Support Them To Seek Help For Depression
You can’t force someone to seek help if they don’t want to, but letting them know that it isn’t a sign of weakness to ask for help, can be a very proactive step in their road to recovery.
Depression is treatable, and this is a key message to try and reinforce to your loved one. Researching and connecting with a mental health professional will enable your loved one’s condition to be evaluated and some proactive next steps put in place.
If they’re 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. Aside from talking to a professional, it’s also a good idea to encourage your loved one to open up to someone else they trust, whether that’s a friend or family member. This means that they are able to broaden their network of support and lean on other people for help and advice, as well as you.
You don’t have to struggle with a mental health condition; expert treatment is available. Get the support you need today by calling us on: 0800 840 3219 or sending an enquiry form online.
Dont Take A Stance On Medication
Medication can be very helpful for depression, but it doesn’t work well for everyone.
Some people dislike its side effects and prefer to treat depression with or natural remedies. Even if you think your friend should take an antidepressant, remember that choosing to take medication is a personal decision.
Likewise, if you personally don’t believe in medication, avoid the subject when talking to them. For some people, medication is key in getting them to a place where they can fully engage in therapy and start taking steps toward recovery.
At the end of the day, whether or not someone with depression takes medication is a very personal decision that’s generally best left to them and their healthcare provider.
Depression can increase a person’s risk for or self-injury, so it’s helpful to know how to recognize the signs.
Some signs that might indicate your friend is having serious suicidal thoughts include:
- frequent mood swings or personality changes
- talking about death or dying
- purchasing a weapon
- getting rid of belongings or giving away treasured possessions
- talking about feeling trapped or wanting a way out
- pushing people away or saying they want to be left alone
- saying goodbye with more feeling than usual
If you think your friend is considering suicide, urge them to call their therapist while you’re with them or ask your friend if you can call for them.
Know The Symptoms And Look Out For Them
It sounds basic, but just knowing the symptoms can be a huge help. A lot of people with depression don’t even realize that they have it. In fact, the average time between developing depression and seeking help is 5 years. Yikes.
Look out for these signs:
- They often seem sad or tearful.
- They talk about feeling empty or worthless.
- They don’t spend as much time with you as they used to, or don’t express much interest in doing their usual .
- They’re quick to get angry or irritable.
- They don’t have much energy, and household chores go undone.
- They often seem tired or listless.
- They don’t seem to have an appetite.
- They’re forgetful or indecisive.
How Can I Take Care Of Myself
Once you begin treatment, you should gradually start to feel better. Go easy on yourself during this time. Try to do things you used to enjoy. Even if you don’t feel like doing them, they can improve your mood. Other things that may help:
- Try to get some physical activity. Just 30 minutes a day of walking can boost mood.
- Try to maintain a regular bedtime and wake-up time.
- Eat regular, healthy meals.
- Do what you can as you can. Decide what must get done and what can wait.
- Try to connect with other people, and talk with people you trust about how you are feeling.
- Postpone important life decisions until you feel better.
- Avoid using alcohol, nicotine, or drugs, including medications not prescribed for you.
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
- Decreased energy, fatigue, or being “slowed down”
- 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.
Avoid Being Critical Or Making Assumptions
If you have never experienced depression, it can be difficult to understand what your loved one is going through, which is why it’s so important to avoid being critical, impatient, or putting pressure on them to recover. They’re probably being very self-critical already and therefore, responding to their needs in a non-judgemental way shows them that you recognise that what they’re going through is difficult, even if you can’t relate to it yourself.
Remember, depression is different for everyone and is experienced subjectively. Therefore it’s really important that you don’t try to make comparisons or assumptions, or try to imagine how you would feel in your loved one’s situation. The only thing this is likely to do is make them feel invalidated and misunderstood, which could then lead to a further decline in their mood as well as discouraging them from opening up.
Also, try not to take things personally. Your loved one may seem quite apathetic and disinterested, both in what you have to say and in life more generally. However, this isn’t a reflection on how they feel about you or your efforts to help them, it’s just simply the nature of depression. Helping them to open up is the first step on their road to recovery – the key is patience and persistence.
Be Alert To Signs That Treatment Is Not Working
On the other hand, the absence of any such signs most likely means that one’s depression is not improving and may be getting worse, Halaris notes, adding that a major concern in the absence of improvement is whether your loved one is having suicidal thoughts.
“This is where you need to very gently raise the question whether they are having even fleeting thoughts of their life not being worth living,” Halaris says.
According to Mayo Clinic, signs your loved one may be considering suicide include:
- Making statements such as “I wish I were dead” or “I wish I hadn’t been born”
- Purchasing a gun or hoarding pills
- Fixating on violence, death, or dying
- Withdrawing from social contact with others
- Feeling hopeless or trapped in their current situation
- Telling people, “goodbye,” as if they’re going to disappear
- Getting their affairs in order or giving away their belongings with no other plausible explanation for doing so
If your loved one shows signs of considering or planning to take their own life, Halaris and Riba recommend taking steps to reduce their risk of attempting or completing suicide, such as:
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 you’re 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 .
