How to get a friend with depression help
All of a sudden your best friend stops calling. She no longer wants to join you for yoga on Saturday mornings. The last time you saw her she looked fragile and sad, like someone else was living in her body. She has been struggling with depression for a few months now.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: How to Help Someone with Depression
SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: How to connect with depressed friends - Bill BernatContent:
- 9 Ways to Help a Friend or Family Member With Depression
- Helping a friend with mental health problems like depression
- As a friend
- What to Say When Someone Is Depressed
- 6 ways to help a friend with depression
- 9 Ways to Help a Friend or Family Member With Depression
- 8 Ways to Help a Friend or Family Member With Depression
- Supporting someone with a mental health condition
9 Ways to Help a Friend or Family Member With Depression
All of a sudden your best friend stops calling. She no longer wants to join you for yoga on Saturday mornings. The last time you saw her she looked fragile and sad, like someone else was living in her body. She has been struggling with depression for a few months now. While every case of this maddening mood disorder is unique and responds to different treatments, there are a few universal things you can try to guide your depressed friend or family member down the path of healing and recovery.
Although people are better educated on depression and anxiety today than they were two decades ago, we still have a long ways to go on understanding how the brain operates: why some people smile as they get run over by a truck, and others cry uncontrollably at the mere thought of that. Whenever one of my kids gets sick or injured, I start in with a series of questions: Where does it hurt?
How long have you felt bad? Does anything make it worse besides school? Does anything make it better besides ice-cream? Just by asking a few basic questions, I can usually get enough information to determine a plan of action. She could be having a severe episode of major depression, or just need a little more vitamin D.
I used to rely on my doctors to tell me everything I needed to know about my health. Psychiatrists and psychologists have expertise in some areas, which can be critical feedback as a person begins to tackle the monster of depression; however, there is so much other valuable information tucked away in memories with friends and families that could guide a person out of despair.
For example, during this most recent relapse of mine, my older sister kept insisting that I probe into my hormonal imbalances. My mom reminded me that thyroid disease runs in our family and suggested I get my thyroid checked out. Initially, I was annoyed with their opinions since it required more work on my part. You know your sister, friend, brother, or father better than most mental health professionals, so help him solve the riddle of his symptoms. Together consider what could be at the root of his depression: physiologically, emotionally, or spiritually.
Where is the disconnect? You can be drinking kale and pineapple smoothies for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; meditating with Tibetan monks for eight hours a day; sleeping like a baby at night — and yet, if you are under stress, your veins are flooded with poison and your mind is under fire. About five pages into every psychology book there is a paragraph that says that stress causes depression.
I think it should be on page one. There is just no way around it. So one of the biggest jobs of a friend or relative of someone who is struggling with depression is to help the person construct strategies to reduce stress.
She can keep her kids. However, she may need to make some significant lifestyle changes and be sure to introduce self-care into every day. What is that? Five-minute breaks here and there to take some deep breaths, or an hour massage once in awhile, or maybe a day off here and there to sit by the water, golf, or go for a hike.
Research shows that support groups aid the recovery of persons struggling with depression and decrease chances of relapse. The New England Journal of Medicine published a study in December in which women with metastatic breast cancer were assigned to a supportive-expressive therapy. These women showed greater improvement in psychological symptoms and reported less pain than the women with breast cancer who were assigned to the control group with no supportive therapy.
Brainstorm with your friend on ways that she can get more support. Research and share with her various groups online — like the Facebook group I started — or in town that she might benefit from.
Just yesterday morning I was having suicidal thoughts during yoga. Instead of being gentle with myself, I started comparing myself with a few incredibly accomplished people I swim with — the kind of people who swim across the English Channel for giggles — and tend to make the average person feel pathetic. Later in the day, I went for a walk with my husband, still fighting the death thoughts as we strolled along the rocks bordering the Severn River at the Naval Academy, our favorite route. I balked.
I was thinking strong meant swimming the English Channel, not fighting suicidal thoughts in yoga. Most people would roll over and give up, coping with booze, pot, and sedatives. Not you. You get up and fight it each day. I needed to hear that. Remind your friend, sister, brother, or dad of his strengths. Humor can help us heal from a number of illnesses. When I was hospitalized for severe depression in , one of the psychiatric nurses on duty decided that one session of group therapy would consist of watching a comedian on tape poke fun at depression.
