Wait Until It Feels Comfortable
Remember, you dont have to go into it straight away. Take your time and do it when it feels right. You might prefer to talk to them about something completely different to begin with, ask them how theyre doing, or relax for a while with a cup of tea. When you feel ready, the best way to start is to tell them you have something important that you want to talk about, so they know not to take the conversation lightly. Also, its important to be clear whether or not you want them to keep the information to themselves at this stage.
Depression And Suicide Risk
Depression is a major risk factor for suicide. Deep despair and hopelessness can make suicide feel like the only way to escape the pain. If you have a loved one with depression, take any suicidal talk or behavior seriously and watch for the warning signs:
- Talking about killing or harming ones self.
- Expressing strong feelings of hopelessness or being trapped.
- An unusual preoccupation with death or dying.
- Acting recklessly, as if they have a death wish .
- Getting affairs in order .
- Saying things like Everyone would be better off without me, or I want out.
- A sudden switch from being extremely down to acting calm and happy.
If you think a friend or family member is considering suicide, express your concern and seek help immediately. Talking openly about suicidal thoughts and feelings can save a life.
If you are feeling suicidal
When youre feeling suicidal, your problems dont seem temporarythey seem overwhelming and permanent. But with time, you will feel better, especially if you get help. There are many people who want to support you during this difficult time, so please reach out!
If Your Loved One Has Symptoms
- Encourage your loved one to seek professional help. If your loved one is considering harming themselves or having other dark thoughts, immediate treatment is critical. Go to the nearest emergency room or contact a local mental health provider. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 .
- Create a safe environment. If the person expresses suicidal thoughts, remove any potentially lethal items from the home, such as guns, Dr. Dunlop says.
- Be kind. Blaming or chastising depressed people for feeling low or unmotivated is not helpful and typically serves to reinforce negative feelings they already have, Dunlop says. Instead, open the discussion in a nonjudgmental way and encourage the person to seek help.
- Be willing to support treatment. Offer to help your loved one prepare a list of questions for a provider about depression or drive them to appointments.
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Feeling Down And Being Depressed Is Not The Same
Symptoms of depression can affect a person physically, mentally, and emotionally. Common symptoms include trouble sleeping, appetite changes, and problems concentrating. They affect how you think, what you do, and how you feel physically. A depressed person may not feel motivated to do their usual activities. A person may feel low on energy, lack interest in activities they once enjoyed, or want to isolate themselves from others. Relationships with family members, friends, and coworkers may be affected.
Someone experiencing symptoms of depression may not take care of themselves as they should. The way they think about their health, such as how to manage chronic issues such as arthritis, diabetes, or high blood pressure, may leave one feeling discouraged. When a depressed person feels hopeless, self-care is less of a priority and potentially increasing personal health risks. Depression is a medical condition that affects you emotionally and physically. However, these elements are influenced by each other, leaving a drastic effect on a persons thoughts and actions.
Common Causes Of Depression
Scientists do not yet know the exact cause of depression. However, many experts think that several factors play a role in its onset, including:
- Genetics: Depression can run in families. Having a close relative with the condition can raise a persons risk for developing it themselves.
- Biological and chemical differences: Physical changes or chemical imbalances in the brain may contribute to the development of depression.
- Hormones: Hormonal changes or imbalances in the body may cause or trigger depression. For example, many women experience postpartum depression after giving birth.
- Trauma or stress: Periods of high stress, traumatic events, or major life changes can trigger an episode of depression in some people.
- Personality traits: Having low self-esteem or being pessimistic, for example, may increase the risk of depression.
- Other illnesses: Having another mental or physical health condition or taking certain medications can increase the risk of depression.
People who believe that they may have hidden depression should speak to their doctor or a mental health professional. These professionals can help make a diagnosis and recommend a course of treatment.
Other steps to treat depression might include:
Not everyone with depression will display the typical symptoms of sadness and despair.
Sometimes, the only signs a person may show are physical, such as fatigue, insomnia, or weight changes.
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Suicidal Thoughts: An Emergency
For people who are severely depressed, suicide is a real threat. Each year, about 30,000 people in the U.S. take their own lives, although the true number may be higher. Some suicides go unrecognized because they’re classified as accidents, drug overdoses, or shootings. Among people whose depression remains untreated, up to 15% will kill themselves.
What are the warning signs of suicide? According to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, they include:
- Talking about wanting to die or wanting to kill yourself
- Looking for a way to kill yourself, such as searching online for methods or buying a gun
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
- Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Increasing use of alcohol or drugs
- Acting anxious or agitated behaving recklessly
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Withdrawing or feeling isolated
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
- Displaying extreme mood swings
Can You Inherit Depression
Genetic factors do play a role in depression, but so do biological, environmental, and psychological factors.2 Unipolar depression is less likely to be inherited than Bipolar disorder , says Steven Hollon, PhD, of Brentwood, Tennessee, a professor of psychology at Vanderbilt University.
