Friday, June 14, 2024

How To Support Someone With Depression

Understanding Depression: How To Recognize Symptoms Of Depression

How To Help Someone With Depression

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, economic uncertainty, and increasing pressure, mental health issues are on the rise. Approximately 9.5% of American adults will suffer from a depressive disorder each year. Women are almost twice as likely to suffer from major depression than men.

Depression is a serious condition that affects millions of people worldwide. If a loved one is depressed, you may be experiencing challenging emotions like guilt, frustration, fear, and anger. These emotions are entirely normal. Its not easy to help someone with depression. But your support could be crucial to their recovery.

Also known as major depressive disorder, depression is a mood disorder that involves a collection of symptoms. Feeling sad or depressed is natural at times of loss or intense life challenges. But when extreme sadness lasts for days or weeks, it could be a sign of something more. Symptoms of depression include:

  • Depressed mood most of the day

  • Cant sleep or sleep too much

  • Think about death or suicide

  • Lost or gained weight

  • Lost interest in something you enjoy

  • Trouble concentrating

The condition can have several underlying causes such as genetics, environmental, psychological, and biochemical factors.

Hang Out With Mutual Friends

Socialization can drain someone with depression, but it can also uplift them.

If your friend is up for it, try to get them to attend a virtual hangout with you and mutual friends or family members, if that applies. The video chat app Houseparty, for instance, offers fun games, like trivia and Heads Up, or you could go with a standard Zoom or FaceTime.

Don’t make these sessions about your friend’s depression or even say that’s why you’re getting together, recommends Dattilo, who adds that if you wouldn’t rally a bunch of friends together for a Zoom call for the sole purpose of supporting a mutual friend with diabetes, then treat a depressed friend the same.

“It could have the potential to alienate the person or draw more attention to than they would want,” she says. Instead, hang out because it’s fun, and because you care about your friend.

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:

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Offer To Help With Tasks

For those who live with depression, even small tasks, like brushing teeth or cleaning up the kitchen, may drain emotional bandwidth. For this reason, offering to help with something seemingly small can make a huge difference in someones day.

If you have capacity, offer to start a load of laundry, walk the dog, watch the kids for a couple of hours, or drive them to the store.

Take Care Of Yourself Too

7 Simple Tips to Help a friend with Depression ...

You might have heard of the saying “you can’t pour from an empty cup.” If you’re giving your all to your loved one with depression, you can’t take care of them or yourself.

But there are some tools to help you do both. Leverage technology like meditation, which can improve mental health, or exercise apps and invite your friend to join you. You can say something as simple as “I’m going to do this, do you want to try it with me?”

Dattilo recommends apps like the mood tracker Moody the therapy, coaching, and self-care app Sanvello and the meditation apps Insight Timer, Calm, and Headspace. She recommends these apps to her patients who struggle with depression. While apps are not a substitute for formal mental health resources, they can supplement any professional help your friend receives.

Don’t take it personally if your friend doesn’t want to join they might not have the energy to do so or if they sound miffed, as irritability is a symptom of depression, says Landau.

If you’ve contacted your friend a few times, and you’re not worried about them harming themselves, you could text them “Are you OK?”

“A lot of times a person can write back, ‘Yes, but I don’t feel like talking,'” says Landau. If you’re worried about your friend hurting themselves, there are resources you can connect with listed below.

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Mental Health And Wellness Vs Depression Vs Anxiousness

Psychological wellness is a term that describes somebodys psychological and mental well-being, that includes their degree of joy, capacity to manage lifes challenges, and self-worth. This term can also refer to the mental health of a community or culture.

Depression is a state of mind problem that affects just how you really feel about yourself, your life, and the globe around you. It can make you really feel sad or helpless like nothing good will ever before take place once more. Clinical depression additionally makes it difficult to focus on anything for long or have an interest in doing points that typically offer you pleasure.

