If you think you have depression, or have been diagnosed with depression it is important to understand this disease. Depression is a physical illness that expresses itself in psychological ways. The longer depression goes untreated the greater toll the disease takes on the brain. Studies show that the hippocampus, an area of the brain that plays a role in memory, is smaller in patients with depression than in non-depressed patients. Also, not treating depression right away can have a major impact on the lives of those that it affects. It interferes with an individuals ability to develop meaningful social relationships, to enjoy life and to attain goals in education and career.
See this video for the evidence in research:
I believe that one of the biggest barriers to receiving treatment or being diagnosed in the first place is the stigma that depression carries with it in society. If a person had diabetes they would take insulin, wouldn't they? If an individual had any other physical condition that had a medication that would treat it and make the patient feel better and function normally, would they not do what they could to receive the proper treatment and follow through with it? No one would think to question the need to take medication to treat many physical illnesses, but there is still a question regarding the treatment of depression.
Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) as a treatment for Depression
The above clips were from a PBS documentary called "This Emotional Life" and this, I believe, was episode 2. I watched this episode today and I highly recommend not only watching this episode but the entire series to deepen your understanding of depression and a whole range of human emotions. The goal is to enlighten ourselves so that we can better understand the struggles of those around us and even our own struggles as we live our lives as human beings. We all want to be happy, but sometimes it just takes a little work. Okay I'll rephrase that, often it takes a lot of work!