It’s okay to be a little selfish about your time every now and then.
How To Help A Depressed Friend
Do you have a friend who’s living with depression? You’re not alone.
According to the most recent estimates from the National Institute of Mental Health, just over 7 percent of all U.S. adults experienced an episode of major depression in 2017.
But not everyone experiences in the same way, and can vary.
If your friend is experiencing depression, they may:
- seem sad or tearful
- appear more pessimistic than usual or hopeless about the future
- talk about feeling guilty, empty, or worthless
- seem less interested in spending time together or communicate less frequently than they normally would
- get upset easily or are unusually irritable
- have less energy, move slowly, or seem generally listless
- have less interest in their appearance than usual or neglect basic hygiene, such as showering and brushing their teeth
- have trouble sleeping or sleep much more than usual
- care less about their usual activities and interests
- seem forgetful or have trouble concentrating or deciding on things
- eat more or less than usual
- talk about death or suicide
Here, we’ll go over 10 things you can do to help as well as a few things to avoid.
Flexible Jobs For People With Depression
There are plenty of good paying jobs available where you can set your own hours to help keep your stress level down. Many companies in the United States are beginning to become more aware of the benefits they receive when making sure their employees aren’t spending too much time at work. Employers that require their employees to spend time working long hours risk having employees that are dissatisfied and burned out. Employers that fail to provide an appropriate work life balance for their employees set the stage for high turnover rates.
If you’re struggling to find a job, have you considered going into business for yourself? Starting your own business doesn’t mean that you need to necessarily have your sights on the New York Stock Exchange, although it’s not out of the realm of possibilities either. There are great jobs for people with depression.
Jobs for people to be their own boss
Do The Opposite Of What The Depression Voice Suggests
The negative, irrational voice in your head may talk you out of . However, if you can learn to recognize it, you can learn to replace it. Use logic as a weapon. Address each thought individually as it occurs.
If you believe an event won’t be fun or worth your time, say to yourself, “You might be right, but it’ll be better than just sitting here another night.” You may soon see the negative isn’t always realistic.
A lengthy to-do list may be so weighty that you’d rather do nothing. Instead of compiling a long list of tasks, consider setting one or two smaller goals.
When you’ve done a small thing, set your eyes on another small thing, and then another. This way, you have a list of tangible achievements and not an untouched to-do list.
All goals are worthy of recognition, and all successes are worthy of celebration. When you achieve a goal, do your best to recognize it.
You may not feel like celebrating with a cake and confetti, but recognizing your own successes can be a very powerful weapon against depression’s negative weight.
The memory of a job well-done may be especially powerful against negative talk and overgeneralization.
If depressive symptoms disrupt your daily routine, setting a gentle schedule may help you feel in control. But these plans don’t have to map out an entire day.
Focus on times when you feel the most disorganized or scattered.
What You Eat And Drink Can Also Affect How You Feel
There’s no magic diet that will treat depression. But what you put into your body on the way you feel.
Eating a diet rich in lean meats, vegetables, and grains may be a great place to start. Try to limit stimulants like caffeine, coffee, and soda, and depressants like alcohol.
Some people also and have more energy when they avoid sugar, preservatives, and processed foods.
If you have the means, consider meeting with a doctor or registered dietitian for guidance.
Get A Handle On Your Household Chores
Depression can make it difficult to complete household chores, such as doing the dishes or paying bills.
But a pile of paperwork, ?the stack of dirty dishes, and floor covered in dirty clothes will only magnify your feelings of worthlessness.
Take control of your daily chores. Start small and work on one project at a time. Getting up and moving can help you start to feel better in itself. But, seeing your progress in the home can be key to helping you feel better.
Avoid Judgment And Blame
If someone you love is depressed and no longer able to do the activities they used to, including working or helping around the house, you may feel like they are lazy. When you get frustrated, try to remember that someone who is depressed isn’t lazy—they’re ill.?? Everyday activities like cleaning the house, paying bills, or feeding the dog may seem overwhelming, if not impossible, to someone who is depressed.
If your loved one’s responsibilities around the house are piling up, you may not be able to take them on yourself.
In addition to resisting the urge to blame your loved one, try not to blame yourself either. Know that it’s OK if you need to ask for help.
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 someone’s 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.
Sleeping Patterns And Depression
Depression can disrupt sleep patterns. It’s essential to try to restore a regular sleep pattern to make a full recovery. Some tips for restoring a regular sleep pattern include:
- Try to go to sleep and get up at about the same time each day.
- If you’re worrying about things during the night, set aside some time for problem solving during the day.
