What To Say To Someone Whos Depressed
One of the worst things about depression is the loneliness and the sense of the world getting on with things without you. If someone tells you they have depression, know that they are showing you part of the beautiful, messy, unpredictable frailties that come with being human. We all have them. It can be difficult to know what to say to someone who is depressed, but know that its unlikely you can make anything worse.
Suck It Up There Are People Worse Off Than You
Clinical depression can lead to problems with jobs, education, and relationships.
Some research shows the persistent change in mood, behavior, and feelings all hallmarks of depression may also up an individuals risk for heart disease and diabetes, among other ailments, according to the World Health Organization.
Know it can be difficult for a person in the throes of a depressive episode to look outside of their own situation.
Your best bet in trying to talk to someone you care about who has depression is to remember that you alone cant fix them, but you may be able to lessen their feelings of loneliness and isolation, said psychologist Dr. Arthur Nezu, Distinguished University Professor of Psychology at Drexel University, Philadelphia.
This updated post was originally published in November 2015.
Encouraging The Person To Get Help
While you cant control someone elses recovery from depression, you can start by encouraging the depressed person to seek help. Getting a depressed person into treatment can be difficult. Depression saps energy and motivation, so even the act of making an appointment or finding a doctor can seem daunting to your loved one. Depression also involves negative ways of thinking. The depressed person may believe that the situation is hopeless and treatment pointless.
Because of these obstacles, getting your loved one to admit to the problemand helping them see that it can be solvedis an essential step in depression recovery.
If your friend or family member resists getting help:
Suggest a general check-up with a physician. Your loved one may be less anxious about seeing a family doctor than a mental health professional. A regular doctors visit is actually a great option, since the doctor can rule out medical causes of depression. If the doctor diagnoses depression, they can refer your loved one to a psychiatrist or psychologist. Sometimes, this professional opinion makes all the difference.
Offer to help the depressed person find a doctor or therapist and go with them on the first visit.Finding the right treatment provider can be difficult, and is often a trial-and-error process. For a depressed person already low on energy, it is a huge help to have assistance making calls and looking into the options.
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Inspirational Quotes On Social Anxiety:
If you face anxiety during a social collaboration or facing Social Anxiety Disorder, you can overcome it with the help of psychologists. Yet, there are some inspirational quotes on social anxiety that help you to move ahead and fight with irregularities of life.
The best way to gain self-confidence is to do what you are afraid to do. -Unknown
If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesnt lead anywhere. Frank A. Clark
Even if you fall on your face, youre still moving forward. Victor Kiam
Difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations. The best is yet to come. Zig Ziglar
What people in the world think of you is really none of your business.- Martha
Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
I think that one thing that cause unhappiness is protracted anxiety and worry.- Derek Bok
Now that I have conquered social anxiety disorder, I find pleasure in fans approaching me. Ricky Williams
The fear of being laughed at makes coward of us all. -Mignon McLaughlin
He who fears he will suffer, already suffers from his fear. -Michel de Montaigne
Someones opinion of you does not have to become your reality. -Les Brown
The moment I started treating my social anxiety disorder, I started feeling better. -Ricky Williams
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear. -Mark Twain
I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship. -Louisa May Alcott
Take Their Feelings Seriously
If someone is living with a mental health concern, it isnt possible for them just to snap out of it, cheer up or forget about it. Acknowledge that what’s happening must be difficult to handle don’t tell them that their feelings are weird or unfounded.
Try not to approach your friend like theyre a patient or someone who needs to be fixed…this might make them feel embarrassed and belittled, and can make them close themselves off to you. Anzelmo
If youre not sure how to help someone with depression or anxiety, ask them. You could also offer them some options and let them choose what suits them best. For example, you could offer to listen and let them express their thoughts, or just to hang out, without serious conversation.
Try to be caring, compassionate and curious, and let them know that they matter to you and you are taking them seriously.
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Anxiety And Depression: The Facts
What causes depression?
Research suggests that continuing difficulties long-term unemployment, living in an abusive or uncaring relationship, long-term isolation or loneliness, prolonged work stress are more likely to cause depression than recent life stresses. Personal factors like family history, personality, serious medical illness and drug and alcohol use can also play a part.
What are the signs and symptoms of depression?
The signs and symptoms are wide and varied, but can include not going out anymore, not getting things done at work or school, withdrawing from close family and friends, relying on alcohol or sedatives, not doing usual enjoyable activities and inability to concentrate. Other signs include feeling overwhelmed, guilty, irritable, frustrated and lacking in confidence.
What causes anxiety?
What are the signs and symptoms of anxiety?
While each anxiety condition has its own unique features, there are some common symptoms including:
Physical: panic attacks, hot and cold flushes, racing heart, tightening of the chest, quick breathing, restlessness, or feeling tense, wound up and edgy.
Psychological: excessive fear, worry, catastrophising, or obsessive thinking.
Behavioural: avoidance of situations that make you feel anxious which can impact on study, work or social life.
Zachery has made a name for himself on TikTok and Instagram, thanks to his informative videos about general and mental health.
Continue Supporting Them And Respond To Emergencies
On a bad day, your friend might not want to leave their room. If they say something like Im going to cancel my appointment today, encourage them to follow through with the appointment.
Whether or not your friend has decided to get professional help, its important that they know they can get support from you, or other friends and family.
If you think your friend may be in danger or at risk of hurting themselves or someone else, seek help from a trusted adult or emergency mental health service immediately. Call 000 to reach emergency services and also tell someone you trust.
