How to Help Someone With Depression
If you’re wondering how to help someone with depression, you’re not alone. There are many ways to offer your support and encourage someone to seek professional help. You can start by being willing to listen to their thoughts and feelings and then offer your suggestions if asked. Regardless of how you respond, the goal is to keep the discussion respectful. This means that you should try to avoid giving advice or making suggestions unless the person specifically asks for them.
What Are The Signs Of Depression
Some people experience feelings of sadness or hopelessness from time to time. Although this is perfectly normal, it can become debilitating when these feelings continue for an extended period of time. Some people can even feel so depressed that they cannot function normally, including at work or school. Others find their lives to be completely empty, losing interest in everyday activities and even their joy in life. If you are experiencing these symptoms, it may be time to seek help.
If you suspect that you might be depressed, talk to a health care provider. Your doctor can diagnose the condition based on a variety of symptoms. Be as detailed as possible – a health care provider will ask about the symptoms that you’re experiencing and what medications you’re taking. Often, symptoms of depression can be caused by other conditions, such as certain medications. Your provider will want to rule out any other underlying conditions and perform a physical exam and lab tests. Once you’ve been diagnosed, your provider will discuss the different options available to treat your depression and help you feel better.
What Are The Symptoms Of Depression
People suffering from depression should visit a medical practitioner for proper diagnosis and treatment. Several factors can lead to depression, including family history and medical conditions. Loss of a loved one, grief, and other stressful life events are also potential causes. Child abuse may increase the risk for depression in adulthood. In addition, a major life event like divorce, death, or a job loss can trigger depression later in life.
The core symptoms of depression include changes in energy levels, appetite, motivation, and mood. The exact signs of depression vary from person to person, but most sufferers experience chronic fatigue, lack of motivation, and feelings of hopelessness. Despite these changes, people with depression tend to remain depressed for weeks or months, and their symptoms interfere with work and relationships. The symptoms of depression may come on gradually, and the person may not realize that they are depressed until they notice them more intensely and have difficulty performing activities.
How To Support Somone With Depression
If you are caring for a friend or loved one who is experiencing depression, it is important to remember that the person you’re caring for might be in the midst of a depressive episode. They may be judging themselves harshly or find fault in every detail. They may need your help with certain tasks or may need reassurance that you’re there for them. Here are some tips on how to support someone with depression:
Ask if they need help with little things like the laundry. Sometimes these tasks can drain their emotional bandwidth and if they don’t have the time or the energy to handle them, a little help can make a big difference. Whether it’s a simple task like doing the dishes, picking up the kids, or driving to the store, offering to help can make a huge difference. Remember that a person suffering from depression has fewer energy than someone who is not.
How to talk to someone about depression
One of the best ways to talk to someone with depression is to acknowledge the changes that they’ve noticed in themselves. You may not fully understand how they’re feeling, but acknowledging that you’re concerned about them will help them feel heard and understood. If they can’t talk about their depression, you can use the time to ask about their day and their thoughts. After asking, try to find ways to help them that are relevant to their situation.
A person suffering from depression may feel overwhelmed by the conversation. To begin, you should validate their experience by showing acceptance and compassion. Make sure to tell them that you understand, that they’re not alone in their struggle, and that you’re there for them. Make sure to choose your words carefully. Remember that depression is an experience that’s unique to each person, so you’ll want to use words that will help them feel more understood.
Encouraging the person to get help with their depression
If the person with depression is reluctant to seek help, you may have to make it easier by offering to get help yourself. While you may have to take up your own time, try to keep in mind that your own depression may affect the person you love, too. Be patient, and offer to help them set up therapy sessions and make phone calls. Offer to drive them to appointments if needed. Encourage the person with depression to get help by asking them what they want to do to improve their mental state.
If you notice that someone is self-medicating or harming themselves, you can encourage them to get help by offering them your support. If you notice that the person is taking harmful steps, call 911 or arrange for someone to be there 24/7. If you think the person is ready for help, remind them that it is not their fault if they are depressed. You can also remind them to take their medication or keep appointments.