What Treatment Should I Be Offered
The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence writes guidance on what treatment doctors should offer you. But your doctor does not have to give you these treatments. And the treatments may not be available in your area.
Different treatments may be available in your area. Your doctor might think these suit your symptoms more than the recommended treatments.
NICE recommend that depression is treated in different steps depending on how severe the condition is for you. The steps are as follows.
Step 1: Everyone who may have depression
Your doctor should offer you:
- an assessment of your symptoms,
- support, such as regular appointments in person or by telephone,
- information on how to deal with your symptoms,
- monitoring of your symptoms and follow-up, and
- referral for further assessment and treatment if needed.
Step 2: Mild to moderate depression
Your doctor may offer you:
- low-intensity interventions, such as self-help guided by the doctor or computerised cognitive behavioural therapy ,
- physical activity programmes,
- group cognitive behavioural therapy ,
- medication if you have a history of moderate or severe depression, or you have had symptoms for a long time, and
- referral for further assessment and treatment if needed.
Step 3: Moderate to severe depression, or mild to moderate depression when other treatments havent worked
Your doctor may suggest:
Step 4: Severe and complex depression or if your life is at risk Your doctor may suggest:
Know When Its Ok To Cut Yourself Some Slack
Bottom line: Show yourself some compassion. Depression already can make you believe that youre worthless without piling on exercise guilt.
It means acknowledging that as a result of being depressed, your motivation and lack of energy arent because you arent trying hard enough, Schroeder said. Your mind and body are affected by a physiological response to depression in an effort to preserve itself.
That advice resonates with Cheney. If shes absolutely not able to work out, thats when I go and make instant mashed potatoes and curl up and watch TV or sleep, she said. Knowing her limitations and being kind to herself is one step toward feeling better.
If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also text HOME to 741-741 for free, 24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line. Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources.
How Should You Ask If Someone Is Depressed What Should You Say
The wrong way to start the conversation is by focusing vaguely on how the person seems emotionally, which can sound accusatory, such as: Youve been so down/stressed/anxious/irritable lately whats going on? Are you okay?
Open-ended questions are better, experts say, such as:How are you doing lately?Are you struggling with anything? Can I help you?You just dont seem like yourself lately. Is everything okay?
Focus on specific behaviors so your friend doesnt feel judged, says Valerie Cordero, co-executive director of Families for Depression Awareness. You want to try as much as possible to not put them on the defensive, and give them an opportunity to respond.
Examples include:You used to love our nights out, but it seems like youre not interested in coming anymore. Is something going on? Do you want to talk about it?
I know you got a raise recently, which probably came with a bunch of new responsibilities, and Ive noticed you seem stressed out. Do you think you might be depressed?
See what your friend is willing to share. If they dont want to talk about it, or if they brush you off, just say, Im here for you, and move on to another topic.
Portrait of a Girl,
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Think About Trying Some Yoga
“I either look up videos on YouTube or just Google ‘relaxing yoga.’ There’s so many videos that range from five minutes to an hour, and it really helps take my mind off of everything. It’s relaxing and gets your endorphins going without full on exercising. It’s really good for your health, too. So it’s a win-win to help you both emotionally and physically.”
What Can I Do To Help Today
Depression often causes fatigue, trouble sleeping, and a lack of motivation. Sometimes just getting out of bed can be hard.
Asking what you can do can really help them through their day.
Maybe theyre not eating well and you can pick up dinner. Maybe they need a morning call or text to ensure they get to work on time.
Sometimes you just need to listen. Helping doesnt have to be a huge, drastic effort. It can be as simple as picking up a phone, sharing a meal, or driving them to an appointment.
what Not to say
Just remember: Advice isnt the same as asking for help. If they ask for your advice, give it if you so choose. But dont offer them helpful solutions or statements that seem like a cure for their depression. This can feel judgmental or not empathetic.
- Just think happy thoughts. I dont understand what you have to be so sad about.
- Everything will be OK, I promise.
- I cut out sugar and I was cured! You should try it.
- You just need to snap out of this.
- So many people out there are worse off than you.
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Support Your Loved One In Their Day
While starting treatment is a crucial component to managing depression, your loved one may still need help with their daily functioning. One good way to help may be offering to go to a therapy appointment with them to hear directly from their mental healthcare provider, says Michelle Riba, MD, a clinical professor of psychiatry and associate director of the Comprehensive Depression Center at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
You can also offer to help them with tasks that may feel overwhelming, like grocery shopping, laundry, or cleaning the house, or simply suggest you take a quick walk around the block together to get them out and about, Dr. Riba says.
Establishing a routine is also very helpful, says Thames. You might try to make that walk happen every day, for example. Regular physical activity can help ease stress and release endorphins and other neurotransmitters, or chemicals in the brain, that play a role in boosting mood, Thames says.
One form of treatment for depression is behavioral activation, which involves engaging in activities one find meaningful, such as doing 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 do activities that give them personal satisfaction is important but dont go overboard with activities and socializing, Thames cautions.
How Can Friends And Family Help
This information is for friends and family who want to support someone with depression.
The support of friends and family can play a very important role in someone recovering from depression. Here are some suggestions for how you can help.
- Support them to get help. You can’t force anyone to get help if they don’t want it, so it’s important to reassure your loved one that it’s OK to ask for help, and that there is help out there. See our pages on how to support someone else to seek help for their mental health for more information.
