How Do I Tell People I Have A Mental Illness
You could explain that depression is an illness and that your symptoms are not your choice. Try practising what to say with your doctor, nurse or community worker – or with someone else you trust – first. Imagine how different people might react so you can be prepared for their response.
The Heads up website has tips for telling people in the workplace about your mental health condition.
Beyond Blue has a mental health program for the workplace, with advice for employers and employees on mental health conditions.
How To Talk To A Therapist About Depression
Are you trying to find someone to talk to?
That can be tough.
We live in a busy world today. Everyone seems to be rushing about.
When you do get someone to stop for a moment to listen, however, sometimes they dont want to hear your concerns.
- They might not understand exactly what youre trying to tell them, or what your concerns are.
- Other times they dont know how to react.
- Many times you get a few head nods, an I know how you feel, and nothing more.
That can be frustrating.
When you visit a therapist, however, youre talking with someone that wants to listen and is trained to understand your concerns.
Still, opening up can be hard. Lets go over a few ways about how to talk to a therapist about depression.
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What If My Symptoms Dont Improve
If youre not responding to treatment, you may live with treatment resistant depression. This is when your symptoms have not improved after at least 2 standard treatments. This can also be known as treatment-refractory depression.
There is currently no official criteria used to diagnose treatment resistant depression.
What treatment is available for treatment-resistant depression?There are treatment options for treatment resistant depression. Even if antidepressants have not worked already for you, your doctor may suggest a different antidepressant from a different class.
The new antidepressant you are offered will depend on the first antidepressant you were given.
Sometimes your doctor can prescribe a second type of medication to go with your antidepressant. This can sometimes help the antidepressant work better than it does by itself.
Where antidepressants have not worked, your doctor may suggest talking therapies, ECT or brain stimulation treatments. See the previous section for more information on these.
What is an implanted vagus nerve stimulator, and how is it used in treatment resistant depression?If you live with treatment resistant depression, and youve not responded to other treatments, you may be able ask for an implanted vagus nerve stimulator.
Please speak to your doctor if youre interested in this treatment and for more information. You may be able to get this treatment funded through an Individual Funding Request.
- NHS – Your Rights by clicking here.
You Can’t Concentrate Or Focus
Forgetting work deadlines or when to pick up your kids from a playdate? Feeling like your mind resembles an out-of-focus photo, and the fuzziness has made a dent in the way you weigh choices and make decisions? That’s your brain on depression. Being preoccupied with thoughts of sadness and emptiness can plunge you into a head fog that affects your job, memory, and decision-making skills, said Wolkin. In turn, that unfocused thinking can lead you to make poor choices or take on unhealthy, risky behavior.
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What To Do If You Think A Friend Is Considering Suicide
Suicide isnt inevitable. We can all help prevent suicide. If you believe someone you know may be thinking about suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255 for free, any time, 24/7.
The hotline also offers you a toolkit for supporting people on social media, down to specific platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
They can help you determine how to identify someone in need of support and who to contact within the social media community if youre worried about their safety.
What Questions Should I Ask While Calling A Depression Hotline
Living with mental health challenges can be difficult and confusing. Free depression hotlines can help you successfully navigate this period in your life by answering questions that you may not even realize you needed answered.
Here are some questions to consider asking when you call a depression hotline:
- What are some common symptoms of depression?
- Do I actually have depression, or am I just sad?
- Will I feel like this for the rest of my life?
- Is it possible to have more than one mental illness at a time?
- What can I do to start feeling better?
- What should I expect when I seek treatment?
- What levels of treatment are there for depression?
- What type of therapy or medication can help me resolve my depression?
- Will I have to be on medication for the rest of my life?
- Will insurance cover the cost of treatment?
- If I don’t have insurance, how much will treatment cost? Are there any free or low-cost resources in my community?
- What should I do next?
Watching a loved one struggle with depression can be just as difficult and frustrating as experiencing it firsthand. Family members may feel helpless or even give up trying to help their loved one. It is important for family and friends to know that resources are available for them as well.
