According to the National Institute of Mental Health, it takes the average person suffering with a mental illness over ten years to ask for help.
But there are very effective treatments.
Medications and therapy complement each other to boost brain chemicals.
In extreme cases, electroconvulsive therapy, which is like a controlled seizure in the patient’s brain, is also very helpful.
Other promising treatments, like transcranial magnetic stimulation, are being investigated, too.
So, if you know someone struggling with depression, encourage them, gently, to seek out some of these options.
You might even offer to help with specific tasks, like looking up therapists in the area, or making a list of questions to ask a doctor.