- Avoid drinking caffeine after 4 pm and try not to drink more than two cups of caffeine-type drinks each day.
- Avoid using alcohol to help you sleep. As the alcohol is broken down in your body, it causes you to sleep less deeply and to wake more frequently.
- Allow yourself time to wind down before going to bed. If you are working or studying, stop at least 30 minutes before bedtime and do something relaxing.
- Give your mind a break from online activity such as social media for an hour before bedtime, and consider putting your phone in a separate room from your bedroom at night time.
What Are The Different Types Of Depression
Two common forms of depression are:
- Major depression, which includes symptoms of depression most of the time for at least 2 weeks that typically interfere with one’s ability to work, sleep, study, and eat.
- Persistent depressive disorder , which often includes less severe symptoms of depression that last much longer, typically for at least 2 years.
Other forms of depression include:
- Perinatal depression, which occurs when a woman experiences major depression during pregnancy or after delivery .
- Seasonal affective disorder, which comes and goes with the seasons, typically starting in late fall and early winter and going away during spring and summer.
- Depression with symptoms of , which is a severe form of depression where a person experiences psychosis symptoms, such as delusions or hallucinations .
Individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder also experience depression.
Ways To Help Yourself Through Depression
If you are going through depression, it’s best to get help from a therapist. To get the most from your therapy, you can do things to help yourself, too.
Here are five things you can do to feel better. They may seem simple, but they can help a lot.
Be There For Them And Let Them Know It
Depression can have a profoundly negative impact not just on the emotional elements of a person’s life, but also on the more practical and functional aspects. They may struggle to keep on top of daily chores and responsibilities due to a lack of energy or general interest in day-to-day life.
it can be enormously helpful to offer practical support to your loved one, whenever they need it. Ask them about the ways in which you can help them and offer suggestions – they may find it useful if you could complete their weekly shop, help them with some laundry or cleaning, or even help them to cook a few healthy meals.
Also, little gestures to let your loved one know that you’re thinking of them and you’re there for them can go a long way. Buy them their favourite magazine, surprise them with flowers, pick up the phone to tell them you love them, or just sit with them in silence – it can all really help.
Other Sites That Can Help
– Support, education and information for family and wh?nau.Carers New Zealand – Information and support for people in caregiver roles.Mental Health Foundation – Information about mental health covering a range of topics.Small Steps – A range of simple tools you can use to manage your stress, anxiety and low mood.
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 don’t know where to start, the following suggestions may help. But remember that being a compassionate listener is much more important than giving advice. You don’t 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.
Don’t 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.
Things People With Depression Want You To Know
Depression is more than just feeling unhappy or fed up for a few days. Depression affects people in different ways and can cause a wide variety of symptoms. Young Scot, Dionne McFarlane, has shared her experiences of living with depression.
For people living depression it can be difficult for the people that are close to them to understand. Depression is the most common mental health issue in the UK. Through my experience of living with depression, this is what I think is important for people to?know and try to understand.?
If you’ve been affected by depression, find out where you can get help from
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 13,670 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.
Dont Judge Or Criticize
From the outside, you’ll be able to see lots of ways in which your loved one could improve their life. However, when they’re depressed or anxious, it can be almost impossible for them to think rationally about these topics. So, whether you’re trying to figure out how to help your spouse with depression or how to help your friend with depression, avoid negative judgments and critical comments at all costs.
In particular, you should avoid platitudes masquerading as advice, such as “You just need to remember that the glass isn’t half empty, it’s half full!”.
Before you say anything, make sure it doesn’t accidentally imply that the person is making a choice to be anxious or depressed.
Mental health issues are just like any other, physical health problem; they are involuntary. Suggesting otherwise can make your loved one feel guilty, misunderstood or isolated. All of these feelings make depression and anxiety symptoms worse, not better.
Or Spend Time With Loved Ones
Depression can tempt you to isolate yourself and withdraw from your friends and family, but face-to-face time can help wash away those tendencies.
If you’re unable to spend time together in person, phone calls or video chats can also be helpful.
Try to remind yourself these people care about you. Resist the temptation to feel like you’re a burden. You need the interaction — and they likely do, too.
When you do the same thing day after day, you use the same parts of your brain. You can challenge your neurons and alter your brain chemistry by doing something entirely different.
also shows doing new things can improve your overall well-being and strengthen your social relationships.
To reap these benefits, consider trying a new sport, taking a creative class, or learning a new cooking technique.
Knock out a few birds with one stone — spending time with other people and doing something new — by volunteering and giving your time to someone or something else.
You may be used to receiving help from friends, but reaching out and providing help may actually improve your mental health more.
Bonus: People who volunteer experience physical benefits, too. This includes a reduced risk of .
When you do something you love, or even when you find a new activity you enjoy, you may be able to boost your mental health more by taking time to be thankful for it.
shows gratitude can have lasting positive effects on your overall mental health.