Monday, November 28, 2022

How To Support Someone With Depression And Anxiety

Don't Miss

Things To Remember About Depression

How to Help Someone with Depression and Anxiety

Depression isnt anyones fault

Its important to understand that your loved one cant help the way theyre feeling and its not their fault. Treating your loved one with compassion and understanding is incredibly important.

You cant flick a switch and cure depression

Unfortunately, theres no quick fix for depression and your loved one cant simply pull themselves together. It will take small steps for them to recover, and what helps one person will not necessarily help someone else.

Patience is invaluable

When youre suffering from depression, the thought of getting out of bed and going through the daily motions can be exhausting. However, this doesnt mean your loved one lacks the motivation to get better. Allow them to go at their own pace and comfort level, and support them where you can.

Depression is a serious but treatable condition

Your role here isnt to fix your loved ones depression. In most cases, it takes professional treatment from highly qualified people to overcome depression. The best thing you can do is be as supportive, compassionate and patient as possible.

Further reading on depression:

Whats The Link Between Anxiety & Depression

Anxiety and depression may be linked in several ways. First, both issues could have similar contributing factors. Second, the symptoms of anxiety could contribute to depression, and vice versa.

Mental health concerns are caused by a complex mix of contributing factors, including early childhood experiences, trauma, social environments, genetics, personality, life stressors , past and present relationships, medical issues, and more.

Similar factors could contribute to both anxiety and depression.

To give a hypothetical example: Say June is facing a ton of stress at work and having problems in her marriage. Because of these issues, June may be more likely to feel worried, depressed, exhausted, on edge, and irritable. She may have difficulty sleeping and little time for healthy routines like exercising, eating regularly, and connecting with friends.

Depending on June and her situation, she may be able to cope effectively with these concerns. Or, due to a combination of the factors described above, Junes symptoms could escalate into anxiety, depression, or anxiety AND depression.

Anxiety Contributes to Depression Depression Contributes to Anxiety

One mental health concern can also feed into other mental health concerns. The symptoms of anxiety and depression take a toll on many areas of a persons life, including their work, family, hobbies, and social relationships. These negative effects could in turn contribute to further mental health concerns.

Depression Quotes To Explain How Depressed People Feel

Depression quotes can make you feel sad, numb, or hopeful about overcoming this terrible thought disorder. In this article, we how you find some relatable quotes about depression to know youre not alone. However, more importantly, we hope you find inspirational quotes about depression that help inspire you to work towards building a better day. So, lets dive into some of these depression quotes.

If youre struggling with depression right now, you can try this guided meditation for suffering to help you overcome being depressed. By working with a therapist, psychiatrist, and using a meditation app like Declutter The mind, you can work towards overcoming depression.

Recommended Reading: Define Phobia Disorder

Offering Support When Loved Ones Struggle With Anxiety And Depression

If your partner is experiencing anxiety or depression and tells you that they dont want to go to a social event, you shouldnt try to convince them to go. This really involves recognizing and acknowledging their limits. You can offer support by staying home with them. Or, if they decide to go to the social event, you can tell them that you will take them home at any point.

Anxiety feelings may intensify about the fear of the situation and its potential outcomes. Sometimes, when the person suffering from anxiety gets into the social situation, their fears may be quelled. If they are not, however, recognize the effort that they put in by simply showing up.

Although this is just a specific example, it can be applied to a variety of situations. Meeting your partner or loved one where they are mentally and being accommodating is part of maintaining a healthy relationship.

Taking Care Of Yourself

PPT

Theres a natural impulse to want to fix the problems of people we care about, but you cant control someone elses depression. You can, however, control how well you take care of yourself. Its just as important for you to stay healthy as it is for the depressed person to get treatment, so make your own well-being a priority.

Remember the advice of airline flight attendants: put on your own oxygen mask before you assist anyone else. In other words, make sure your own health and happiness are solid before you try to help someone who is depressed. You wont do your friend or family member any good if you collapse under the pressure of trying to help. When your own needs are taken care of, youll have the energy you need to lend a helping hand.

Speak up for yourself. You may be hesitant to speak out when the depressed person in your life upsets you or lets you down. However, honest communication will actually help the relationship in the long run. If youre suffering in silence and letting resentment build, your loved one will pick up on these negative emotions and feel even worse. Gently talk about how youre feeling before pent-up emotions make it too hard to communicate with sensitivity.

