day to help yourself. If you only have to take one step, that might be easier to accomplish than trying to achieve an entire goal. The one link I gave you also includes many tips on how to deal with motivation that you can try. You can also try a reward system so each time you do try something, you do something equally rewarding for yourself.

Even just doing what you did today by reaching out is a good sign. If you can reach out like you just did, then there is a lot of hope that you will recover.