Documenting Depression: Getting Help

Will Leffert Documenting Depression

With depression, getting help isn’t easy.

Even if you have access to a mental health professional and can afford it, you still have to convince yourself to go.

Jess and I have discussed therapy many times. We finally made an appointment to get help with her depression, but that doesn’t mean we’re over the hurdle. Sitting in the waiting room, her anxiety is peaking.

I attempted to provide comfort to ease her anxiety in the therapist’s waiting room

Going to therapy with a loved one isn’t strange, or wrong. If you need support, don’t hesitate to reach out to the people who can be there for you. I made sure Jess knew that whatever happened, I was there for her. This is what she needs, and I will help however I can.

The therapist was friendly, kind, and understanding. We talked about Jess’s goals, and her difficulties. We then scheduled a follow-up appointment for the following week to discuss a treatment plan.

Though trying, the first therapy visit went well, and Jess has a smile on her face.

Though trying, the first therapy visit went well, and Jess has a smile on her face.

With any luck, her next visit will go just as well, and we’ll begin to see some improvement. It may not always feel like it is working, or it may even make you feel worse for a short time, but working through your difficulties is never simple. If you’re suffering from depression, getting help is a necessary, and sometimes lifesaving choice.


This photo journalism series documents the depression of someone very close to me. She agreed to let me photograph her at the most vulnerable times in her life; not just to share it with you, but to help her understand herself. See the rest of the articles documenting depression here.

Depression affects about 6.7% of adults in the U.S., according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. It is also among one of the many misunderstood illnesses that affect society.

Depression isn’t something that can just be turned off. You can’t stop hurting. You can’t “buck up”, “focus on the positive”, or anything else that many people will tell you to do when you’re suffering from clinical depression.

If you know someone who is suffering from depression, please, try to understand what they are going through and support them instead of telling them to cheer up. If you suffer from depression, just know that you’re not alone, no matter how much it feels that way. If you feel like there is no way out, or just need some help, check out NAMI’s support page.