- Be open about depression. Lots of people can find it hard to open up and speak about how they’re feeling. Try to be open about depression and difficult emotions, so your friend or family member knows that it’s OK to talk about what they’re experiencing.
“The best things that friends and family can do is simply listen. They often don’t need to say anything, just being willing to listen to your problems makes you feel less alone and isolated”
- Keep in touch. It might be hard for your loved one to have the energy to keep up contact, so try to keep in touch. Even just a text message or email to let them know that you’re thinking of them can make a big difference to how someone feels.
“Talking… not even talking about how I felt. Just talking about stupid things that didn’t matter over coffee, without pressure and knowing that I can talk about the tough stuff if I want to.”
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When To Seek Professional Help
Any level of depression should be taken seriously and the faster you address the symptoms, the less likely you are to develop a more severe type of depression. Seeking professional help is a sign of bravery and self-respect because it shows that you are dedicated to caring for your mind and body. A therapist can offer more clinical advice and guide you through treatment with approaches that are more tailored to your specific situation and needs. However, if you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, tell someone you trust and seek assistance immediately.
Everyone experiences low points in their life and their mental health, but depression is a treatable mental illness and you can recover. Whether you or a loved one is feeling depressed, every persons experience with mental illness is different but help is available. Visit our Key Services page to learn more about the treatment methods we offer and to explore our list of additional health and wellness classes to support your overall mental health.
If you are in a crisis, please call us at 303-425-0300 or by calling the crisis line at 844-493-8255. The 24/7 crisis walk-in center and withdrawal management program is open at 4643 Wadsworth Blvd, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033.
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You Cant Simply Get Over It
Every once in a while, people resort to tough love if they arent making any headway in helping or supporting you. When those around you dont have depression and as a result, can never truly understand what youre going through, they can get frustrated because they want to help. While having a support system helps many people with depression, pushing too hard and telling them to snap out of it or get over it can add frustration and anxiety.
Those with depression often feel like those around them think they can turn on and off their condition like a switch. If it was as easy as all of a sudden letting everything go and moving on, depression wouldnt be such a complex and difficult illness to treat.
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Make Someone Else’s Day A Little Better
“One of the coping skills I use with my bipolar depression is to take five minutes and make someone else’s day better. Uplifting another person instantly makes you feel better. You never know what someone else is going through, so a smile, compliment, or act of kindness can go a long way on both ends.”
Learn About Depression On Your Own
Imagine having to educate each person in your life about a mental or physical health condition youre experiencing explaining it over and over again. Sounds exhausting, right?
You can talk with your friend about their specific symptoms or how theyre feeling, but avoid asking them to tell you about depression in general terms.
Read up on the symptoms, causes, diagnostic criteria, and treatments on your own.
While people experience depression differently, being familiar with the general symptoms and terminology can help you have more in-depth conversations with your friend.
These articles are a good starting point:
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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.
What Does Treatment Include
Treatment for depression may involve individual, group, or family therapy or medication. Interpersonal therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy are two effective types of therapy for people with major depressive disorder. Interpersonal therapy helps a person improve their communication and relationships. CBT helps a person develop new coping skills and change unhealthy thoughts and beliefs.
Depending upon the severity of a persons depression, they may benefit from either therapy, medication, or both. There are many medications on the market for treating depression. Antidepressants are an effective type of medication for reducing some symptoms of depression. There are several different types of antidepressants including:
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors like , , and .
To learn more about medications for depression, set up a meeting with a psychiatrist, psychiatric nurse practitioner, or other medical provider that is licensed to prescribe antidepressants.
Support groups are another option for help. Depending upon the group, they may be run by a mental health professional or another peer in recovery. The National Institute on Mental Illness conducts local face-to-face and online support groups for anyone dealing with a mental health condition.
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How And When To Talk
No single method of communication works for everyone. Consider how you usually talk to the person. Which method offers the most intimacy and fosters the deepest dialogue?
In a 2017 Kaiser Permanente poll, 86% of respondents said that face-to-face discussions of depression are the best option. However, some people may feel more comfortable texting.
There are some instances in which it is not helpful or advisable to talk about mental health issues. Some tips include:
- Do not bring up depression during a fight or a time of high stress.
- Do not use depression as a shaming tactic.
- Wait for a time when the person is reasonably calm.
- Do not talk to someone when they are distracted or tired.
- Avoid blindsiding the other person, such as by bringing depression up for the first time in a fight.
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.
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Youre Only Like This Because Its So Trendy To Be Anxious Right Now
Anxiety disorders arent trendy theyre just incredibly common in fact, theyre the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults age 18 and older.
Let me make this perfectly plain: being diagnosed with a mental illness is not trendy
With some of the stigma surrounding mental illness starting to fade, more and more people are discussing their struggles with this debilitating condition.
While I would never argue against this discussion, I can see how it may cause those with little understanding of anxiety to think this is nothing more that a passing fad.
Let me make this perfectly plain: being diagnosed with a mental illness is not trendy. Its not tragically beautiful, romantic, fanciful or glamorous. Its a soul crushing, constant battle to reach a state of something even resembling normalcy.
Furthermore, treating anxiety as a trend only adds to the confusion and misconstrued ideas that lead to mental illness stigma.
Resist The Urge To Fix Or Give Advice
There is a time for adviceand that comes when someones ask for it. If they havent asked, lean towards support. There are times when you might even agree with them: Yes, this mental illness sucks, but medication sucks too. Once you give people the space to feel heard, their defenses go down and they are more open to a conversation.
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