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How To Speak Supportively To Someone With Depression
This article was co-authored by John A. Lundin, PsyD. John Lundin, Psy. D. is a clinical psychologist with 20 years experience treating mental health issues. Dr. Lundin specializes in treating anxiety and mood issues in people of all ages. He received his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Wright Institute, and he practices in San Francisco and Oakland in California’s Bay Area. This article has been viewed 24,073 times.
Depression is a serious mental health issue. If someone you love is depressed, you probably want to help. People with depression are often hesitant to open up, so gently encourage the person to talk. Let them know you’re there for them and ask what, specifically, you can do to help. Avoid dismissing the depression. Instead of telling the person to perk up, acknowledge their issues are real and validate their feelings.
How Are Depression And Anxiety Diagnosed
There are no specific tests but your GP may perform some blood tests for other health conditions that share similar symptoms with depression or anxiety.
Your GP will need to get a good picture of the way youre feeling mentally and physically. They will ask you lots of questions about your symptoms and the changes youve noticed.
It can be difficult to think about specific answers on-the-spot but the following suggestions might help you plan ahead for your appointment.
- Make a list of all your symptoms, whether they are worse at certain times of the day or on particular occasions, how long youve had them and their effect on your day-to-day life and relationship with others.
- Explain any circumstances that could be contributing to these symptoms and the way you feel.
- Take a list of all medications you currently take, including any supplements or non-prescription medication.
- Be as open and honest as you can remember anything you say is confidential.
Also Check: How To Know If You Are Diagnosed With Depression
You’re Dealing With Unexplained Aches And Pains
“Emotional pain from depression that you aren’t getting help for can be channeled throughout your body and show up as physical ailments, like headaches, stomach problems, neck and back pain, even nausea,” said Thomas. “I see this with many of my patients they’re holding so much sadness and distress inside, these feelings end up playing out in other ways.” Not every cramp or twinge is a sign that you are depressed, of course. But if you’re suffering from a chronic ailment you can’t attribute to another cause that isn’t clearing up on its own,” see a healthcare provider to get it checked out, but also consider it a possible sign of depression too,” said Thomas.
Things To Not Say To Someone With Depression
Here are a few phrases among the many which should not be uttered to a depressed person:
All you have to do is think positive thoughts. Im not sure what youre so depressed about.
I bet everything will be fine.
I stopped eating sugar and was cured! You should give it a shot.
All you have to do now is snap out of it.
There are just so many people who are in poorer shape than you.
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What To Expect Next
If your doctor diagnoses you with depression, there are a few treatment routes he may take. First, any underlying health problems will be treated. Then, depending on your type and severity of depression, the doctor may:
- Refer you to a psychiatrist, psychologist or therapist
- Prescribe medication
- Adjust current medications
- Link you with community resources
If you begin taking medication, its wise to follow up with a psychiatrist who specializes in mental health medications. That way, youll ensure you are taking the appropriate medication and receive care specialized to mental health. Make sure to continue your treatment, even if youre feeling better.
What Can I Do About Depression
If you think you have depression, Aware recommends that you speak to your GP or a mental health professional. This will help you to get a correct diagnosis and decide which approach to treatment is best for you.
If you believe a loved one may be experiencing depression, we suggest you access our information specifically for relatives here.
Finding The Words: How to talk to your GP about your Mental Health
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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:
You’re Preoccupied With Thoughts Of Death
Persistent thoughts about ending your life, wondering how friends and family would feel if you went and did it, pondering different ways to carry out the act, and even general thoughts about death are all strong indicators that it’s time to reach out for professional help, said Wolkin. “Because these thoughts pose such a direct threat to your life, it’s important to seek help even if you don’t recognize any other symptoms of depression in yourself,” said Wolkin.
If you or someone you know is having thoughts about hurting themselves or committing suicide’ please seek immediate help. The following resources, as suggested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , can help:
- Call 1800273TALK to reach a 24hour crisis center or dial 911. 1800273TALK is the National Suicide Prevention Lifelineexternal icon, which provides free’ confidential help to people in crisis. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrationexternal icon runs this lifeline.