Read Also: Fear Of Bees Phobia

What To Do If You Think A Friend Is Considering Suicide

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, help is out there. Reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255 for free, confidential support 24/7.

Suicide isnt inevitable. We can all help prevent suicide.

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline offers you a toolkit for supporting people on social media, down to specific platforms like Facebook and Twitter. They 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.

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: The Definition Of Phobia

Supporting Your Loved Ones Treatment

One of the most important things you can do to help a friend or relative with depression is to give your unconditional love and support throughout the treatment process. This involves being compassionate and patient, which is not always easy when dealing with the negativity, hostility, and moodiness that go hand in hand with depression.

Provide whatever assistance the person needs . Help your loved one make and keep appointments, research treatment options, and stay on schedule with any treatment prescribed.

Have realistic expectations. It can be frustrating to watch a depressed friend or family member struggle, especially if progress is slow or stalled. Having patience is important. Even with optimal treatment, recovery from depression doesnt happen overnight.

Lead by example. Encourage the person to lead a healthier, mood-boosting lifestyle by doing it yourself: maintain a positive outlook, eat better, avoid alcohol and drugs, exercise, and lean on others for support.

Encourage activity. Invite your loved one to join you in uplifting activities, like going to a funny movie or having dinner at a favorite restaurant. Exercise is especially helpful, so try to get your depressed loved one moving. Going on walks together is one of the easiest options. Be gently and lovingly persistentdont get discouraged or stop asking.

Need to talk to someone?

What Are The Treatments For Depression

How to Help Someone With Depression or Anxiety

Many helpful treatments for depression are available. Treatment for depression can help reduce symptoms and shorten how long the depression lasts. Treatment can include getting therapy and/or taking medications. Your doctor or a qualified mental health professional can help you determine what treatment is best for you.

  • Therapy. Many people benefit from psychotherapyalso called therapy or counseling.7,8 Most therapy lasts for a short time and focuses on thoughts feelings and issues that are happening in your life now. In some cases understanding your past can help but finding ways to address what is happening in your life now can help you cope and prepare you for challenges in the future.With therapy, youll work with your therapist to learn skills to help you cope with life, change behaviors that are causing problems and find solutions. Do not feel shy or embarrassed about talking openly and honestly about your feelings and concerns. This is an important part of getting better.Some common goals of therapy include:
  • Getting healthier
  • Making sense of past painful events
  • Identifying things that worsen your depression
  • Having better relationships with family and friends
  • Understanding why something bothers you and creating a plan to deal with it
  • Dont stop taking an antidepressant without first talking to your doctor. Stopping your medicine suddenly can cause symptoms or worsen depression. Work with your doctor to safely adjust how much you take.
  • You May Like: Vasovagal Syncope Panic Attack

    Tip : Support Treatment

    Despite the importance of your love and support, it isnt always enough. Many people who have been traumatized need professional PTSD therapy. But bringing it up can be touchy. Think about how youd feel if someone suggested that you needed therapy.

    Wait for the right time to raise your concerns. Dont bring it up when youre arguing or in the middle of a crisis. Also, be careful with your language. Avoid anything that implies that your loved one is crazy. Frame it in a positive, practical light: treatment is a way to learn new skills that can be used to handle a wide variety of PTSD-related challenges.

    Emphasize the benefits. For example, therapy can help them become more independent and in control. Or it can help reduce the anxiety and avoidance that is keeping them from doing the things they want to do.

    Focus on specific problems. If your loved one shuts down when you talk about PTSD or counseling, focus instead on how treatment can help with specific issues like anger management, anxiety, or concentration and memory problems.

    Acknowledge the hassles and limitations of therapy. For example, you could say, I know that therapy isnt a quick or magical cure, and it may take a while to find the right therapist. But even if it helps a little, it will be worth it.

    Encourage your loved one to join a support group. Getting involved with others who have gone through similar traumatic experiences can help some people with PTSD feel less damaged and alone.

    Tip : Be A Good Listener

    While you shouldnt push a person with PTSD to talk, if they do choose to share, try to listen without expectations or judgments. Make it clear that youre interested and that you care, but dont worry about giving advice. Its the act of listening attentively that is helpful to your loved one, not what you say.

