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.
Why Cant You Just
Its hard for someone not experiencing a depressive episode to understand how difficult it can be to carry out daily tasks. Things like brushing your teeth, opening the mail, or putting on outdoor clothes take almost no thought or energy for most of us. When youre depressed, however, they can become a real drain on your resources.
Try looking into Spoon Theory, which is used to explain one way that the world can seem different to people with an invisible illness or disability, including depression.
What to say instead: Are there any tasks that I could take off your to-do list to make life easier?
What If I Am Not Happy With My Treatment
If you are not happy with your treatment you can:
- talk to your doctor to see if they can suggest changes,
- get an advocate to help you speak your doctor,
- ask for a second opinion if you feel it would help,
- contact Patient Advice and Liaison Service and see whether they can help, or
- make a complaint.
There is more information about these options below.
An advocate is independent from the NHS. They are free to use. They can be useful if you find it difficult to get your views heard.
There are different types of advocates available. Community advocates can support you to get a health professional to listen to your concerns. And help you to get the treatment that you would like. They arent available in all areas.
You can ask an advocate to help you make a complaint. Advocates that do this are called NHS complaints advocates. They are free to use and don t work for the NHS. They re available in all areas.
You can search online to search for a local advocacy service. If you cant find a service you can call our advice service 0808 801 0525 . You can email us too at . We will look for you.
Talk to your doctor about your treatment to see if you can resolve the problem with them first. If you dont agree with their decisions about diagnosis or treatment, you could ask for a second opinion. You are not legally entitled to a second opinion, but your doctor might agree to it if it would help with treatment options.
- Advocacy by clicking here.
Don’t Miss: Does Billie Eilish Have Depression
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.
Depression Statistics: Disturbing Trends Helpful Treatment
Unfortunately, there are plenty of people who, like Kashuk, know exactly what it means to be depressed. An estimated 17.3 million, or 7 percent, of adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in the past year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, making it one of the most common mental illnesses in the United States.
Whats more, a recent report from Mental Health America, a nonprofit founded in 1909, offers startling statistics pertaining to one of depressions most disturbing symptoms: thoughts of suicide.
According to its 2021 State of Mental Health in America report, suicidal ideation among adults increased by 0.15 percent between the 2016-2017 calendar year and the 2017-2018 calendar year, the most recent years for which statistics are available.
There is a bright side. Although there is no one-size-fits-all cure for depression, there are many effective treatment options, one of which is bound to help you heal if youre struggling with the illness. This cannot be emphasized enough, given that roughly two-thirds of people living with depression do not receive the care they need, according to a report in the journal Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, published online February 22, 2019.
You May Like: How To Cure Eating Disorder
Don’t Miss: How Many People Have Bipolar Disorder
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.
Behaving Anxiously Activates The Stress Response And The Stress Response Can Cause A Heightened Sense Of Urgency
This heightened sense of urgency can cause anxious personalities to want to analyze quicker and more effectively. But if others arent living up to your expectations of doing things more quickly and effectively, you might become more easily frustrated with the less effective pace of others. And, as anxiousness and hyperstimulation increase, so can the urge to do things more quickly and effectively, which can cause an increasing sense of frustration.
When you combine this factor with the previous point, many anxious personalities become more easily frustrated as their anxiety and stress elevate.
Read Also: I Think My Daughter Is Depressed
Also Check: Can A Child Be Diagnosed With Schizophrenia
How To Look After Yourself
Looking after someone you care about who is suffering from depression isnt easy. Its important for both of you that you also take good care of yourself.
Consider online therapy
Personal self-care can include things like:
- Taking time out just for yourself
- Making sure that your needs are met before helping your loved one
- Setting boundaries around what you can and cant do to help
- Acknowledging that this is difficult for you as well
- Reaching out to your support network
- Finding a therapist or support group
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
Don’t Miss: Does Someone With Bipolar Know Right From Wrong
Helping A Friend Or Family Member
You can play a key role in helping a person who is depressed:
- Be a good listener and avoid making any judgments.
- Encourage your friend or family member to get other help as well, and assist them in finding it.
- Offer to go with them to appointments.
- Stay in regular contact let them know youre there for them.
- Make plans together to do something fun.
- Stay alert for warning signs of suicidal behaviour . If there is an immediate risk, get them to a hospital emergency department, or call 911 right away.
Dont forget to look after yourself. Make sure to make time for yourself and your own wellness needs physical, emotional, social and seek extra support for yourself when you need it.
Know That Theres Nothing Wrong With Asking For Help
Its just like having a hard time in math, says Child Mind Institute psychologist Jerry Bubrick, PhD. Youd go to your parents and say, Listen, Im really struggling with math and I need extra help. Can you help me get that help? Keep in mind that experts say people who are successful in life are not those who dont have any problems, but those who are good at getting help and rebounding from adversity.
Also Check: Do Pets Help With Bipolar Disorder
Say What You Have Practised
When youre ready, just go for it. Say what youve practised, and if you feel more comfortable taking your notes with you, then do so. If you get tongue-tied or shaky then dont worry. Its perfectly acceptable to tell the person that youre finding this difficult. If you find that youre becoming a bit overwhelmed, then just take a break and come back to the conversation later.