While depression does tend to run in families, just because a family member has depression does not mean you are going to get it, says Rudy Nydegger, PhD, Professor Emeritus of psychology and management at Union College and chief in the Division of Psychology at Ellis Hospital, both in Schenectady, New York. It is not a simple gene thing, he says. And the important thing is not so much why a person has depression but what are we going to do to help them.
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When To Seek Professional Help
If support from family and friends and positive lifestyle changes arent enough, it may be time to seek help from a mental health professional. There are many effective treatments for depression, including:
Therapy. Consulting a therapist can provide you tools to treat depression from a variety of angles and motivate you to take the action necessary. Therapy can also offer you the skills and insight to prevent the problem from coming back.
Belmaker, R. H., & Agam, G. . Major Depressive Disorder. New England Journal of Medicine, 358, 5568.
Kessler, R. C., Birnbaum, H. G., Shahly, V., Bromet, E., Hwang, I., McLaughlin, K. A., Sampson, N., Andrade, L. H., Girolamo, G. de, Demyttenaere, K., Haro, J. M., Karam, A. N., Kostyuchenko, S., Kovess, V., Lara, C., Levinson, D., Matschinger, H., Nakane, Y., Browne, M. O., Stein, D. J. . Age differences in the prevalence and co-morbidity of DSM-IV major depressive episodes: Results from the WHO World Mental Health Survey Initiative. Depression and Anxiety, 27, 351364.
Depressive Disorders. . In Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. American Psychiatric Association.
Depression support & suicide prevention help
Suicide prevention help
Depression And Bipolar Disorder Treatment
There are a variety of effective treatment options available for depression and bipolar disorder, including medication, psychotherapy and holistic therapies. If you believe you have depression, its important see a mental health professional who specializes in mood disorders so that youre properly diagnosed. Bipolar depression is treated differently than regular depression, so misdiagnosis can potentially lead to dangerous problems, including the fact that antidepressants can actually make bipolar disorder worse.
At Casa Palmera, we believe in treating depression, bipolar disorder and other mood disorders with traditional treatments like therapy and medications, but we also believe in a holistic approach that includes alternative methods of treatment such as yoga, acupuncture and herbal medicine. Call Casa Palmera today and ask how our holistic depression and bipolar disorder treatment program can return you to a healthy mind, body and emotional state of well-being.
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What If I Don’t Know What To Say
Don’t wait to talk just because you’re not sure what to say. You can keep it simple. You can start just by saying, “Got a minute? I need to talk.” Then say what you’re going through. For example, “I’ve been feeling down a lot lately. I think I might be depressed.” The person you’re talking to might ask you to tell them more. Sometimes, that’s all it takes to get started talking.
Difficulty Experiencing Joy Or Connection
When were depressed, it can take all of the enjoyment out of the things we love and make it more difficult for us to connect to those closest to us. We may begin to lose interest in hobbies, friendships, schoolwork, social activities, sex or life in general. When this happens, we may find ourselves isolating from friends, family members or others who care about us.
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Smoking And Mood: They’re Linked
You have some symptoms of depression. Right now, these symptoms are likely causing problems in your daily life. These problems may be big, like making it hard for you to take care of everyday activities and enjoy the things you usually do. You should get help right away.
You Cant Just Snap Out Of Depression
Well-meaning friends or family members may try to tell someone with depression to snap out of it, just be positive, or you can be happier if you just try harder. But depression is not a sign of a persons weakness or a character flaw. The truth is that most people who experience depression need treatment to get better.
If you are a friend or family member of a woman with depression, you can offer emotional support, understanding, patience, and encouragement. But never dismiss her feelings. Encourage her to talk to her health care provider, and remind her that, with time and treatment, she can feel better.
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I Have Depression And This Is What I Want You To Know
I never thought that I would have depression. It seemed like something only strangers had. Even when a close friend of mine struggled with depression a few years ago, I couldnt relate to what she was going through. I just thought of it as a really low period some people had and would eventually get out of, if only they tried hard enough.
Depression was a faraway concept, and depressed was a word I used casually when I felt particularly sad. I didnt understand depressionuntil it happened to me.
According to the Singapore Mental Health Study conducted in 2010, major depressive disorder is ranked as the most common mental illness, with one in 17 people in Singapore suffering from it at one point or another in their lives.
But reading statistics or stories on mental health issues is one thing experiencing and living with it is another.
