I think I’ve been suffering from major depression for several years now, at times coming moments away from killing myself, is there any help I can get without having to go to a mental health professional, or do I just need to go and get it over with?

A. I’m sensing that you are reluctant to seek help from a mental health professional. You shouldn’t be. We are not born knowing how to treat our problems. These skills have to be learned. Mental health professionals undergo rigorous training to learn these highly specialized skills.

To answer your question directly, yes, you should go to a therapist and “get it over with.” Depression is a highly treatable condition. With the assistance of a mental health professional, many people have overcome depression. If you’re willing to seek treatment, then you should expect the same positive result.

It would be beneficial to consult trained professionals who could assist you in overcoming problems that have been plaguing you for years. Take your time and choose the right therapist. Interview at least four or five over the phone, and ask them specifically about how they think they could help you. Choose the therapist that you feel can help you the most.

If you are concerned about your immediate safety, go to the hospital. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle