How To Approach Someone Who Is Depressed – Like heart disease and diabetes, depression is a common health condition. Recognizing the signs of depression is the starting point for getting them the help they need.
It can be easy to feel sad, angry, and helpless when someone you love is grieving or when you feel like they don’t know how to express it properly.
How To Approach Someone Who Is Depressed
For starters, it’s important to know the difference between feeling pregnant and having a serious health problem that needs treatment, says April Thames, PhD, a professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Keck School of Medicine. Southern California to Los Angeles.
Helping A Friend With Their Depression When You Don’t Live Nearby
Depression is a common relapse that is often triggered by an external event such as an argument with a family member or a setback at work, says Dr. Thames. It does not interfere with daily activities for a long time and some people expect to continue doing the activities they love to do after a few days. It lasts a few days or a week at most, she added.
In contrast, depression usually involves symptoms such as withdrawal from friends and loss of interest in activities that were once pleasurable — and these symptoms persist for a long time, Thames said. For someone to be diagnosed with depression, symptoms must last at least two weeks and must show a change in previous level of functioning, says the American Psychiatric Association.
Depressed people think very differently from those who are depressed. “People who are down hope things change for the better,” Thames said. “People with depression feel their situation is hopeless and won’t change.”
If someone you care about is diagnosed with depression or exhibiting any of these symptoms, knowing how to respond is crucial. Here are six ways to help.
Practical Ways To Help A Friend With Depression
If you see signs of depression in your loved one, it’s important to calmly share your feelings in a nonjudgmental way, says Ole Thienhaus, MD, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson. It’s also important to give your loved one a place to talk about their feelings.
To get them talking, you can start by sharing changes you’ve recently noticed that are troubling you, says Thienhaus. When you do, don’t stress: simply state the facts as you see them in a neutral way, and stop often to give them space to respond to what you have to say.
“Avoid any ideas that have no reason to be sad,” Thienhaus said. This means not saying things like, “Look at all the good things in your life,” or, “Look at how good so-and-so is, but he doesn’t let his problems get him down.”
Why is it bad? Many people with depression believe they can “snap out” or “think hard,” says Thames, thoughts that can stand in the way of finding treatment for depression.
What Kind Of Doctor Should You See For Your Depression?
Someone with depression may need help seeking care, either because of feelings of guilt or shame or because the illness makes it more difficult for them to maintain activities such as having a health care professional or making an appointment. Thinking you can do these things for them, reminding them when it’s time to vote, and accompanying them on the journey can help them get their medicine sooner.
If they’re reluctant to see a mental health professional like a psychologist or psychiatrist, see if they want to visit their primary care physician, especially if it’s someone they know well and trust, Thienhaus said. While it’s best to see a mental health professional, it’s important to reach out for some form of help when needed.
You may need to rethink the words you use to talk about weight loss because different people define it differently, says Thames. Some people, for example, don’t know how to use the word “depression” to describe their feelings, or may view their symptoms as “severe” or “not myself,” for example.
While starting treatment is an important step in managing depression, your loved one may need help with their daily activities. A good way to help is to offer to attend an education session with them to hear directly from their doctor, says Michelle Riba, MD, doctor of psychiatry and director of the Comprehensive Depression Center at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Expert Tips On How To Help A Friend With Depression
You can offer to help them with more important tasks, like shopping, laundry or cleaning the house, or just ask you to walk around the block to get them out, said Dr. Riba.
Establishing a routine is very helpful, says Thames. You could try taking that walk every day, for example. Regular exercise can help relax and release endorphins and other neurotransmitters, or chemicals in the brain, that play a role in improving mood, says Thames.
Another type of treatment for depression is behavior modification, which involves engaging in known activities, such as enjoying an enjoyable form of exercise or volunteering, according to the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania.
Encouraging your loved one to engage in activities that bring them personal happiness is important, but don’t go for activities and socializing, says Thames.
How To Help A Friend With Depression: 11 Steps
“Most people make an effort to resolve the situation by forcing their loved one into activities and socializing,” Thames says. “This is not a good thing because it can increase stress and make symptoms worse.”
There are a few ways to tell when treatment is working — just by being aware of how your loved one looks and acts, says Angelos Halaris, MD, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and director of outpatient services at Loyola School of Medicine in Los Angeles. Chicago Stitch.
As they get better, someone with depression may start making eye contact with you instead of looking down to avoid eye contact because he or she is feeling vulnerable or anxious. Other signs of improvement, according to Dr. Halaris, as follows:
On the other hand, not having those symptoms means someone’s depression is getting worse and better, says Halaris, adding that it’s more worrisome not having it than healing if your loved one has suicidal thoughts.
Capturing The Sound Of Depression In The Human Voice
“This is where you have to gently ask the question of whether their lives are short-lived and not worth living,” Halaris said.
If your loved one shows signs of thinking or planning to take their own life, Halaris and Riba advise taking steps to reduce the risk of attempting or ending this killing, such as:
If you are concerned that your loved one is developing but not thinking or showing signs of any kind of danger, ask to meet them for a session of their psychiatry or your counseling, or express your concerns to their service provider. You can expect to have regular counseling sessions with their psychiatrist or therapist, Riba says. This allows you to provide feedback on how the treatment works, hear what your loved one and their doctor have to say, and better understand how you can help.
When you’ve been in it for a long time with someone suffering from depression, it’s important to understand that depression is a chronic illness with symptoms that can flare up at any time, as you might expect. or medical conditions such as heart disease or diabetes.
Things To Say To Someone With Depression
“Knowing and accepting that there will be ups and downs can help reduce the personal anger one may feel when dealing with a grieving loved one,” says Thames. “Family members or loved ones associated with a depressed person may wish to seek treatment to help them cope and change the person’s behavior.”
While depressive episodes can go away with proper treatment, the possibility of a relapse in the future can affect relationships, Thienhaus said. It’s important to talk to your loved one about forgiveness so you can make a plan to get to know them and respond quickly when they return.
There are many free resources out there to help you get treatment and find support for your loved one and yourself as a caregiver.
SAMHSA has a treatment seeker for a variety of mental health issues, as well as a toll-free, confidential, 24/7 line for treatment referrals. You can contact their hotline at 800-622-HELP (4357).
Ways To Help A Loved One With Depression
This lifeline is a nationwide network of crisis centers providing 24/7 confidential support dedicated to protecting lives. You can reach this hotline at 800-273-8255.
NAMI has support groups for patients, families and healthcare professionals, as well as crisis support and a website.
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