Should I Reach Out For Support
You should seek help as quickly as possible if you believe youre suffering from depression. There are several symptoms to be aware of linked to depression. If youre feeling sad, low and tearful, are suffering from guilt or poor self-esteem, lack motivation, have difficulties sleeping or even feel suicidal for more than two or three weeks, you should seek medical advice.
The stigma that surrounds depression is slowly reducing. Its now recognized that people from all walks of like can suffer from this all-too-common condition. Men and women, old and young, people of all ethnicities and all sexual orientations are equally likely to be affected. Therefore, theres no shame in admitting that you need some help.
Despite this, though, it can be hard to take the plunge and speak to another person to ask for support and assistance.
Continue Supporting Them And Respond To Emergencies
On a bad day, your friend might not want to leave their room. If they say something like Im going to cancel my appointment today, encourage them to follow through with the appointment.
Whether or not your friend has decided to get professional help, its important that they know they can get support from you, or other friends and family.
If you think your friend may be in danger or at risk of hurting themselves or someone else, seek help from a trusted adult or emergency mental health service immediately. Call 000 to reach emergency services and also tell someone you trust.
In more serious cases, its important to let an older/more responsible adult know whats going on. You dont have to be perfect all the time and making mistakes are inevitable and a good thing as we can learn from them. Anzelmo
Dont Avoid Help For Fear Of Getting A Diagnosis
Some people find it terrifying to be evaluated and diagnosed by a mental health professional. While the information will go into your medical records, this isnt something to fear. Doctors and psychiatrists want to support you, and they understand that depression and other conditions are legitimate illnesses.
When you seek treatment, youre essentially telling others that you know how to ask for help when depressed. Rather than viewing your illness as a criticism of your character, others will see that you recognized that you had a problem and sought help for it. Additionally, your medical records are private, and it will be up to you to choose when to share this information with family members, friends, or co-workers.
Also Check: What Is Depression And What Can I Do About It
Tips To Help Someone Who Seems Down
- Let them know you care and are there to listen.
- Accept them as they are, without judging them.
- Gently encourage them to help themselves for example, by staying physically active, eating a balanced diet and doing things they enjoy.
- Get information about the services available to them, such as psychological therapy services or depression support groups in their area.
- Stay in touch with them by messaging, texting, phoning or meeting for coffee. People who are depressed can become isolated and may find it difficult to leave their home.
- Try to be patient.
- Take care of yourself.
What To Say When Someone Is Depressed Or Anxious
You could start the conversation by asking questions such as: It seems like things have been hard for you lately. Whats on your mind? and: What can I do to help?
Something Ive learnt is to ask sincere, open-ended questions like, How does this feel? So the other person can feel supported, comforted and safe, rather than being told what to do. ayrc_1904
When you want to bring up a sensitive issue with a friend, try to choose a time and place when youre both comfortable, relaxed and theres some privacy. Dont push them if they dont want to talk, and be there for them if they become upset. You might not have an answer or a solution, but just being there to listen can be super helpful.
It might be difficult for your friend to accept your help continue to check in with them and let them know that you care about them, and that youre there for them if they need you.
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Maintaining Relationships Can Make It Easier To Ask For Help
However, it is important for people to find creative ways to remain connected to others in order to protect their mental health.
Having and maintaining a broad support network filled with trusted, reliable friends and family isnt just important its essential. But when youre not feeling particularly great, picking up the phone might be the last thing you want to do.
Try thinking of it this way, though: Asking for help is much less awkward when youre in regular communication. When you continue to pick up the phone for casual conversations, itll be a lot easier to ask for help when youre really struggling, and it may even be a seamless part of your chat.
When you keep talking to people, the likelihood of you talking to them when you need help increases. Routine is key for people with a substance or alcohol use disorder.
It can be really hard to imagine what help looks like when in-person options are so limited. But, with a little creativity, there are ways to receive meaningful help.
Yes, there will be some level of risk with any in-person meeting, but balancing risks and benefits is key.
Signs That Someone May Be Depressed
Depression has lots of possible symptoms.