Anxiety is identified by feelings of worry regarding future events and terror regarding current events. Individuals enduring from stress and anxiety typically experience physical signs such as fast heart beat as well as lack of breath. Things To Help Someone With Depression

Look For Signs That Treatment Is Working

There are lots of little ways to tell when treatment works it will be clear in the ways that your loved one looks and acts, says Angelos Halaris, MD, PhD, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and director of outpatient clinical services at the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

As they improve, someone with depression may start making better eye contact with you instead of looking down to avoid eye contact due to feeling vulnerable or anxious. Other signs of improvement, according to Dr. Halaris, include:

  • Smiling occasionally and having more relaxed instead of tense facial features
  • Having a calmer demeanor
  • Isolating less and interacting with people more
  • Eating and sleeping better

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Why Tough Love Doesnt Work

People struggling with depression need love and caring. Their self-view can quickly change to the negative side. “Tough love” reinforces these dark views because it makes them feel not good or strong enough to deal with these feelings. It also supports the historically stigma-laden perspective on depression as a sign of weakness.

Make A Plan For Recognizing A Relapse

How to Help Someone with Depression

When youre in it for the long haul with someone who has depression, its important to understand that depression is a chronic illness with symptoms that can flare up periodically, just like you might expect with physical conditions like heart disease or diabetes.

Knowing and accepting that there will be ups and downs can help mitigate any personal frustration one may experience when dealing with a depressed loved one, Thames say. Family members or loved ones dealing with someone who has depression may want to seek out personal therapy to help them cope and adjust to the person’s mood.

Although depressive episodes can go into remission with proper treatment, the potential for future relapses can take a toll on relationships, says Thienhaus. That makes it important to talk to your loved one when theyre in remission so that together you can form a plan for how to recognize and respond quickly when a relapse is on the horizon.

Recognizing the early signs is important in order to gently intervene, Thienhaus says.

You can also encourage lifestyle habits that may help keep depression at bay, Riba says, such as:

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Be Careful Not To Shame Your Friend

Along with depression comes feelings of shame, so take care that your well-meaning platitudes dont reinforce those perceptions. Even saying things like, Look on the bright side can further the idea that their feelings are somehow wrong. Its not unusual for someone with depression to think, I have so much going for me so I dont understand why I cant appreciate it, why am I still depressed, and I feel guilty for feeling this way, Fletcher says. Implying that your friend shouldnt feel the way they do could further the downward spiral of shame. So what to say to someone with depression without making it worse? Meet your friend psychologically where he or she is with comments like, Its hard and I know youre strong, and Im here to support you as you work on getting better, Fletcher says.

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Offering Help For Someone With Depression

If you recognize any of these signs in someone you care about, and if they persist or do not seem to go away after several days or a week, your loved one may have major depression. It is important that he or she get a professional medical opinion, preferably an evaluation and diagnosis by a psychiatrist. This can be a difficult subject to broach, but it is important to reach out and offer help so they can get treatment or enter rehab.

One of the most important things to remember when talking to someone about depression is to be compassionate, to listen, and to offer to be there. What someone with depression does not need is advice on how to feel better, or get over it. Be gentle and ask questions to get your loved one to open up instead. Express concern, but dont be judgmental.

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Helping Someone Whos Depressed

It can be overwhelming and frustrating when a loved one has depression, especially if you lack the knowledge of how to help them.

You may experience a sense of helplessness and feel as though you dont know where to turn, or what to do for the best. However, the support of friends and family can play a hugely important role in helping someone recovering from depression, which is why its so important that youre aware of the things you can do to help.

Encourage Them To See A Professional

How To Help People With Depression

This ones a little tricky: You want to encourage them to get the support they need when theyre ready for it. I think the best approach is to say, I care about your well-being, and Id be happy to help you find a good therapist, or I know that Dr. X is a depression specialist, do you want me to help you make an appointment? says Serani. How your friend reacts will tell you what the next step is. Because it might be overwhelming for your friend to make the appointment, you can call to schedule it. Fletcher even suggests driving your loved one to the appointment and sitting in the waiting room. On the way home, you can help your friend process what the doctor said. But if your friend is not ready for therapy, its OK. At least you planted the seed.

