Family, friends and neighbors can be a good source of support for people trying to deal with depression.
Just as they did with epilepsy, they will need to learn about mood disorders and how they affect people. They may not understand at first that depression is a medical illness that can be treated like any other.
If you are being treated for depression, take time to talk with your spouse, a brother or sister, or a close friend about what is happening to you and how you are coping.
Ask how they feel and what kind of information they need. Including family members in counseling sessions is often helpful. They may also want to see someone by themselves.
There are other places you may look for support. A member of the clergy or other religious leader may be a good source of spiritual support for you or your family and may also have helpful information about mental health care resources.
You may be surprised to find out how common it is to experience depression, and how many people have loved ones who have gone through the same thing.
Living with epilepsy and having a mood disorder such as depression might seem overwhelming at first.
Learning all you can about your condition and seeking answers to your questions will help you adjust over time.
With proper treatment and close communication with your health team, chances are good that one day your life will feel as it used to.
Today, people with mood disorders can find support from friends, family, the medical profession and by contacting other professional and community groups. Making those contacts is an important first step in managing depression.
The following agencies and community organizations have information and services that may be of help:
National Institute of Mental Health
The Information Resources and Inquiries Branch provides listings of the types of people and places that will make a referral to, or provide, diagnostic and treatment services.
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
Provides information on various ways to locate psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health professionals in your community.
National Mental Health Association
Has search tool to help find mental health treatment services and support groups in your community.
Academy of Cognitive Therapy
Can provide referrals of practitioners certified as skilled in cognitive therapy and information for the layman about cognitive therapy. Cognitive therapy helps people identify and change patterns of thinking that are causing problems in their lives. It has been shown to be an effective treatment for mood disorders.
National Association of Social Workers
Can provide referral to a registered social worker.
Freedom From Fear
Can provide free screening referrals for your area.
American Psychological Association
Provides information on how to get a referral to a psychologist in your local area.
Anxiety Disorder Association of America
Helps find a treatment provider in your community.