When Should I Seek Professional Help
If the symptoms of depression your loved one is experiencing are having a damaging effect on their ability to live a normal life, it may be time to seek professional help. Encourage them to speak to their GP, who can offer you professional advice on arresting symptoms.
With the blessing of your loved one, you might also seek depression treatmenthere at Priory, where we can work with your loved one to develop a recovery programme that fits their needs and circumstances. We offer intensive inpatient stays, weekly therapy sessions that fit in with the life and work commitments of our patients, and online therapy that allows you to recover from the comfort of your own home.
You dont have to struggle with depression expert, established treatment is available. To find out how Priory can help your loved one to overcome your depression and return to a positive way of life, call our dedicated team today on 0800 840 3219 or make an enquiry.
For details of how Priory can provide you with assistance regarding mental health and wellbeing, please call 0800 840 3219 or make an enquiry. For professionals looking to make a referral, please click here.
Also Check: What To Do When You Have Severe Depression
Alcohol Tobacco And Other Drugs
Misusing alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs can have both immediate and long-term health effects.
The misuse and abuse of alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, and prescription medications affect the health and well-being of millions of Americans. SAMHSAs 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that approximately 19.3 million people aged 18 or older had a substance use disorder in the past year.
Offer To Help With Everyday Tasks
With depression, day-to-day tasks can feel overwhelming. Things like laundry, grocery shopping, or paying bills can begin to pile up, making it hard to know where to start.
Your friend may appreciate an offer of help, but they also might not be able to clearly say what they need help with.
So, instead of saying Let me know if theres anything I can do, consider saying, What do you most need help with today?
If you notice their refrigerator is empty, say Can I take you grocery shopping, or pick up what you need if you write me a list? or Lets go get some groceries and cook dinner together.
If your friend is behind on dishes, laundry, or other household chores, offer to come over, put some music on, and tackle a specific task together. Simply having company can make the work seem less daunting.
Read Also: Where Can I Get Counselling For Depression
Dont Take It Personally
When people experience an episode of depression, they can have a lot of very negative thoughts and feelings. This can take a real toll on others. Its a good idea to seek support for yourselfthere are support groups just for family members and friends. The BC Schizophrenia Society has a directory of family support groups around BC for any mental illness.
I Cant Imagine How You Feel But Im Here For You If You Need Me
This is a helpful thing to say to someone who lost a loved one. This approach doesnt assume that you know what theyre feeling. It allows the moment to be about them and their needs, instead of relating it back to your own understanding or perspective.
The second part offers up support in a nonobligatory way, allowing them to choose whether or not to accept your help without pressure. Just be sure to follow through if they do seek out support.
Don’t Miss: Methods Of Therapy For Depression
Taking Care Of Yourself
Theres a natural impulse to want to fix the problems of people we care about, but you cant control someone elses depression. You can, however, control how well you take care of yourself. Its just as important for you to stay healthy as it is for the depressed person to get treatment, so make your own well-being a priority.
Remember the advice of airline flight attendants: put on your own oxygen mask before you assist anyone else. In other words, make sure your own health and happiness are solid before you try to help someone who is depressed. You wont do your friend or family member any good if you collapse under the pressure of trying to help. When your own needs are taken care of, youll have the energy you need to lend a helping hand.
Speak up for yourself. You may be hesitant to speak out when the depressed person in your life upsets you or lets you down. However, honest communication will actually help the relationship in the long run. If youre suffering in silence and letting resentment build, your loved one will pick up on these negative emotions and feel even worse. Gently talk about how youre feeling before pent-up emotions make it too hard to communicate with sensitivity.
Ways To Help A Friend With Depression Or Anxiety
If you want to be there for someone whos dealing with depression or anxiety, youre already being a great friend. It can be hard to know exactly how to help someone with depression or anxiety, and what to say to someone who’s having a rough time. Remember that each person is different, and while these tips are a guide, when helping a friend with depression or anxiety, its important to talk with your friend about what they feel they need.
Recommended Reading: What Does Being Clinically Depressed Mean
How To Live With Someone With Depression
What You Can Do to Help
You will always have to deal with unexpected situations when living with someone with depression. Still, there are ways to help them.
What You Can Do for Yourself
Along with taking steps to help someone with depression, you also need to understand the importance of finding time for yourself. Here is what you can:
- Take proper care of yourself. It is quite natural to forget about your own life when caring for someone with a mental illness. You have to learn how to balance your own needs with that of your loved one.
- Make appointments and plans with your friends. Go out and have some fun. You need some time off and your loved one also needs some space occasionally.
