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Helping A Loved One With Depression

Jul 23, 2008
If you have a family member or a loved one is dealing with depression that can be a scary thing. You worry about them and you feel helpless to assist them. There are many things you can do to help your loved one through bouts of depression. The first and probably most important thing you can do is talk to them. Let them know they're not alone. Let them know their loved and that you understand their problems.

Depression is very real. When someone is dealing with oppression they cannot just get over it. It is very important that you realized that when you are talking was someone suffering from depression. Depression is an illness that is usually best treated with a doctor's help. Many people suffering from depression are reluctant to seek the help of a doctor. There are a number of things that you can do to help ease the path toward medical help.

One of the biggest fears people have when faced with a family member or loved one suffering with depression is the possibility of suicide. Most people who are depressed are not suicidal, conversely almost every suicide is caused by depression.

Most people who are suicidal will talk about it directly or indirectly in one form or another. Listen for things like the direct statement I be better off dead, or more importantly subtle clues such as you'd be better off etc. Never ignore the signs of suicide.
There are many other signs of depression besides thoughts of depression. If a loved one you know is sleeping too much, not eating or excessively eating, if they're talking more than usual or seemed to be flipping from stopped a thought, or even just talking about being stressed out these can be signs of depression.

People dealing with depression are often resistant to seek help. Don't wait for them to ask. You can start up by mentioning that they seemed stressed out or upset. Let them know you're there for them to talk to. Let them know you won't judge them. People who are depressed fear others will look down on them. Depression is often caused by the desire to overcompensate, or be the best, or just live up to others' expectations.

You can help by letting your depressed loved one know that you care about them and love them no matter what. You can help by being prepared to point them in the direction of counseling or Physicians that can help them. Offer to go with them. Let them know you'll be there with them throughout the whole treatment.
If at any time your friend or loved one experiences any psychotic symptoms such as hearing voices, hallucinations, remember that these appear very real to the depressed person. Consult a Physician or a psychiatrist. These issues are treatable.

If you feel your friend or loved one may hurt themselves or someone else call 911. It is very important to get help immediately. Don't wait to see what happens, this is truly a case of better safe than sorry.

It's true that the person who is depressed does not always appreciate interference. Once they have recovered or begin to recover they do understand and will appreciate your help. You're being there for your loved one whether it's just talking to them about their problems, showing them how much you love them, or when necessary getting them the help they need will help them live happier and more productive lives.

There is a lot of help available, we know more about depression today and how it affects our lives than ever before. We know that it is an illness and not a stigma. Most of all we know that we can help.
About the Author
Ronen David is the chairman of "Malam" (an Israeli organization supporting and representing those dealing with mental disabilities). He is the author of the "How to Cope With Psychosis & Schizophrenia Self Help Handbook".
Visit his web site and learn Coping With Depression
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