You may notice that someone:
- has lost interest in doing things they normally enjoy
- seems to be feeling down or hopeless
- has slower speech and movements or is more fidgety and restless than usual
- feels tired or does not have much energy
- is overeating or has lost their appetite
- is sleeping more than usual or is not able to sleep
- has trouble concentrating on everyday things, such as watching TV or reading the paper
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Think About Who Can Help You
Should you talk to a beloved family member? Or should you ask a trusted friend for help with depression? Does your school or workplace offer psychological counseling? Think about who is the best person who you should ask for help.
Keep aside any feelings of guilt, shame, embarrassment or social stigma, and list down the names you think are most likely to understand you and help you.
It can be anyone you know and trust a parent, a sibling, a cousin, a friend, a colleague, a teacher or a coach. You may also call a helpline and talk about your feelings anonymously to get some support as they are trained to deal with mental health problems.
Where Do I Begin
Its often challenging to find the right words to tell another person youre feeling depressed. One of the best ways to begin to do this is to draw up a list of things that are making you think you could be suffering from depression. If you can write your symptoms down, you wont forget anything that could prove to be important later on, and youll also have something to show the person you need to speak to if your words fail you at the last moment.
Its only natural to have anxiety about telling other people you have depression. After all, it isnt something we generally talk about on a daily basis. Yet, you shouldnt feel any shame about what youre feeling. Youre still yourself, whether or not youre suffering from depression. However, depression is an illness that has an impact on the way you feel and the way in which youre experiencing the world.
Some people find it helpful to have web links that they can show their friends, family members or other people that they choose to open up to. These links can answer any questions they have and help them to understand what youre going through.
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Take The Time To Help Yourself
Theres nothing wrong with leaning on others for help, but your own company can be a surprising source of support.
If you arent very comfortable being alone, aim to create a daily solitude plan . You can read a book, watch a movie, exercise, take a bubble bath, begin a gratitude practice whatever it is, make it a special activity that you do alone.
Having a healthy routine around solitude and cultivating a better relationship with yourself is self-love and self-compassion, says Spiegelman. And when you get to know yourself more, youll feel happier and be freer.
How Parents Can Help Their Teenagers With Mental Illness
Parents are typically unready to handle teenage troublesome behaviors. Due to the identified occasional bad moods, they often dismiss adolescent behavior as being rude or disrespectful. Some parents unconsciously worsen their teenagers conditions by imposing punishments to deal with their teenagers. Even teens face psychological effects when we yell at them. A miserable teenager who needs help may ultimately start seeing suicide as a way out when they dont get the help they need. The only way parents can handle teen depression is through honest communication and taking guided actions to resolve depression and anxiety among teens.
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What If I Don’t Know What To Say
Don’t wait to talk just because you’re not sure what to say. You can keep it simple. You can start just by saying, “Got a minute? I need to talk.” Then say what you’re going through. For example, “I’ve been feeling down a lot lately. I think I might be depressed.” The person you’re talking to might ask you to tell them more. Sometimes, that’s all it takes to get started talking.
Tips For Asking For Help When Youre Depressed
Its never easy to ask for help, but it can be especially hard when you need help dealing with a mental health issue. Many people worry they might trust the wrong person, approach the discussion poorly, or, scariest of all, be judged.
Use these tips to guide your discussions and ask for help from a loved one or professional.
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Why Depression Treatment Makes The Difference In Your Mood And Your Life
Depression doesnt usually just hit you all at once all of a sudden. It tends to come on gradually. But it can build and overwhelm you before youre really aware of it. And depressive disorders are composed of imbalances within you that you cant simply rebalance on your own. So, the sooner you access comprehensive depression treatment, the sooner youll be back on an empowering path, living the life you really want.
Depression is fairly common, and the treatment options have become very accessible and effective in response. One of the best options for well-rounded and compassionate care is an inpatient treatment center. Here, clinicians can oversee a wide range of care approaches, including medication, individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, and other holistic therapies as well. This kind of immersive treatment goes well beyond the relief of symptoms to empower you with coping skills and the ability to thrive. Your progress may be gradual, but your hope will grow as you discover the scope and depth of support available to you.
Types Of Health Practitioners
Finding a health professional who you can work with may depend on a number of things, including the approach they use and how comfortable you feel with the person.
Not everyone is right for you, and its important to get the right fit. The first health professional you see might not be right. When you first talk to a health professional, it can be useful to ask, How can you help me? or What can you do for me?. If you dont like their answer, or if youre not happy after the first session, you dont have to stay with them. Even though its hard to have to start again, its worth it to find someone who you feel comfortable with. You can always ask your friends if they use someone who they would recommend.
