How To Help Someone With Depression To Get Help
While many people may refer to themselves as being 'depressed' at different times in their life, it's very different from someone who suffers from clinical depression. For example, the average person may feel 'depressed' because they didn't get the job they were hoping for or because they missed out on an event with their friends. Someone with clinical depression, however, experiences something entirely different, and it happens even when something good happens in their lives.
What is Depression?
Depression isn't just the mild feeling of disappointment or sadness that you feel in your everyday life. Even when something truly bad happens most don't suffer from true depression. But for some, depression is an everyday occurrence. The negative feelings about themselves, their life and everything around them seems to build up constantly, and they can't seem to get out of that awful cycle. Where many of us feel upset at one time or another and can pick ourselves up and move on, this is nearly impossible for someone suffering from clinical depression.
There are several different types of depression, but the major category is called major depressive disorder. Unfortunately, it's all too common, and it influences not just the way you think but how you feel and even how you act as well. What's even worse is that depression can lead you to withdraw from others, stop feeling interest in things you enjoy and much more, all of which can cause you to feel more depressed. In the end, you're caught in a vicious cycle where your depression keeps you from participating but makes you feel worse for not participating. It can impact your personal and professional life.
Symptoms of Depression
So what are some symptoms to watch out for with depression? Luckily there are plenty of symptoms you can look out for. It's not just about actually feeling sad or depressed, though that's going to be something to watch for. Still, don't watch for minor or fleeting sadness as everyone experiences that. What you want to watch for instead are extended periods of sadness and hopelessness that seem to come out of nowhere or may be out of proportion to the loss or event that has occurred. This might be a better sign of something wrong.
A loss of interest in activities that you once enjoyed or even in spending time with others including friends and family could be another sign. Withdrawing from others, spending more and more time alone and feelings of worthlessness or guilt can also be signs of something wrong.
If you experience trouble sleeping or seem to sleep too much if you have more fatigue or less energy and even difficulty thinking or making decisions you could also be showing signs of depression. Thoughts of death or suicide are also common unfortunately and attempted suicide is something that should be evaluated immediately.
If these symptoms last for over two weeks, it could result in a diagnosis of depression but keep in mind that, as with any medical disorder, everyone is different. That means you could experience depression differently or someone you know may experience it differently. Changes in behavior are often a sign of something important, so you want to make sure you're keeping an eye on those changes and talking with a professional to find out what's going on.
What to Do If Someone You Know Has Depression
The most important thing that you can do if you know someone who has depression is to make sure they know that you are there for them and support them. Depression is a disorder that thrives on isolating people and making them feel worthless or hopeless. By showing that you are there and you support them you are creating a lifeline that may help your friend or loved one while they are seeking help and treatment.
The next thing to do is help them seek treatment. Get them to talk with a professional that can help them understand what's going on and start them on the path to recovery. It's going to be a long road, and it's not going to be an easy one, but they definitely can overcome these feelings of hopelessness and the depression they are feeling and go on to live a healthy and fulfilling life. Just because things now seem desperate doesn't mean it will be that way forever. With help, they can move on from this.
Getting them help may not be as easy as you might think, but it's going to be critical for their overall health. The first thing you need to do is talk to them about their current situation. By talking with them, you will be able to get a better idea of their thought process and how they seem to be doing. Not that you'll be able to diagnose them or determine for sure if they have depression, but you will be able to recognize if something isn't quite right and they need some help. Convincing them to seek out that help, however, maybe a little more difficult than you think.
Even though someone with depression doesn't want to feel that way, it doesn't mean that they are willing and ready to do anything and everything to help them overcome those feelings. Many people with depression don't believe there is anything wrong with their thought process or they don't believe that anyone else can solve the problem for them. They may be convinced that they can 'snap out of it' themselves or they may just have a negative view on therapy. Whatever the reason, it can be quite difficult to convince someone to go to therapy, even when they need it.
Convincing a Loved One to Get Help
If the individual you're trying to help is a parent, it may be easier to convince them to get help because of their child than to do it for themselves. Depression takes away the joy of being around your child even and of the things that they find important. Someone suffering from depression will see this and will see how it affects their child. Convincing them that getting help will help them be a better parent may be a way to help them see the importance of it.
If the individual has another loved one that they are close to this can also be a good way to convince them to seek help. Many people, especially those who are suffering from depression, believe that someone else's worth is more than their own and may be willing to seek treatment to help someone else rather than to help themselves in any way. By appealing to this part of them, you may be able to help them along the path, though they may still be somewhat reluctant to do so.
Convincing someone who is suffering from depression of their self-worth can be one of the most difficult ways to get them to seek treatment and help. Still, helping them to see their self-worth is an important aspect of the treatment process and by trying to help them along this path before they even begin, you can help them greatly. By talking with them, spending time with them and showing your support for them you may be able to convince them to get help for themselves or at least to acknowledge that the feelings they have are not healthy.
Remember, when you do get them to seek out treatment it's not going to result in an immediate fix. Rather, the process is only just starting when they go to that first appointment. It's going to take a lot of effort and a whole lot of work for them to get through this period in their life and it's going to take a whole lot of support from people like you as well.
By being there for them and supporting them every step of the way as well as encouraging even the small steps that they make toward recovery, you're going to be the best friend that they have, and you're going to be instrumental in their recovery process. It takes a lot to overcome depression, and it's nearly impossible to do without some support system in place.
If you know someone who needs professional help to deal with depression you should check out BetterHelp, where you'll find plenty of psychiatrists and therapists available to work with you. The best part about it is that you'll never even have to leave your home, which can be a great introductory step for someone suffering from depression. You can connect with someone that you feel comfortable with and start your sessions whenever and wherever you like. Even better, you're going to be connected to highly qualified and trained professionals who know how to work with you to get you back on the path to success and to a healthy life that you're going to enjoy.
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