Warning Signs Of Suicide
Theres a lot of stigma involved in talking about suicide, and this can make it difficult to know what you should be looking out for. Here are some of the key warning signs for suicide
- Talking about suicide, even obliquely
- Talking or writing about death, dying, or suicide
- Making a plan for taking their own life
- Referring to themselves as a burden or suggesting that others would be better off without them
- A sudden sense of calm or energy following depression
- Having made previous suicide attempts
- Withdrawing from social support and activities
- Giving away possessions, making a will, or getting their affairs in order without any obvious reason
- Gathering resources for suicide, for example collecting pills or weapons
- Dangerous or self-destructive behavior
- Making arrangements for dependants or pets
You May Like: Can You Cure Bipolar Without Medication
Is A Psychiatrist Or Psychologist Better For Depression
Best cost-effective mental health services and treatments located in San Diego, CA
If you have symptoms of depression and youre seeking medical help, it might be difficult to know exactly where to go. Psychiatrists and psychologists both treat patients with depression, but there are differences in their education, experience, and approach to mental health treatment that should be taken into consideration before committing to a doctor. If youre wondering whether a psychiatrist or psychologist is better for patients with depression, heres what you need to know:
What is a psychiatrist?
Psychiatrists are medical doctors who graduated from medical school, along with completing a year of medical internship and three years of residency in the assessment and treatment of mental health disorders. Working in private practices, hospitals, university medical centers, prisons, rehabilitation centers, and a variety of other venues, psychiatrists usually treat patients with mental health conditions that require medication, including major depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, PTSD and schizophrenia. Psychiatrists typically diagnose using psychological tests and one-on-one evaluations, and they also run lab tests to rule out any physical cause for symptoms. Treatment can include psychotherapy, medications, or a combination of both, and medication will be fine-tuned according to observations and results.
What is a psychologist?
You’re Sleeping Too Much Or Too Little
Some people with depression find themselves sleeping more the disengagement and dip in energy make you tired all the time.
“Sleeping more is also a way depressed people escape from their sadness it becomes a refuge,” said Thomas.
Others with depression experience restless or interrupted sleep or even insomniathey’re too wired by obsessive thoughts or ruminations to wind down and score the seven to eight hours per night most adults need.
Sleep changes can help you know if you’re depressed but also worsen the depression. When you’re not getting the proper amount of shuteye, your body’s internal clock gets out of sync, and you’re even more tired and unfocusedand less able to cope.
Also Check: Can Ptsd Cause Memory Loss
Some People Don’t Understand Depression
People may want to help you but might not be sure how, or they may believe some of the myths that society buys into about depression. They may also not know what to say to someone who is depressed.
For this reason, you need to be aware of the fact that not everyone will understand what you’re going through.
Consequently, you may want to carefully choose who you disclose this information to and when.
Start by making a list of the most supportive people you know. Typically, these people are the ones you should tell first. Remember, not everyone knows how to offer emotional support though.
If you have friends or family members who lack this skill, it doesn’t mean that they don’t love you. It just means that they may not be the best ones to invite into your journey. In fact, telling themparticularly when you are vulnerablemay be counterproductive.
What Your Physician Looks For
Your primary care physician can evaluate your physical health to help you understand your symptoms. Theres no lab test to diagnose depression, but physical exams and blood tests can help your doctor better understand whats causing your symptoms.
Your doctor will likely want to do several tests to rules out other causes of depressive feelings, such as:
- Hormonal changes
- Thyroid conditions
- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
To treat your depression, your doctor may prescribe you medications to help or refer you to a licensed mental health professional, like a therapist, for more in-depth evaluation and treatment.
Recommended Reading: Can Bipolar Go Away With Age
I Know Exactly How You Feel
Youre probably trying to be supportive when you tell someone that you know exactly how they feel, but it can sometimes make them feel more isolated.
We never know exactly how another person is feeling and saying that we do risks trivializing their emotional pain. It can also make it harder for them to talk about what theyre going through if they think youve already formed your opinion about whats going on for them.
What to say instead: Everyones experience of depression is different, and Im not going to pretend that I know exactly what youre going through. I can relate to a lot of it though, and Im here to listen.
If You Need To Try Again
It isnt always a good time for parents to talk, says clinical psychologist Rachel Busman, PhD. If you feel like your parents brushed you off before, try asking them again. Sometimes it takes parents a little time to get the message. But Dr. Busman recommends this time setting aside time to talk. Say, Theres something that I want to talk to you about, and its important. When are you going to be free to talk?
Dr. Busman says going to another adult you trust can be helpful, too. An aunt or an uncle can help you talk to your parents about how youre feeling. A trusted adult at school, like a teacher or a school psychologist, is also a good option. Even if youre having problems at school, someone there will want to help you, says Dr. Busman. Its their job to help you feel successful.
Also Check: How Do You Know You Have Ptsd
Why Teen Girls Are More Likely To Grow Depressed
There isnt a clear reason why there has been such a dramatic rise in depression among teen girls. Researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suspect it may be due to a greater degree of depression risk factors.
Girls may be more susceptible to cyberbullying, for example. Studies show girls use smartphones more frequently and intensely than teenage boys. And problematic mobile phone use has been linked to depression.
In a 2014 study published in Clinical Psychological Science, researchers discovered teenage girls were at a higher risk of depression than boys because of the way girls are socialized. They may experience more disagreements with friends and there may be hostility among their peers.
They may also be encouraged to talk to their friends about their problems more. But rather than find solutions, their ongoing discussions about their problems may cause them to ruminate on the bad things in life.
Its normal for teenage girls to be a bit narcissistic at times. Consequently, teen girls may take things may personally or be extra offended by the behavior of others.
This is normal and should get better with maturity. But in the meantime, it can increase your daughters risk of depression.
Dont Miss: What Its Like To Be Bipolar