You can check if your health professional is a registered practitioner under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act. Being a registered practitioner means they are recognised and regulated by a professional body.
A visit to your family doctor or general practitioner is often the first step in getting help for physical or mental health problems.
Your doctor can assess your symptoms and talk with you about what might be the best way for you to get treatment. That might mean taking medication, going to talking therapy or referring you to someone else who has specialist knowledge.
Your doctor can also help you work out a self-help programme and keep an eye on your progress along the way
Psychotherapists or counsellors
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Can You Text Me Instead Of Calling
This is a huge deal for me.
Talking on the phone is a real trigger for my anxiety, which can then lead to low mood and a depressive period.
I also know Im more tempted to say Im fine on a phone call because Im nervous, but I can explain my feelings in more depth through text message.
If you feel bad asking for help in a direct way, sometimes, its easier to reach out on social media by expressing your feelings on Facebook for example, she says.
And then its amazing how much support comes back to you.
Dipti also says that although depression can often make you want to hide and retreat into yourself, try to make the most of having someone to talk to if you can.
Asking for help is hard when someone feels depressed and when you feel low all you want to do is hide, she says. But instead of hiding, it would be great if you could say:
Warning Signs: Behavioral Changes
- Engaging in self-injury behaviors, like cutting
- Feeling like youve lost time or have large gaps in memory
- Withdrawing from friends, family members, or social activities that you once enjoyed
- Experiencing delusions, or beliefs in things that arent real
- Experiencing hallucinations, or sensory experiences that feel real but are not. For example, hearing voices that no one else can hear or feeling things crawling on your skin.
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Bring Up Your Concerns With Your Loved One
If you notice signs of depression in your loved one, its important to calmly share your concerns in a way thats nonjudgmental, says Ole Thienhaus, MD, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson. Its also crucial to give your loved one space to talk about what theyre feeling.
Listening is the most important part of beginning to help, Dr. Thienhaus says.
To get them talking, you may start by sharing the changes youve observed recently that worry you, Thienhaus says. When you do this, dont be critical just state the facts as you see them in a neutral way and pause often to give them room to respond to what you have to say.
Avoid any suggestion that they have no reason to feel so sad, Thienhaus adds. This means not saying things like, Look at all the good things in your life or Look at how much worse off so-and-so is, but she doesnt let her problems get her down.
Why is this harmful? Many people with depression already believe they should be able to snap out of it or should be mentally strong, Thames says, feelings that can stand in their way of seeking treatment for depression.
Try Not To Feel Ashamed Or Guilty About Your Depression
Give yourself permission to feel how you feel.
It is not your fault, and you are not less than others because of your depression. This requires ongoing and intentional practice to manage feelings of shame and guilt, says Chanell Finley, a licensed professional counselor based in Texas.
When struggling with depression, memory and thoughts may be cloudy, easily forgettable, and distracting. Creating a list helps to build confidence when it comes time to assert yourself and ask for help, Finley explains.
If it takes some time to identify these areas and articulate them clearly, thats OK.
Read Also: What To Do When You Have Severe Depression
Why Is It So Hard To Ask For Help Especially Right Now
Fear, shame, and guilt often make it difficult to reach out to others. What if youre rejected? What will they think of your needing to leaning on them again? Shouldnt you be able to handle this on your own by now?
Unfortunately, a lot of people whove experienced long-term recovery are struggling right now, says Adam D. Scioli, DO, FASAM, FAPA, associate medical director and psychiatrist at Caron Treatment Centers.
But giving yourself permission to ask for help is important, Scioli continues.
Its not a moral failing. Its not a weakness or something you can exert your will over and overcome. Addiction is a chronic, progressive, relapsing, remitting, potentially fatal disease process that requires help and support.
Add a pandemic into the mix, and now theres another layer of fear, shame, and guilt to overcome. What if your request for help is too overwhelming for them right now? What if they think youre being selfish or ignoring the challenges theyre experiencing?
Plus, recovery is typically a we program, not an I program. Pre-pandemic, you could meet a friend for coffee, attend a meeting, or invite someone over.
But now, those options are limited or nonexistent, and it feels like that essential we component is missing. Guilt plus isolation isnt a great combo when youre in crisis.