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Question
Posted by: Griffin | 2012-05-15

Result of not treating depression

Dear CyberDoc

For a very long time now I have known I suffer from some form of depression and that it runs in my family but I have never seen a doctor nor do I intend to. Please understand that my situation does not allow nor will it for many years to go for diagnosis and treatment.

I am however aware of the affects of depression and I am trying my best to handle them individually with each passing day. What I would like to know is what are the dangers and side affects of neglecting any form of treatment except for an obvious unhappy life?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

I understand that you may think you might have depression, and, especially if there is a family history of depression, this may well be the case. What I don't understand is when you say you don't intend to see someone about it. I don't know of any situation which "does not allow, nor.. for many years (allow )" one to go for diagnosis and treatment.
The degree of unhappiness, amplification of pain and other symptoms, and sheer misery is not to be underestimated, not the risk of suicide. And problems with concentration and motivation decreasing your work performance. ANd that i9 is all unnecessary as most depressions respond well to the proper treatment - with medication and/or CBT style counselling.
And there i acumulating evidence that with depression and some other similar illnesses, the longer one delays before starting appropriate treatment, the more difficult it can become for treatment to be effective, or the benefits could be delayed.
There is no coherent or respectable religious faith or philosophy that argues against getting proper treatment for ANY medical or psychiatritc condition.
The reason most lay sites don't discuss how to deal with cognitive impairment, indecisiveness, poor concentration, etc, apart from steering one towards proper professional help, is that such help is what anyone in that situation needs.
And as depression gets worse, it tends to undermine your ability to assess your situation and make wise decisions about your health, and, as research has shown, distorts your perceptions and memory, so that you focus inceasingly on negative aspects of life and ignore or fail to notice , positive aspects.
Thus, though a desire to "deal with it myself" is in many ways admirable, with an illness that undermines your essential ability to do that, this may be a policy doomed to failure.
You might, though, appreciate the approach of Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy ( CBT ) for depression, which concentrates on helping you to identify, assess, and revise and change, unhelpful habits of thought and behaviour which are contributing to a depression. So your contribution is vital, but informed and guided, rather than solitary and ineffective.
And rather than being one-size-fits-all, it tailors the approach YOU will be using, to your own specific beliefs and circumstances

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Maria | 2012-05-16

There are also some physical conditions that cause depression like symptoms, you really do need to get checked out.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Maria | 2012-05-16

Griffin, if your problem was e.g. high blood pressure, cancer or heart disease, would you refuse the drugs that could save or prolong your life and give you better quality of life? Depression can in some people be brought under control by talk therapy and a healthy lifestyle and others need the drugs to correct a CHEMICAL problem. What''s so terrible about getting the help you need? The problem with pure self help is that most of the information available has a one-size-fits-all approach and there is no interaction with someone who can evaluate you and give input on your specific situation.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: H25 | 2012-05-16

Tip: Just be aware that you will automatically get a response from CyberShrink - please do not immediately criticize his suggestions/advice, merely because it does not " fall under the manners in which you wish to deal with your problems" , i.e. sit down and assess fully what he is trying to suggest, before you " toss his advice out the window" ! He has vast experience in this field and depression is something which is definitely not (I believe) taken seriously enough either by people themselves suffering from it or (sometimes) their doctors. Proper treatment by the right type of professional can work wonders in one''s well being in all areas, mental physical etc. and, contrary to what people (In South Africa I believe, maybe I am wrong!) think depression is something that you just " don''t have or talk about!"  Well the bottom line is - it DOES exist and the consequences of not correctly treating it can be life-threatening - why can''t people accept that they have this problem and treat it correctly, with, mostly, amazingly positive results? There are plenty of government based clinics/hospital treatment if cost is the biggest issue here.

Get treated and do it soon in order to have a better life. If you do choose not to seek treatment, you (sorry to say this, but its true!) deserve the unnecessary results thereof!



Reply to H25
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012-05-16

I understand that you may think you might have depression, and, especially if there is a family history of depression, this may well be the case. What I don't understand is when you say you don't intend to see someone about it. I don't know of any situation which "does not allow, nor.. for many years (allow )" one to go for diagnosis and treatment.
The degree of unhappiness, amplification of pain and other symptoms, and sheer misery is not to be underestimated, not the risk of suicide. And problems with concentration and motivation decreasing your work performance. ANd that i9 is all unnecessary as most depressions respond well to the proper treatment - with medication and/or CBT style counselling.
And there i acumulating evidence that with depression and some other similar illnesses, the longer one delays before starting appropriate treatment, the more difficult it can become for treatment to be effective, or the benefits could be delayed.
There is no coherent or respectable religious faith or philosophy that argues against getting proper treatment for ANY medical or psychiatritc condition.
The reason most lay sites don't discuss how to deal with cognitive impairment, indecisiveness, poor concentration, etc, apart from steering one towards proper professional help, is that such help is what anyone in that situation needs.
And as depression gets worse, it tends to undermine your ability to assess your situation and make wise decisions about your health, and, as research has shown, distorts your perceptions and memory, so that you focus inceasingly on negative aspects of life and ignore or fail to notice , positive aspects.
Thus, though a desire to "deal with it myself" is in many ways admirable, with an illness that undermines your essential ability to do that, this may be a policy doomed to failure.
You might, though, appreciate the approach of Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy ( CBT ) for depression, which concentrates on helping you to identify, assess, and revise and change, unhelpful habits of thought and behaviour which are contributing to a depression. So your contribution is vital, but informed and guided, rather than solitary and ineffective.
And rather than being one-size-fits-all, it tailors the approach YOU will be using, to your own specific beliefs and circumstances

Reply to cybershrink
Posted by: Griffin | 2012-05-15

Thank you very much Maria. For the first time I feel like someone has actually answered a question that I posted instead of just some more go se a doctor stuff.

I realize I have a problem but I wish to deal with it in my own way and this will go a long way to helping.

Reply to Griffin
Posted by: Maria | 2012-05-15

DSM-IV specifies as one of the criteria for Major Depressive Disorder: diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day (either by subjective account or as observed by others)

Go to www dot sciencedaily dot com and search for " depression cardiovascular disease" .

You can also go to plato dot stanford dot edu and search around, it''s an academically acceptable source of information.

Google " depression cognitive impairment" 

From my personal experience, when I''m depressed I cannot focus, plan and execute or think critically. My work and studies suffer immensely. When my depression is under control these aspect greatly improve.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Griffin | 2012-05-15

I am aware of the impact depression has on my reasoning but I would like to think this one I am quite sure about. The same reason that keeps me from seeking treatment is the one that keeps me away from the thought of suicide.

I would like to find out more about the impairment of cognitive functioning as well as the possible illness you refer to. Are there any specific sites or sources of info I could consult accept the normal depression sites that just point to getting help?

Reply to Griffin
Posted by: Maria | 2012-05-15

Suicide comes to mind. Impairment of cognitive functioning which can lead to problems in work situations etc. Physical illnesses due to neglecting your health.

What is the situation that prevents you from seeking treatment, which is generally quite effective? The inability to think clearly and see things as they really are is also a depression symptom. Because of the nature of the illness one tends to think that nobody will take you seriously, you''re just not trying hard enough, and you don''t deserve to be helped. Those are all lies that depression tells you, don''t listen to them, go and get help.

Reply to Maria

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