In more serious cases, its important to let an older/more responsible adult know whats going on. You dont have to be perfect all the time and making mistakes are inevitable and a good thing as we can learn from them. Anzelmo
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Treatment Options For Patients With Anxiety
There are two primary treatments for individuals with anxiety:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy , which involves learning how to lower anxiety and face distressing situations.
- Medication management with antidepressants, which works well on its own but even better when coupled with CBT.
During therapy, continue to show your support by:
- Asking your loved one what you can do to help them.
- Asking if you can attend a therapy session to learn some skills to better support them.
- Making time for your own life and interests to sustain your energy.
- Encouraging your loved one to try another therapist if the first one isnt a good fit.
What To Say To Someone Experiencing Anxiety Or A Panic Attack
Everyone experiences anxiety differently, but if you’ve ever been around someone who is having a panic attack, suggesting “Try not to worry” is not the best idea.
You can say things that make anxiety worse, Dr. Ken Duckworth, medical director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness , told TODAY. People dont like to be dismissed.”
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Try To Prepare For How They Might React
Whilst its impossible to predict exactly how your chosen person/people will react when you’ve told them you’re depressed and struggling, it can help to weigh up the different possibilities so you can prepare:
- If your loved one has never experienced depression, its entirely possible that they wont understand what youre going through, and why you just cant stop feeling sad. They might feel like its their responsibility to try and fix you and try to suggest things that will cure your depression
- Other people may become upset. They may be worried about you and could even blame themselves for not recognising your depression
- Some people may simply not know how to respond to the news, having never experienced a situation like this before, and therefore, they may try to change the subject and avoid talking about things
- The person may respond really positively. They may ask you questions about your depression, ask how they can support you, and reassure you that they will always be there for you when you need them
- It may turn out that the person you confide in has personal experience of depression, or else knows someone who struggles with low mood or another mental health condition. They may therefore be able to empathise with you, or offer words of advice and wisdom that can help you on your recovery journey
Other Ways To Be Supportive
Loved ones can support people with depression in many ways, but it is not possible to cure another persons depression.
While it may help to encourage a person to seek treatment, it is not possible to force someone to see a doctor or therapist.
Instead of trying to force a specific outcome, therefore, focus on cultivating a loving environment.
Some strategies that can help include:
- inviting the other person to do things that they once enjoyed
- using humor if it usually helps that person
- avoiding spending all of the time together talking about depression
- taking care of your own needs and setting boundaries if you feel uncomfortable
Avoid saying anything that dismisses the persons symptoms, judges them for their emotions, stigmatizes depression, or makes them feel hopeless.
Some examples of what not to say include:
People who love a person with depression may also need external support from friends, family members, or a therapist.
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I Love You No Matter What
Those of us with anxiety understand that being among our friendship group or family circle can be a nuisance. We are sure that it is sometimes infuriating having to go to the store after a full day of work because you are out of milk and your anxiety-ridden loved one has not been able to bring themselves to leave the house all day. Sometimes we worry that we have become too much of an annoyance for our friends and family, and that they do not care about us anymore. It is a great relief to be told I love you, no matter what, because that assures us that our anxiety will not stop people from caring about us.
It is not always easy to work out how to best help somebody with anxiety, especially when they are going through a hard time. This list is intended to be a guideline, but as I said in my previous article, the best advice I can give is to learn what the individual anxiety sufferer finds helpful, and taking it from there. The important thing is to be compassionate. Believe me when I say that the anxiety-sufferer in your life will appreciate that compassion immensely.
Say It Or Don’t Say It
Say it but with a caveat.
By definition, depression keeps you from wanting to engage in everyday activities. But you can show your support by offering to take a walk, go to a movie, or do some other activity with your loved one. How about: “I know you don’t feel like going out, but let’s go together.”
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How To Tell Someone You Have Depression
Making the decision to tell people that youre struggling with depression is a big step. Not only is it difficult to let people in during this difficult time, sadly, there are still many misconceptions about mental illness and the last thing you want is to feel stigmatised because of it.
However, opening up about your depression and learning how to tell someone you’re depressed is one of the most effective steps towards recovery and wellbeing after all, a problem shared is a problem halved. Here, we provide advice on how you can go about talking to people about your mental health.
Obsessing Over The Tiniest Details
Those suffering from an anxiety disorder tend to obsess over tiny details. They obsess about the smallest gestures, looks, or even a glance. The world around them makes them feel like something is not right or something is about to go very wrong and hence even the smallest of actions seem too much for them to handle.
The main reason behind such fear is that they have done something that is not right. This may lead them to constantly ask questions like whether they are okay, whether they have done something wrong or if things are fine. This is the point where you should reassure them that nothing is wrong.
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What To Do If Your Friend Has Suicidal Thoughts
If you are concerned your friend may harm themselves,dont dismiss your gut. Instead:
- Pay attentionto anything said about suicide, other forms of self-harm or a world thatdoesnt include them.
- Keep the lines of communication openso they know they can talk to you when they have these feelings.
- Encourage themto get professional help.
That help may include outpatient therapy and psychotropic medications prescribed by their primary care doctor or a psychiatrist. If you think your friend is in immediate danger, call 911 or take your friend to the nearest emergency department.
Remember: Your friends situation is not hopeless. Like other illnesses, depression can be treated with the right medical help and the support of friends like you.