Depression is a real illness that can’t be ignored.

Getting help with depression is no different than getting help with any other serious illness or injury, like diabetes or a broken leg.

Talking about depression can feel awkward at first, but because depression is actually pretty common, your doctor will have likely had dozens or even hundreds of such conversations with others. Some of your friends and family members may also have had personal experience or be familiar with depression through someone they know.

Here are some ways to get connected with supports:

1. Talk to someone you trust

For nearly every guy who has overcome depression, the turning point in their recovery came when they reached out to a friend or family member for support. And for most of these guys, it’s something they wished they had done sooner rather than later.

Here are a couple ways to start a conversation:

  • “I’ve been having a hard time lately and getting really stressed out. You mind if I bounce some ideas off you?”
  • “I haven’t been feeling myself lately. Little things seem to be really getting to me and it’s been hard to keep up with things. Not quite sure how to turn the ship around. I was wondering if you might have any suggestions?”

2. Make an appointment to see a doctor

A family doctor is the primary health professional to connect with in your fight against depression. They can help evaluate your symptoms, consider possible causes, and be your central point of contact with other health professionals.

Here are a couple things to remember when talking to a doc:

  • Talking to your doctor is confidential.
  • Be open and honest about what’s going on in your life.
  • Give your doctor the lay of the land, tell them what’s going on in your life and how it is impacting you
  • Ask questions if anything is unclear.

3. Call a healthline

Calling a healthline can seem intimidating, but it’s not that different from having a friend who’s a doctor you can call to find out what to do after spraining a knee. If you call and don’t find it useful, you can always say thanks and hang up, try calling back later, or call a different healthline.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Healthlines offer non-judgemental and confidential services.
  • They are staffed by trained personnel who are ready to answer calls and offer support.
  • Let them know what’s bothering you and how it is affecting your life.
  • Ask about local services and resources.

Don’t get deterred if help doesn’t come right away – sometimes it takes reaching out a few different ways or to a few different people before you find the supports you need.  Support is out there, so never hesitate reaching out for it.

 

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