What Happens When Depression is Left Untreated

If you or a loved is suffering from the depression, then professional medical help needs to be sought after immediately. However, there are many people that do not get treatment for this mental illness and one of the main reasons is due to the stigma attached to it. One of the biggest fears that those suffering from depression have is being labeled ‘weak’ or ‘pathetic’ by the people they love. Regardless of what people may think, the only weakness that matters is making the decision to not get treatment for depression, as it’s a mental illness that will only get worse as time goes on.

But what happens when depression is left untreated? Here’s what to expect:

Worsening of Depression Symptoms

Those who choose to ignore their depression will experience tougher symptoms as time goes on. For example, a depressed individual that previously struggled to sleep may not be able to sleep at all or may even refuse to eat. Over time, this can have damaging effects on their health and wellbeing.

Suicidal Thinking

Having suicidal thoughts is a common symptom of depression. However, when it is left untreated, it may cause the individual to actually act on it.

Worsening of Other Illnesses

Untreated depression has the ability to make any other medical conditions the individual may have worse than what they currently are. It may even make treatment for these illnesses much tougher than what it would have initially been. There are benefits for those who do choose to get depression treatment in its early stages. Feel Better while it might sound obvious to someone struggling with depression, feeling better means everything. Those suffering from this mental illness often think that things cannot get better; however, getting treatment earlier will make the individual feel happier sooner rather than later.

Minimisethe Risk of Future Depression

Early treatment gives patients the opportunity to decrease their chances of ever experiencing depression again. Using medication and going through psychotherapy will help to teach the individual on how to avoid falling in the same trap again. These benefits can be experienced if depression is spotted in its initial stages but sometimes it’s quite hard to determine if someone is suffering from depression. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR), here is their diagnostic criteria of a major depressive disorder:

“Depressed mood and/or loss of interest or pleasure in life activities for at least 2 weeks and at least five of the following symptoms that cause clinically significant impairment in social, work or other important areas of functioning almost every day

  1. Depressed mood most of the day.
  2. Diminished interest or pleasure in all or most activities.
  3. Significant unintentional weight loss or gain.
  4. Insomnia or sleeping too much.
  5. Agitation or psychomotor retardation noticed by others.
  6. Fatigue or loss of energy.
  7. Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt.
  8. Diminished ability to think or concentrate or indecisiveness.
  9. Recurrent thoughts of death”

If you are able to link any of the above to yourself or a loved one, then it’s important to get help from a mental health professional immediately. Luckily for you, we want to help. We can provide you with access to the best depression clinics in South Africa near you. Call us now and let one of our qualified counsellors find the best treatment to suit your every individual needs.

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