For me, depression wasand isa heavy cloud hovering above my head, a coldness creeping in my heart, a veil darkening my sight. Its days of moving slowly and numbly, nights of overflowing tears and thoughts. Its lashing out against my family while pretending to act like a normal functioning human being in school, in church, and outside. Its sobbing uncontrollably one moment and feeling nothing at all at another. Its thinking to myself that Im getting better one day, and completely breaking down the next.
Its been three months since I found out what I was going through had a name.
Depression In Women: 5 Things You Should Know
Being sad is a normal reaction to difficult times in life. But usually, the sadness goes away with a little time. Depression is differentit is a mood disorder that may cause severe symptoms that can affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities such as sleeping, eating, or working. Depression is more common among women than men, likely due to certain biological, hormonal, and social factors that are unique to women.
This brochure contains an overview of five things that everyone should know about depression in women.
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Depression Is A Real Medical Condition
Depression is a common but serious mood disorder. Depression symptoms can interfere with your ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy your life. Although researchers are still studying the causes of depression, current research suggests that depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. Most people with depression need treatment to feel better.
There Is Nothing Wrong With What Youre Feeling
Theres so much stigma surrounding mental disorders that when I first started feeling this way, I felt confused and guilty. Werent Christians supposed to be happy all the time? If I had depression, did that mean I was doing something wrong? Was having depression some sort of sin?
An article I came across in Christianity Today said: While spiritual problemslike habitual or unconfessed sin, lack of faith, or, in rare cases, demonic attackcertainly can trigger depression, those things are often the result of depression, not the cause.
Dont beat yourself up for having depression, because it is not your fault. What youre going through is a mental illness that could stem from a myriad of potential causes, such as genetic vulnerability, significant life events, personal problems, or illnesses. Just as you wouldnt blame spiritual problems for a fever or a broken leg, you shouldnt automatically assume the same for depression or any other mental illness.
In my case, my depression was triggered by a particular experience I had undergone.
However, if you do think that your depression may have spiritual causes, talk to your pastor or Christian counselor.
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S2S by Mental Health America is an educational program intended to help inform people about options they have in getting help for mental health issues. It may suggest tools and resources that offer information, treatment services, do-it-yourself tools, and/or ways to connect with others. It does not represent its results as an exhaustive list of all services available to a given individual for a given behavioral health problem, or as an endorsement of specific treatments or services, or as a replacement for treatment or services as performed by a qualified provider. This site is currently in beta. Please send any and all suggestions, comments, or questions to us at .
Do I Have Depression Or Bipolar Disorder
The depressive phase of bipolar disorder shares many similarities to regular depression, including prolonged sadness, inability to concentrate, loss of energy, difficulty sleeping, and thoughts of suicide. People with bipolar depression, however, tend to have more unpredictable mood swings, more irritability and guilt, and more feelings of restlessness. They also tend to move and speak slowly, sleep a lot and gain weight.
According to HelpGuide.org, your depression might be bipolar disorder if:
- Youve experienced repeated episodes of major depression.
- You had your first episode of major depression before age 25.
- You have a first-degree relative with bipolar disorder.
- When youre not depressed, your mood and energy levels are higher than most peoples.
- When youre depressed, you oversleep and overeat.
- Your episodes of major depression are short
- Youve lost contact with reality while depressed.
- Youve had postpartum depression before.
- Youve developed mania or hypomania while taking an antidepressant.
- Your antidepressant stopped working after several months.
- Youve tried 3 or more antidepressants without success.
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How Can Talking To A Parent Help
It can feel like a big relief to have someone listen, hear you out, and show they care. Talking together can help you feel more hopeful. It lets you know you’re not alone. Someone believes in you and has your back.
Sometimes, a parent can help you see another angle to a problem you’re dealing with. They can give good advice. When you feel their support, it’s easier to think of ways to help yourself, too.
Risk Factors That Can Make You More Vulnerable
Depression most often results from a combination of factors, rather than one single cause. For example, if you went through a divorce, were diagnosed with a serious medical condition, or lost your job, the stress could prompt you to start drinking more, which in turn could cause you to withdraw from family and friends. Those factors combined could then trigger depression.
The following are examples of risk factors that can make you more susceptible:
Loneliness and isolation. Theres a strong relationship between loneliness and depression. Not only can lack of social support heighten your risk, but having depression can cause you to withdraw from others, exacerbating feelings of isolation. Having close friends or family to talk to can help you maintain perspective on your issues and avoid having to deal with problems alone.
. While a network of strong and supportive relationships can be crucial to good mental health, troubled, unhappy, or abusive relationships can have the opposite effect and increase your risk for depression.
Recent stressful life experiences. Major life changes, such as a bereavement, divorce, unemployment, or financial problems can often bring overwhelming levels of stress and increase your risk of developing depression.
Chronic illness or pain. Unmanaged pain or being diagnosed with a serious illness, such as cancer, heart disease, or diabetes, can trigger feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.
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