I sort of want to die, but this woman is kind of funny. As a friend or family member, your hardest job is to get your friend or brother or dad or sister to have hope again: to believe that he or she will get better. Once his or her heart is there, his or her mind and body will follow shortly. Suspend all judgments, save all interjections — do nothing more than make excellent eye contact and open your ears.
I suspect that the most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention. Just take them in.
Care about it. Most times caring about it is even more important than understanding it. Originally posted on Sanity Break at Everyday Health. This article features affiliate links to Amazon. Thank you for your support of Psych Central! Therese J. Borchard is a mental health writer and advocate. You can reach her at thereseborchard.
Find help or get online counseling now. By Therese J. Borchard Associate Editor. What do you do? Educate yourself. Ask lots of questions. Here are a few to consider: When did you first start to feel bad? Can you think of anything that may have triggered it? Do you have suicidal thoughts? Is there anything that makes you feel better?
What makes you feel worse? Do you think you could be deficient in Vitamin D? Have you made any changes lately to your diet? Are you under more pressure at work? Have you had your thyroid levels checked? Help her learn what she needs to know. Talk about stress.
Talk about support. Remind her of her strengths. Make her laugh. Pass on some hope. Image: babyessentials. Psych Central. All rights reserved. Hot Topics Today 1. Toxic Childhood?
Helping a friend with mental health problems like depression
Knowing what to say to someone who is depressed isn't always easy. While you may feel awkward and unsure at first, know that whatever you say doesn't have to be profound or poetic. It should simply be something that comes from a place of compassion and acceptance. Try not to be dissuaded by worry over saying the "wrong" thing.
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As a friend
Back to Mental health and wellbeing. Feeling down or depressed from time to time is normal. But if these feelings last 2 weeks or more, or start to affect everyday life, this can be a sign of depression. Depression can develop slowly. Someone who's depressed doesn't always realise or acknowledge that they're not feeling or behaving as they usually do. Often it's a partner, family member or carer who first realises that help's needed. They may encourage their friend or relative to see their GP, or find some other source of support. The charity Age UK says that signs of depression in older people can include:.
What to Say When Someone Is Depressed
Depression can be an incredibly isolating illness. We may try and isolate ourselves, as it seems easier than maintaining a friendship — a friendship we may believe we no longer deserve. Being a friend to someone with depression can be difficult too. Some caution is needed before we launch into action, however. What one friend might find helpful, another could find patronising or intrusive.
Supporting a friend is not always easy. You have to find the right balance in your relationship with the person you care about. You may worry about pushing too hard, upsetting them, or making them want to be on their own even more. But by hanging in there, you can make a huge difference to their recovery.
6 ways to help a friend with depression
Helping someone with depression can be a challenge. If someone in your life has depression, you may feel helpless and wonder what to do. Learn how to offer support and understanding and how to help your loved one get the resources to cope with depression. Here's what you can do.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: How to Help a Depressed Friend or Partner
Find out more about cookies and your privacy in our policy. It can be hard to know exactly how to help and what to say to someone who is struggling. Not totally sure what depression is or what it means for your friend? Someone experiencing depression might feel ashamed, and worried about how their friends might react if they talk about it. Not everyone experiences depression in the same way, and symptoms can vary; however, there are changes in the way a person with depression acts that you can look out for.
9 Ways to Help a Friend or Family Member With Depression
Years ago, I had a friend who was going through a rough patch. I wanted to respect the boundaries she was putting up so I decided to give her some space. Taking a little time for self-care can actually be therapeutic. But when you are suffering from clinical depression, withdrawing from friends and other loved ones can actually be harmful to your health. People that are clinically depressed tend to feel hopeless, worthless and exhausted by simple day to day functions.
Depression is a serious medical condition that afflicts many people. If you have a friend who is suffering from depression, you may be unsure about what you should do to help. There are several ways that you can help a friend who is suffering from depression, from encouraging them to get treatment to building them up with kind words. Keep reading to learn how to help a friend with depression.
8 Ways to Help a Friend or Family Member With Depression
Checking in on your family, friends and colleagues during the coronavirus outbreak is more important than ever. I was diagnosed in with depression and anxiety. For all the relief of facing treatment, it was a fairly daunting thing.
Supporting someone with a mental health condition
Depression is a serious but treatable disorder that affects millions of people, from young to old and from all walks of life. It gets in the way of everyday life, causing tremendous pain, hurting not just those suffering from it but also impacting everyone around them. If someone you love is depressed, you may be experiencing any number of difficult emotions, including helplessness, frustration, anger, fear, guilt, and sadness. These feelings are all normal.