- Get help from your primary doctor or other health care provider.
- Reach out to a close friend or loved one.
- Contact a minister, spiritual leader, or someone else in your faith community.
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What Do I Do If Im Worried That A Relative Or Friend Has Depression Or Anxiety
If you think a friend or relative is experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety, try to talk to them about it.
You may feel uncomfortable bringing up a sensitive topic, especially if the person you’re concerned about doesn’t often talk about their emotions. Explain why you are concerned but avoid diagnosing their problem or forcing solutions.
They may be unwilling to talk about it, but let them know that you’re willing to listen when they’re ready.
There are various ways you can help them, such as:
- Offer your support, listen and reassure them that how theyre feeling can be improved.
- Stay in touch, call or visit regularly. The risk of depression increases when people feel alone and unsupported.
- Encourage them to make an appointment with their GP or another health professional. Offer to go with them to appointments.
- Encourage them to keep active and healthy. Plan occasional outings to get them out of the house.
Supporting a relative or friend with depression can be both rewarding and stressful. There is information and support for carers where you can get help for the difficulties you experience. Contact Carers Direct, Carers UK and the Carers Trust for more information.
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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How Can I Help Someone With Depression
Depression is a serious but treatable disorder that affects millions of people, from young to old and from all walks of life. It gets in the way of everyday life, causing tremendous pain, hurting not just those suffering from it but also impacting everyone around them.
If someone you love is depressed, you may be experiencing any number of difficult emotions, including helplessness, frustration, anger, fear, guilt, and sadness. These feelings are all normal. Its not easy dealing with a friend or family members depression. And if you neglect your own health, it can become overwhelming.
That said, your companionship and support can be crucial to your loved ones recovery. You can help them to cope with depression symptoms, overcome negative thoughts, and regain their energy, optimism, and enjoyment of life. Start by learning all you can about depression and how to best talk about it with your friend or family member. But as you reach out, dont forget to look after your own emotional healthyoull need it to provide the full support your loved one needs.
Understanding depression in a friend or family member
Depression is a serious condition. Dont underestimate the seriousness of depression. Depression drains a persons energy, optimism, and motivation. Your depressed loved one cant just snap out of it by sheer force of will.
Betterhelp: A Better Alternative
Those who are seeking therapy online may also be interested in BetterHelp. BetterHelp offers plenty of formats of therapy, ranging from live chats, live audio sessions and live video sessions. In addition, unlimited messaging through texting, audio messages and even video messages are available here.
BetterHelp also offers couples therapy and therapy for teenagers in its platform. Furthermore, group sessions can also be found in this platform, covering more than twenty different topics related to mental health and mental illness. The pricing of BetterHelp is also pretty cost-effective, especially considering the fact that the platform offers financial aid to most users.
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Diagnostic Tests To Expect
Unfortunately, there isn’t currently a definitive lab test that can be used to diagnose depression so your doctor will do a few things. First, your doctor will perform a physical exam and run several different blood tests to rule out other conditions that might be causing your symptoms. Some of the possible tests might include:
- Complete blood count
What Does The Doctor Look For To Make A Depression Diagnosis
A doctor can rule out other conditions that may cause depression with a physical examination, a personal interview, and lab tests. The doctor will also do a complete diagnostic evaluation, discussing any family history of depression or other mental illness.
Your doctor will evaluate your symptoms, including how long you’ve had them, when they started, and how they were treated. Theyâll ask about the way you feel, including whether you have any symptoms of depression such as:
- Sadness or depressed mood most of the day or almost every day
- Loss of enjoyment in things that were once pleasurable
- Major change in weight or appetite
- Insomnia or excessive sleep almost every day
- Physical restlessness or sense of being run-down that others can notice
- Fatigue or loss of energy almost every day
- Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness or excessive guilt almost every day
- Problems with concentration or making decisions almost every day
- Recurring thoughts of death or suicide, suicide plan, or suicide attempt
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