How To Help Someone With Depression
Feeling down or depressed from time to time is normal. But if these feelings last 2 weeks or more, or start to affect everyday life, this can be a sign of depression.
Depression can develop slowly. Someone who’s depressed does not always realise or acknowledge that they’re not feeling or behaving as they usually do.
Often it’s a partner, family member or carer who first realises that help’s needed. They may encourage their friend or relative to see a GP, or find some other source of support.
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.
What Do I Say
If youre not sure what to say, try writing your thoughts down first. This can help you get your words straight so you know how to express yourself. You can even write a letter to the person, if you find that easier than talking to them. Try using a help line or a support group as practice for opening up to friends, family, or professionals that you might feel more nervous about talking to.
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Friendships May Add Years To Your Life
Additionally, research suggests that having strong social ties, or people you can talk to, is linked to a longer life. In contrast, social isolation and loneliness are linked to depression, poorer health outcomes, and risk of premature death.
Additionally, having a variety of social relationships may help reduce stress as well as heart-related risks. So, it’s important to find people you can share things with.
Too many times, though, people are reluctant to reach out to others to talk despite the many benefits. Either they allow fear and shame to keep them silent, or they simply don’t know how to reach out.
Other times, they allow work or family obligations to get in the way of any type of real connection with others. And before long, they feel lonely and isolated and like they don’t have anyone to talk to.
How Is Depression Diagnosed
To be diagnosed with depression, an individual must have five depression symptoms every day, nearly all day, for at least 2 weeks. One of the symptoms must be a depressed mood or a loss of interest or pleasure in almost all activities. Children and adolescents may be irritable rather than sad.
If you think you may have depression, talk to your health care provider. Primary care providers routinely diagnose and treat depression and refer individuals to mental health professionals, such as psychologists or psychiatrists.
During the visit, your provider may ask when your symptoms began, how long they last, how often they occur, and if they keep you from going out or doing your usual activities. It may help to make some notes about your symptoms before your visit. Certain medications and some medical conditions, such as viruses or a thyroid disorder, can cause the same depression symptoms. Your provider can rule out these possibilities by doing a physical exam, interview, and lab tests.
Read NIMHs Tips for Talking With Your Health Care Provider to help prepare for and get the most out of your visit. For additional resources, visit the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality website.
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Listen To What They Have To Say
People with depression can often feel isolated and find it hard to talk about their depression. Be willing to talk openly with your loved one about their feelings and listen to what they have to say. This will show them that no matter what they might be going through and how negative everything may feel to them, they are loved and valued.
Its also important to be an active listener and really immerse yourself in the conversation. Use verbal and non-verbal prompts during the conversation, maintain eye contact throughout, and regularly paraphrase what your loved one says back to them to clarify meaning and demonstrate that you have understood them. This will make opening up to you as easy and natural as possible for your loved one, making it more likely that theyll confide in you in the future if they need to.
What Causes Depression
Depression is a complex condition. There are different factors that can lead to it, including genetics, physical health problems, difficult childhood experiences and stressful life events such as unemployment, the end of a relationship, or being bullied or assaulted.
You may find that a combination of factors led to your depression, or there might not be an obvious cause.
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Find Your Own Support
When someone you love has depression, it can take quite a toll. You might start to feel as though you may have depression yourself. A therapist can help you work through challenges and come up with a sustainable game plan for the long term.
A support group is also a great place to process emotions and meet like-minded people who understand what youre going through. Find a free, confidential NAMI family support in your area.
Who To Contact During A Mental Health Emergency
However, if you feel that you are experiencing a mental health emergency, do not wait for your next therapy session to talk about it. There are going to be moments when you need someone immediately to help you with your mental health needs.
For example, if you are experiencing depression or similar mental health conditions, you may at some point experience suicidal thoughts. When this happens, you should immediately call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline ** for support. This service is completely free and available 24/7. When you call, trained listeners will provide you with a safe space to discuss your thoughts and situation. They will listen to you with empathy and compassion and may also be able to point you to local resources, such as low-income mental health services. If you dont want to call, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline also has an online chat, so you can discuss your situation with trained professionals more discreetly.
**After July 16, 2022, the lifeline can be accessed by dialing 988.
There are other crisis lines that help people with other specific mental health conditions and emergencies. Below are some other crisis lines that are available to you.
- Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741
If you are not someone experiencing these crises but know someone who is, you can still contact these hotlines for support and guidance.
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Learn About What Your Friend Is Going Through
Not totally sure what depression or anxiety are, or how to help a friend with depression or anxiety? A really great first step in helping your friend is to find out more about depression, anxiety or anything else your friend is going through this will help you to better understand what’s happening and how they feel.
My friends try to learn more about what Im experiencing, especially asking for and going to sources of information I recommend. hellofriend
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Depression
Common symptoms of depression include:
- Persistent sad, anxious, or empty mood
- Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
- Feelings of irritability, frustration or restlessness
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies or activities
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
- Difficulty sleeping, early morning awakening, or oversleeping
- Changes in appetite or unplanned weight changes
- Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and that do not ease even with treatment
- Suicide attempts or thoughts of death or suicide
If you or someone you know is in immediate distress or is thinking about hurting themselves, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline toll-free at 1-800-273-TALK . You also can text the Crisis Text Line or use the Lifeline Chat on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website.