    A person with PTSD may need to talk about the traumatic event over and over again. This is part of the healing process, so avoid the temptation to tell your loved one to stop rehashing the past and move on. Instead, offer to talk as many times as they need.

    Some of the things your loved one tells you might be very hard to listen to. Its okay to dislike what you hear, but its important to respect their feelings and reactions. If you come across as disapproving, horrified, or judgmental, they are unlikely to open up to you again.

    Also Check: Psychosis Untreated

    The Risk Of Suicide Is Real

    What to do in a crisis situation

    If you believe your loved one is at an immediate risk for suicide, do NOT leave them alone.

    In the U.S., dial 911 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.

    In other countries, call your countrys emergency services number or visit IASP to find a suicide prevention helpline.

    It may be hard to believe that the person you know and love would ever consider something as drastic as suicide, but a depressed person may not see any other way out. Depression clouds judgment and distorts thinking, causing a normally rational person to believe that death is the only way to end the pain theyre feeling.

    Since suicide is a very real danger when someone is depressed, its important to know the warning signs:

    • Talking about suicide, dying, or harming oneself a preoccupation with death
    • Expressing feelings of hopelessness or self-hate
    • Acting in dangerous or self-destructive ways
    • Getting affairs in order and saying goodbye
    • Seeking out pills, weapons, or other lethal objects
    • A sudden sense of calm after depression

    If you think a friend or family member might be considering suicide, dont wait, talk to them about your concerns. Many people feel uncomfortable bringing up the topic but it is one of the best things you can do for someone who is thinking about suicide. Talking openly about suicidal thoughts and feelings can save a persons life, so speak up if youre concerned and seek professional help immediately!

    Help Them To Find Support

    Depression Awareness Week â infographic

    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.

    Read Also: Feretrephobia

    Help Someone Who Is Anxious To Temper Their Thinking

    Youll be a more useful support person if you educate yourself about cognitive-behavioral models of anxiety, which you can do by reading or attending a therapy session with your loved one. But, in lieu of that, you might try using some techniques that can be helpful to people suffering from anxiety.

    Typically, anxious people have a natural bias towards thinking about worst-case scenarios. To help them get some perspective on this, you can use a cognitive therapy technique where you ask them to consider three questions:

    • Whats the worst that could happen?
    • Whats the best that could happen?
    • Whats most realistic or likely?

    So, if your loved one is anxious that they were supposed to hear from their parents hours ago but havent, you can suggest they consider the worst, best, and most likely explanations for the lack of contact.

    Take care not to overly reassure your loved one that their fears wont come to pass. Its more useful to emphasize their coping ability. For example, if theyre worried about having a panic attack on a plane, you could say, That would be extremely unpleasant and scary, but youd deal with it. And, if your loved one is feeling anxious that someone else is angry with them or disappointed in them, its often useful to remind them that you can only ever choose your own actions and not completely control other peoples responses.

    Unsure How To Help A Friend With Depression Or Anxiety Here Are Five Ways

    When people find out that I am a clinical psychologist, one of the most common responses I get is, How do I help someone in my life struggling with mental health issues? There is a reason this response occurs with such frequency. In 2017, 7.1 percent of all adults in the United States had one or more major depressive episodes, and 19.1 percent met diagnostic criteria for at least one anxiety disorder. Now consider that these numbers dont include any of the following:

  • People who had less severe symptoms of depression or anxiety
  • People who had significant depressive episodes and anxiety disorders prior to 2017
  • People who struggled with mental health problems other than depression and anxiety in 2017
  • These facts demonstrate that the percentage of individuals struggling with significant mental health problems at any given time is staggering. As such, virtually all people are closely acquainted with at least one person who is currently struggling with a mental health problem.

    The impact of having a loved one struggling with depression or anxiety can be profound and, in fact, is often itself a reason that many people seek therapy. Unfortunately, there is no single behavior that is effective at helping all people who are struggling with depression and anxiety.

    The good news is, there are some approaches that tend to work better than others. I have outlined these below:

    1. Educate yourself in order to dispel harmful myths about mental illness.

    2. Try some perspective taking.

    Recommended Reading: The Most Important Predictor Of An Eating Disorder Is

    More articles

    Popular Articles