Do The Opposite Of What The Depression Voice Suggests
The automatic, unhelpful voice in your head may talk you out of self-help. However, if you can learn to recognize it, you can learn to work through it.
If you believe an event wont be fun or worth your time, say to yourself, You might be right, but itll be better than just sitting here another night. You may soon see the automatic thought isnt always helpful.
How Are You Managing How Is Your Depression
This can give you some insight into how their treatment is going or if they need help getting professional assistance.
Depression is a medical condition. Its not a flaw or weakness. Its important to assure them theyre not weak or defective. If someone you love has depression, encourage them to seek professional help if they havent already done so. Remind them that asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.
Asking how their treatment is going can also encourage them to stick with their treatment plan. You may also tell them when youve noticed improvements. This can help validate its working, even if they dont always feel like it is.
One Note On Cheering Someone Up
Humans are naturally empathetic beings, so the desire to cheer up a loved one during a depressive episode is understandable. However, depression is like any other chronic condition: It can be managed and treated, but it cant just disappear overnight. When someone experiences a depressive episode, it may be helpful to be strategic when youre trying to cheer them up.
Recommended Reading: How Many Eating Disorders Are There
Are There Really Stages Of Depression
Psychologists have never proposed any official stages of depression. In fact, because depression and other mental illnesses tend to be varied and specific to the individual, stage theories arent often used to describe mental health experiences.
More often, stage theories, which outline the steps of a particular process, describe things like development, such as Piagets four stages of cognitive development and Freuds five stages of psychosexual development.
Can I Come Over And Hang Out
Levity can go a long ways, and a casual visit can help accomplish more than one thing.
One, your loved one might not be up for a group hang, but they may enjoy some one-on-one time to chat.
Two, you can help out with chores and housekeeping while youre there enjoying their company.
Keeping your environment generally organized and tidy may be among the first outward-facing things that slip when depression or anxiety worsen. This means that laundry and dishes might pile up.
This can be especially true when your loved one is also a caregiver of children or other people.
Dont make a show of helping out, and dont comment on how cleaning up will make them feel better. Just do what you can with their permission without seeking anything in return.
Be sure to ask and confirm a time before you show up. No one likes an unexpected visitor!
Don’t Miss: How To Play Panic Attack
How Can I Help A Loved One Who Is Depressed
If someone you know has depression, help them see a health care provider or mental health professional. You also can:
- Offer support, understanding, patience, and encouragement.
- Invite them out for walks, outings, and other activities.
- Help them stick to their treatment plan, such as setting reminders to take prescribed medications.
- Make sure they have transportation to therapy appointments.
- Remind them that, with time and treatment, the depression will lift.
Take comments about suicide seriously, and report them to your loved ones health care provider or therapist. If they are in immediate distress or thinking about hurting themselves, call 911 for emergency services or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
How Can You Talk To Someone About Depression
First, acknowledge your feelings when you talk to someone who is suffering from depression. Even though it may seem insignificant but acknowledging their feelings can help them feel heard and seen. If the person is in a lonely situation or not, acknowledging their suffering can make all the difference. If youve ever been in the same situation youll know that it can be very difficult to talk about depression. There are many ways you can show your support to someone.
First, there isnt a single cause of depression. It could be a combination combination of a variety of factors that trigger depression and can make it worse. Although it is possible to ask the person about their symptoms, its better not to make judgments or offer helpful solutions. Instead ask the person how theyre doing. This can help you determine the best course of action.
Recommended Reading: Where To Get Help For Eating Disorders
Do: Ask If Theyre Considering Suicide
Sometimes people are worried to mention or discuss suicide because they think it can put suicidal ideas into a persons mind. Research shows that this couldnt be farther from the truth. If someone is already considering suicide, you may be able to help them by directly asking about it and connecting with them.
If You Love Him Its Worth It
When you fall in love with a man, no obstacle seems too large. Depression can threaten a relationship, but couples can overcome it by understanding the illness and knowing how to respond to various situations.
It seems daunting, but these are the only situations you should prepare for. They are not guaranteed to happen. Either way, youll know how to protect your mental health and do your best to make things work with your man.If your partner is struggling with depression and its impacting your relationship, consider online couples counseling with a licensed therapist a convenient, inexpensive way to get your relationship back on track.
Talkspace articles are written by experienced mental health-wellness contributors they are grounded in scientific research and evidence-based practices. Articles are extensively reviewed by our team of clinical experts to ensure content is accurate and on par with current industry standards.
Our goal at Talkspace is to provide the most up-to-date, valuable, and objective information on mental health-related topics in order to help readers make informed decisions.
Articles contain trusted third-party sources that are either directly linked to in the text or listed at the bottom to take readers directly to the source.
Recommended Reading: Can You Join The Military With Anxiety
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.”
Be It Long Or Short All Seasons Change
You wont always feel this way. That was the perfect sentence that I could hear 50 times a day when I wanted out, out, out, of this world, says Therese J. Borchard, mental health advocate, author, and founder of the online depression community Project Hope & Beyond.
Those words dont judge, impose, or manipulate. What they do is convey hope, and HOPE is what keeps a person alive, or at least motivated to get to the next day to see if the light at the end of the tunnel is really a place of rebirth Borchard says.