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Dont Forget To Look Out For Yourself

You might feel like you want to be with your friend every single day, helping them as much as you can. The reality is that you can burn out very quickly.

The truth is that you need time and space to recharge. A burnt-out friend can only help so much, so youre ultimately doing both of you a favor.

Set boundaries. Instead of checking in every day, consider making it every other day. Or you could agree on a set of rules on when you discuss it together, such as not before or after a certain hour .

Its okay to be a little selfish about your time every now and then.

Bring Them Along On Fun Activities

Depression can be a lonely place. People living with it may feel that they cant or shouldnt leave their house. They may not want to hang out with others, feeling like theyll suck all the fun out of the room.

Its important to persuade your friend that this isnt the case. Invite them out regularly for activities that they may enjoy. Even something as simple as a trip to the mall can get them out and about.

But dont insist. If theyre not in the mood to go out today, no problem. And dont stop the invites either, even if they knock you back a few times. Your friend will accept when theyre ready.

Also, make sure that its an activity you know your friend would enjoy. Theres no need to nuke comfort zones right now. Familiar = good.

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What Is First Line Treatment For Depression

Consider sertraline and escitalopram as first-line agents for initial treatment of major depression in adults. The least tolerated antidepressants in this study were bupropion, fluoxetine, paroxetine, and duloxetine.

Guys are most likely to die by suicide after depression than females. Discover hotlines and how to help someone deal with clinical depression organizations for support in our emergency situation psychological health and wellness resources directory.

Help Them To Find Support

How to Help Someone with Depression

Your friend might not be aware of what professional support options are available, or they may be unsure of how to get support. Even if they know about support options, it can be daunting to see a health professional.

You can offer support by encouraging your friend to speak to a health professional or an adult they trust. You could offer to join them for the conversation if they want, or even ask if theyd like you to book the appointment if its with a professional. A GP can organise a mental health care plan for them if needed. This means that your friend will get a referral to a psychologist or other professional. Theyll also get Medicare-subsidised sessions getting help doesnt have to mean they have to fork out hundreds of dollars.

Not everyone is ready to see somebody face-to-face. You could recommend hotlines or online chat-based helplines. The ReachOut NextStep tool can also provide tailored support options so they can make their own plan. Here are some support services they could use, and some more information about getting professional support for depression and anxiety.

If theyre not able to seek help on their own, ask for their permission to talk to an adult they trust on their behalf. If they refuse, and youre still really concerned, consider talking to an adult you trust, such as a teacher, parent or school counsellor.

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Supporting Someone With Depression

Many people hide depression because of stigma negative beliefs that can make them afraid to speak up and get help. Sometimes its up to family and friends to start the conversation. Learn how to support someone whos struggling.

Many people hide depression because of stigma negative beliefs that can make them afraid to speak up and get help. Sometimes its up to family and friends to start the conversation. Learn how to support someone whos struggling.

Depression Problem Treatment Just How To Treat Mental Illness Successfully Things To Help Someone With Depression

Anxiety is a psychological health disorder defined by feelings of despair and lack of interest in activities. It can be caused by lots of variables such as genes, youth trauma, anxiety, and also hormonal adjustments.

Numerous therapies are offered for depression, such as medicine, therapy, and also self-help techniques such as mindfulness reflection. All these treatments have their very own advantages as well as downsides. The very best method to treat depression is to combine these treatments along with the aid of a physician or specialist.

The most effective therapy for clinical depression problem is to combine different therapies like medicine as well as treatment together with the aid of a doctor or therapist.

Clinical depression disorder therapy can be done in numerous methods. One means is with online therapy. Online treatment is a reliable and also effective method of treating clinical depression problem since it supplies the same degree of treatment that one would access a clinic or healthcare facility without the demand to travel.

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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.

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