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Icipate In A Support Group
One way to build your support system is to join a support group. Whether it’s an online group or a group that meets in person, both options provide you with a network of people who can relate to what you’re experiencing.
There, you will be able to get the support and understanding that you need as well as offer support to others in similar situations.
When Should I Call A Depression Hotline
Mood disorders rank among the top 10 causes of worldwide disability, and Major Depressive Disorder appears first on the list.
All too often, people who are depressed isolate themselves from those they love or others who may be able to help. Isolation can make depression feel worse and increase the risk that a person will experience suicidal thoughts or behaviors. Helplines are available to those who feel like they need someone to talk to but may not know where to start.
Depression hotlines offer a free and confidential service that is available 24 hours a day to help you start on a path toward healing. Sometimes it can be helpful to express what you are experiencing to another human being, to get your feelings out and lift that burden off your chest.
- Get information about depression and general mental health disorders.
- Talk to someone who understands what you are going through.
- Receive help confidentially and anonymously.
- Find a counselor, therapist, or mental health treatment facility.
- Learn how depression is treated.
- Discover how to help a loved one who is experiencing depression.
- Get more information about how depression is related to other mental health issues.
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How To Find Someone To Talk To
If you’re like most people, you may assume that you have no one to talk to, especially if you live far from family, are single, or don’t have a best friend. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.
In fact, it may really be easier to find someone to talk to when you really need it, if you know where to look. Here are some ways you can find someone to talk to.
Enlist Trusted And Educated Allies
You are the expert on your own feelings. No one, not even your therapist, knows more about your experience with depression than you do. But if the job of explaining your symptoms and answering questions feels like a burden, you can ask for help. Health professionals are trained and experienced in educating family members.
The person with depression is not usually the best person to have to explain it, Dr. Rosmarin says. Its hard enough to explain depression when youre firing on all cylinders. If youre not, you might prefer to offer your relatives a chance to speak to someone on your clinical team.
In fact, there is good
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Support Them To Seek Help For Depression
All types of depression are treatable, whether your loved one is struggling with clinical depression, seasonal affective disorder or any other type of depression, and this is a key message to try and reinforce to your loved one. Connecting with a mental health professional means that your loved ones condition can be evaluated and some proactive next steps put in place but only if they feel ready.
If theyre nervous about speaking to a professional, offer to go with them to any initial appointments and help them to make a list of their symptoms to talk through.
How To Talk To Someone About Depression
Sometimes it is hard to know what to say when speaking to someone about depression. You might fear that if you bring up your worries the person will get angry, feel insulted, or ignore your concerns. You may be unsure what questions to ask or how to be supportive.
If you dont know where to start, the following suggestions may help. But remember that being a compassionate listener is much more important than giving advice. You dont have to try to fix your friend or family member you just have to be a good listener. Often, the simple act of talking face to face can be an enormous help to someone suffering from depression. Encourage the depressed person to talk about their feelings, and be willing to listen without judgment.
Dont expect a single conversation to be the end of it. Depressed people tend to withdraw from others and isolate themselves. You may need to express your concern and willingness to listen over and over again. Be gentle, yet persistent.
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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.
Say What You Have Practised
When youre ready, just go for it. Say what youve practised, and if you feel more comfortable taking your notes with you, then do so. If you get tongue-tied or shaky then dont worry. Its perfectly acceptable to tell the person that youre finding this difficult. If you find that youre becoming a bit overwhelmed, then just take a break and come back to the conversation later.
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Remind Them You’re There For Them
Depression can feel as though no one understands what you are feeling or even cares enough to try to understand, which can be isolating and overwhelming.
Research has shown that people tend to withdraw when they are depressed, so reaching out to a friend in need is an important first step. If your friend isn’t ready to talk, continue to offer your support by spending time with them and try to check in regularly, either in person, on the phone, or by text.
When you reach out to a friend, letting them know that you are going to be there every step of the way can be very reassuring.
You may not quite know what this will look like at first, but know that just reminding your friend that you are someone they can lean on can mean the world.
What To Do When You Need Someone To Talk To
Verywell / Bailey Mariner
No matter what you’re going through at the moment, connecting and communicating with others is the key to living well, especially if you’re struggling with an illness, depression, addiction, the loss of a loved one, or even just loneliness. For this reason, it’s important to know what to do and where to look when you need to talk.
Trying to bury your feelings, grit your teeth, and go it alone are never effective. In fact, your emotions and feelings are there whether you talk about them or not. Difficult emotions are not going to simply go away just because you ignore them.
But if you make the effort to talk to another person, you may be able to release some of the tension and negativity that you’re experiencing and feel better.
This article takes a closer look at the benefits of talking to others and how to find people to talk to when you feel alone or isolated.
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What Are The Signs Of Depression
The first step in treating depression is to consult a health care professional. This could be your primary doctor or someone who specializes in mental health issues. A health professional will look for symptoms of depression and rule out the possibility of medical conditions that may be underlying. A doctor can also conduct an examination for physical health. They will ask about your general health and how you feel. The doctor will then go over treatment options with you.
The symptoms of depression vary from person to person. Certain symptoms are obvious while others may be obscured by another condition. Depression can bring sadness, despair and could cause an absence of interest in activities you used to enjoy. These symptoms can last for weeks to months and can cause issues in your social life as well as at work. People with depression may try to cover up their symptoms, and they may not even realize they are suffering from them. These symptoms can be observed by family members or friends. They must seek treatment as soon as they can.