Don’t Miss: Can You Join The Military If You Have Depression
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
How Do Antidepressant Drugs Work
In the brain, electrical signals speed messages from nerve cell to nerve cell but are relayed bychemical signals across the tiny gap between nerve cells. Antidepressant drugs affect those neurotransmitters, such as norepinephrine, serotonin, dopamine and others belonging to a class of chemicals known as monoamines.
Antidepressant medications such as the SSRI’s can increase or decrease neurotransmitters, act as substitute neurotransmitters, or regulate the receptors that the neurochemicals bind to. While those changes may contribute to the effects of antidepressant agents, they are not considered the main source of improvement. The reason is that those changes happen immediately, but the drugs can take six weeks or more to provide relief of symptoms. Researchers believe that the time lag is due to the development of new nerve cell connectionsneuroplasticitywhich pave the way for mental and behavioral flexibility.
Studies show that 40 to 60 percent of patients treated with an antidepressant experience an improvement in symptoms within six to eight weeks. Care standards specify that once remission is achieved, treatment should be continued for four to nine months.
Don’t Miss: How Often Is Schizophrenia Misdiagnosed
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.
The Bargaining Stage Following A Depression Diagnosis
If someone feels they’re responsible for their depression, they may become angry or engage in bargaining behavior, Dr. Cavallaro said. Some individuals may be mad that they have to deal with their depression to get better and express that frustration in therapy, especially when the low motivation that may arise due to their depression leaves them struggling to do simple tasks.
Read Also: Can You Be Depressed For No Reason
Dont Make Excuses For Them
Empathy and support are vital when living with someone with depression, but they will also need encouragement to push themselves and try to help themselves improve. Depression is difficult, but it can sometimes be used as an excuse to avoid doing things that will help them to feel better.
The best person to tell what someone with depression cant do versus what they wont do is often the person living with them. You will be able to tell better than anyone if they genuinely cant get out of bed all day or if they do not want to. Dont push them too hard, but do encourage them to push themselves beyond what they want to do.
What You Should Avoid Doing
Its easy to make mistakes when youre trying to help someone through depression, and you shouldnt beat yourself up too much. This is as new to you as it is to your friend. Forgive yourself for mistakes instead of withdrawing because you got one thing wrong.
Heres some things to avoid when supporting your loved one.
You May Like: How Does Bipolar Ionization Work
How Much Does Therapy Cost
Therapy can cost $100 or more per hour, but some therapists offer therapy on a sliding scale.
A persons health insurance may provide some level of coverage for therapy. A person without health insurance may wish to look into federally funded healthcare options.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America provides a list of important questions for a person to ask their therapist and insurance provider about costs.
How Can You Tell If Someone Is Dealing With Depression
Depression touches most Americans, whether they experience it personally or it affects someone they know. In fact, The National Institute of Mental Health reports its one of the most common mental health disorders in the United States an estimated 17.3 million adults were living with depression in 2017.
So how can you tell if a friend is just a bit sad or hassomething deeper brewing? There certainly are telltale signs, Dr. Borlandnotes. But since you dont necessarily see that person every day, you may haveto do more detective work.
He recommends watching for behavioral changes or anything that could be out of character for your friend. Some depression symptoms include:
- Lack of engagement:They lose interest in activities they used to enjoy or want to hang out less.
- Change in communication patterns: Youused to chat or hang on the regular, and now theyre MIA.
- Changes in hygiene and sleepingpatterns: Theyre sleeping less or all the time. Their appearance andhygiene no longer seem to be a priority.
- Displays of sadness or anger: Theirtemper now has a hairpin trigger, or maybe they seem more down than usual.
- Withdrawal from social outlets:Theyre missing from activities where they were formerly fixtures.
Recommended Reading: How To Come Out Of A Panic Attack
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.
Youre Just Being Selfish
Depression has nothing to do with being selfish or self-centered. A kind, giving person can have depression.
Depression can often be an isolating condition, with a visible symptom of withdrwal. Selfishness is putting yourself before all else withdrawal is to srhink back and therefore deny yourself before all else this is why depression intervention involves support.
You May Like: Can Lexapro Make You Depressed
Try Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills
DBT is a type of therapy you can do with a therapist or on your own and its packed with coping skills to try. DBT helps reduce the emotional intensity you feel in relation to everything thats happening around you and inside of you, said Sheila Houlahan, a producer, actress and suicide survivor. While DBT doesnt make something unpleasant stop, it did help me make peace with the unpleasant thing.
These DBT worksheets have long lists of tools. Houlahan shared some of her favorites, too, such as:
Dunking your head in cold water.
The first skill she suggested is dunking your head in ice water yep, seriously. What I highly recommend is fill up a sink with cold water, put some ice in it, then take a deep breath and submerge your entire face, holding your breath for 15 seconds, she explained. By doing this, when you come back up, it actually slows down your autonomous system, which is going to make that cycle stop. This activates your dive reflex, which slows your heart rate down.
Engaging in distractions.
If youre feeling less distressed, she recommended distracting yourself. Watch reruns of a favorite show or movie where you already know the plot, Houlahan said. Watch something you already know isnt going to be triggering. This way, you can safely lower your emotional levels until youre able to process it.