- Learn to be patient. It takes time to find the best treatment which requires trying out different options. In some cases, depression symptoms improve quickly after taking medication, while in other cases it takes longer for the effect to start showing. Being patient and not expecting the condition to fade away overnight is a way of showing your loved one that you will always be there for them.
What To Say Instead
There are no perfect answers when it comes to supporting a friend or loved one with depression, and questions can be just as helpful as statements when a depressed person opens up. Try a few of these empathic responses:
- How can I help you during this difficult time?
- Im sorry that youre hurting. Im here for you.
- Tell me more about it.
- Would you like to take a walk with me?
- Can I keep you company today?
- Can I bring you dinner this week?
- Thank you for sharing this with me so that I can understand what youre going through.
American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, American Psychiatric Publishing, Washington, D.C., 2013: Pages 160-161.
National Institute of Mental Health, Depression, Retrieved from: .
Nolen-Hoeksema, S. & Davis, C.G., Thanks for sharing that, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77 , 1999: 801814.
Don’t Miss: How To Help Clinical Depression
Know The Different Forms Depression Can Take
Depression often involves sadness or a low mood, but it also has other, less well-known symptoms.
For example, many people dont realize depression can involve:
- confusion, difficulties with memory, or difficulty focusing
- excessive fatigue or sleep concerns
- physical symptoms such as stomach distress, frequent headaches, or back and other muscle pain
Your friend may often seem to be in a bad mood, or feel exhausted a lot of the time. Try to keep in mind that what theyre feeling is still part of depression, even if it doesnt fit into the stereotypical versions of depression.
Even if you dont know how to help them feel better, simply saying Im sorry youre feeling this way. Im here to help if theres anything I can do may help.
Unsure How To Help A Friend With Depression Or Anxiety Here Are Five Ways
When people find out that I am a clinical psychologist, one of the most common responses I get is, How do I help someone in my life struggling with mental health issues? There is a reason this response occurs with such frequency. In 2017, 7.1 percent of all adults in the United States had one or more major depressive episodes, and 19.1 percent met diagnostic criteria for at least one anxiety disorder. Now consider that these numbers dont include any of the following:
These facts demonstrate that the percentage of individuals struggling with significant mental health problems at any given time is staggering. As such, virtually all people are closely acquainted with at least one person who is currently struggling with a mental health problem.
The impact of having a loved one struggling with depression or anxiety can be profound and, in fact, is often itself a reason that many people seek therapy. Unfortunately, there is no single behavior that is effective at helping all people who are struggling with depression and anxiety.
The good news is, there are some approaches that tend to work better than others. I have outlined these below:
1. Educate yourself in order to dispel harmful myths about mental illness.
2. Try some perspective taking.
You May Like: Can Implant Birth Control Cause Depression
You Dont Walk This Path Alone Im Here If You Need Me
When a person is depressed, one of the feelings many people experience is an overwhelming sense of loneliness that no one can understand what theyre going through. They are all alone.
A reminder from a friend or loved one that, indeed, theyre not alone and they are loved can be invaluable. It also reminds them of the reality that people in their life do love them and are there for them if they need them.
How You Can Help
It might seem small, but just doing things together, being there and staying connected can be a big help.
Depression and anxiety are so common that its highly likely that at some point youll know someone who might be experiencing it. It might be someone in your whnau, a team-mate or someone from your community. People with depression and anxiety are more likely to get through with help and support than on their own.Being depressed and anxious can be a really lonely experience. Sometimes the most important thing is having supportive people around or checking in. Having a coffee, watching television, phoning or texting to say Hi can help a lot. When youre feeling down, knowing that people are thinking of you can really lift your spirits.Often when people are feeling bad they dont want to go out and do anything. Everything feels just too hard. So encouraging them to do something with you is a great support. It could be something small like watching funny video clips, listening to music, going for a walk or window-shopping. Think about something you both like to do. There are different things you can do, depending on who youre trying to help:
Help Them With Other Options
If your loved one isnt happy with their treatment or would like to try a different option, you can also help them seek different resources or services. You can find general advice in the Ask Us section of HeretoHelp. To find local services, call the BC Mental Health Support Line at 310-6789 or email us.
Recognize The Symptoms Of Depression
The most important thing you need to do is recognize the symptoms of depression. Most people do not even realize why people are behaving weird all of a sudden. The most common symptoms include the following:
- Irritability with angry outbursts and frustration over small matters
- Feelings of tearfulness, sadness, or hopelessness
- Loss of interest in normal activities, such as hobbies, sex, or sports
- Trouble thinking, making decisions, concentrating, and remembering things
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness and focusing too much on past failures
In addition, insomnia, tiredness, anxiety, slowed thinking, unexplained physical problems, and recurrent mention of death are some other common signs that someone is under depression. The earlier you identify these symptoms, the easier it is for you to learn how to tackle the situation.
