While not everyone likes to admit it, depression is a legitimate disease and just like any other serious illness, recovering from depression can take time, especially if someone has been suffering with it for a long time. The first step is admitting that there is a problem. Once that is done, work can start on the healing process.
Recovering from depression can be a long and difficult process. Someone who has been battling depression for any length of time has likely lost motivation and drive, which also makes recovery harder. From the outside, seeking help seems like an obvious answer, however, for someone in the grasp of depression, they often wonder why they should even bother.
Support is one of the most important factors for someone trying to overcome depression. Not everyone has supportive family or friends, but that does not mean that a support system cannot be cultivated. A trusted counselor or joining a depression support group can provide a shoulder to lean on in times of need.
Because motivation is one of the first things to go when someone is suffering from depression, restoring it can be quite helpful. Many times favorite hobbies and activities fall to the wayside as someone battles depression. Sometimes taking part again, even if it is forced at first, can be sufficient to remind a depressed person that they can still have fun. This can be as simple as dragging them to a fun movie or a day trip to the beach. However, be aware that they may not be up for it, especially in severe cases of depression. Never make a depressed person feel bad for what they are unable to do, as it can make the condition worse.
Another key aspect of depression that many people neglect is the need to see a doctor or psychiatrist. These are different from therapists or counselors, in that they have the ability to prescribe antidepressants. While many people do not like the idea of medicating themselves, the fact is that for others it is necessary. In some people depression is a direct result of a chemical imbalance in the brain. Talking it out and motivational speeches will not have any effect just like you can not talk somebody out of having diabetes if they need insulin. Too much stigma is placed on antidepressants when, for many people, they are as necessary as eyeglasses or insulin are to others. Nobody feels bad about being told they need to take blood pressure medicine and they should not be made to feel bad for needing antidepressants.
Whether it is the individual suffering from depression or a loved one seeking help, knowledge is the key to recovering from depression. Depression is a serious illness and even with the right knowledge, can take time to recover from. While it can be a slow process, the patience will be rewarded many times over as the person emerges from their depressed shell and begins to enjoy life again.