I have depression and although genetics play a role, there are benefits to be had outside the psychiatrist office. Psychology can be greatly beneficial for some, but it may be less helpful to others. It depends on the situation, really. Unfortunately, people aren’t always able to afford psychological assistance. Of course, they may have other reasons for being unwilling or unable to see a psychologist. That’s really a decision they make on their own, and I have no interest in judging anyone about such a decision.
In my experience, most psychologists are useless. I have respect for psychology and know that good psychologists exist. So please don’t this as an insult towards you or someone you know. If you believe they (or you) are a good psychologist, I’ll take your word on it. That being said, psychology has far fewer entry requirements than medicine or psychiatry. Furthermore, many schools have relatively lenient requirements when it comes having students demonstrate ability in mathematics, chemistry, physics, and other “hard sciences.”
As a result, you often end up with unqualified psychologists. By unqualified, I mean they don’t have the right approach to a field designed to be precise, analytical, and scientific. The psychologist evaluates your situation, and they evaluate your circumstances. Given that you have the following issues, what studies and treatments have been shown to be effective? That is proper psychology. Many psychologists approach their job like an artist. They are trying to mold you and play around until something works. This is unhealthy.
You are perfectly capable of approaching an elementary level psychological textbook and utilizing some of the methods. While things like writing down your plans, rewarding yourself, keeping checklists, and speaking compliments aloud “seem” stupid, there is often scientific study supporting their effectiveness. Many studies also show that most methods of therapy produce the same benefits, on average, so you can simply choose what you think will work best for your situation.
Before going into less psychology-focused suggestions, I thought it was important to point out that the inability to get psychological help is not the end of the world. You can dive into psychology yourself without spending a lot of money. A lot of the benefits psychology provides is a non-judgmental ear. Alternatively, you can anonymously post on the web, talk to a priest, make a video, etc. There are tons of areas where non-judgmental people are more than happy to listen to you and politely offer suggestions.
So far, you can pursue psychology and a means of communicating your frustrations. In addition, there are benefits to be gained from exercise, proper sleep, proper nutrition, socialization, entertainment, and stress reduction. I don’t particularly feel the need to socialize, for instance. And when we feel sad, this can make us more reluctant to go out. Scientifically speaking, however, it’s beneficial to force yourself to do so at least occasionally. Being around others in a positive environment has been shown to release chemicals that improve mode and reduce stress. And if you’re like me, you’ll end up enjoying yourself anyway.
In my opinion, the most important thing you can do is evaluate your situation. Psychology is usually used to help patients cope or deal with situations in their life. Sometimes psychologists unveil subconscious causes of mental health issues, but it’s fairly uncommon. They usually help people deal with things like anxiety, shyness, fear, death, etc. If you know why you are upset, make an action plan. This involves suggesting ways you can improve the situation.
If you can get assistance from others, it will help. Sometimes discovering the problem is difficult, but it’s more often the solutions that are more troubling. When you are discouraged, you may be less creative and more pessimistic. This may sound like a bunch of “hippie nonsense,” but I recommend refusing to give up. If you think there is no solution to your problem(s), you must accept that there is. It might be simply finding coping mechanisms. The point is that when you’re already discouraged, it’s incredibly easy to give up. That can’t be an option.
Telling your friends can be one of the best things you can do. Showing someone you confide in them will often strengthen a relationship. Furthermore, having a friend help with problems provides incite, encouragement, and a variety of other benefits. For example, when I wanted to get in better shape, I had a friend who shared this goal. By working together, we both accomplished more than we would alone.
Finally, don’t give up. Google is a valuable ally. If my suggestions aren’t what you are looking for, that doesn’t mean there is no solution. There is. It’s difficult, but you need to keep working at it. It may turn out that at some point you need psychological help. However, it is highly unlikely that you can’t do things to vastly improve the situation. And quite frankly, family and friends have helped my depression far more than any therapist has ever done. I’ll take a free therapist who has real world insight, knows me, and I know cares about me. You’d be surprised how much you can gain by leaning on those around you.