Recommended Reading: Best Over The Counter Medicine For Depression
Is Group Therapy Ever Helpful
Although depression is a very individualized disorder, with each patient exhibiting a distinctive patterns of symptoms, group therapy can sometimes be helpful. One area of special value may be group education in coping skills, problem-solving skills, and techniques for managing difficult emotions, as deficits in those areas are known to underlie most expressions of depression. Such treatment is often labeled psychoeducation and it may be especially appealing to people who cannot afford an individual course of therapy or who feel stigmatized by it. Whatever the format of depression group therapy, it can offer some advantages over individual therapy. Most obviously, it counters the social isolation that is a major precipitant of depression. Groups also allow for working though the dysfunctional relationship patterns that contribute to depression. Further, group interaction provides a forum for credible challenges to the negative evaluations depressed people make about themselves.
Does Depression Look The Same In Everyone
Depression can affect people differently, depending on their age.
Children with depression may be anxious, cranky, pretend to be sick, refuse to go to school, cling to a parent, or worry that a parent may die.
Older children and teens with depression may get into trouble at school, sulk, be easily frustrated feel restless, or have low self-esteem. They also may have other disorders, such as anxiety and eating disorders, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or substance use disorder. Older children and teens are more likely to experience excessive sleepiness and increased appetite . In adolescence, females begin to experience depression more often than males, likely due to the biological, life cycle, and hormonal factors unique to women.
Younger adults with depression are more likely to be irritable, complain of weight gain and hypersomnia, and have a negative view of life and the future. They often have other disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder, social phobia, panic disorder, and substance use disorders.
Middle-aged adults with depression may have more depressive episodes, decreased libido, middle-of-the-night insomnia, or early morning awakening. They also may more frequently report having gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea or constipation.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Work Done With Depression
How Do You Know If Your Friend Is Going Through A Tough Time
Sometimes its hard to know the difference between the regular ups and downs of life, and mental health concerns like depression and anxiety. Someone experiencing mental health concerns might feel ashamed, and worried about how their friends might react if they talk about it.
Not everyone experiences depression or anxiety in the same way, and symptoms can vary however, there are changes in the way a person going through a tough time acts that you can look out for. If your friend is experiencing depression, they might:
- seem down or tearful a lot of the time, or cranky more often
- stay up really late or sleep in a lot, or have problems with sleep
- miss a lot of school, work or their regular activities
- miss hangouts or often cancel at the last minute
- eat more or less than usual
- drink alcohol or take drugs more than usual
- talk about feeling empty, tired or worthless
- seem more pessimistic and hopeless, and like they have less energy in general.
If your friend is experiencing anxiety, they might:
- be obsessed with details, such as being a perfectionist or wanting to plan things out thoroughly
- have difficulty making decisions
- avoid new people, situations or unfamiliar places
- have trouble keeping to schedules or plans
- seem disinterested, forgetful, distracted or scattered
- have digestive issues
- have a need to reassurance about how you feel, whether plans make sense, triple checking times
- have difficulty sleeping
Learn more about what anxiety is and how to recognise the symptoms.
Dont Let Them Ignore Or Isolate Themselves From Others
This could also cause problems well because isolation makes us more vulnerable to other psychological issues such as anxiety disorders and PTSD. If we dont have anybody around us who understands what were going through, then it becomes much easier for these kinds of thoughts to take root in our minds.
Read Also: Symptoms Of Depression In Autism
Encouraging The Person To Get Help
While you cant control someone elses recovery from depression, you can start by encouraging the depressed person to seek help. Getting a depressed person into treatment can be difficult. Depression saps energy and motivation, so even the act of making an appointment or finding a doctor can seem daunting to your loved one. Depression also involves negative ways of thinking. The depressed person may believe that the situation is hopeless and treatment pointless.
Because of these obstacles, getting your loved one to admit to the problemand helping them see that it can be solvedis an essential step in depression recovery.
If your friend or family member resists getting help:
Suggest a general check-up with a physician. Your loved one may be less anxious about seeing a family doctor than a mental health professional. A regular doctors visit is actually a great option, since the doctor can rule out medical causes of depression. If the doctor diagnoses depression, they can refer your loved one to a psychiatrist or psychologist. Sometimes, this professional opinion makes all the difference.
Offer to help the depressed person find a doctor or therapist and go with them on the first visit.Finding the right treatment provider can be difficult, and is often a trial-and-error process. For a depressed person already low on energy, it is a huge help to have assistance making calls and looking into the options.