If you know someone who is depressed, it is important to realize that they don’t want to feel the way they do. Depression is not something that they chose and is not a defect in their character. Depression is an illness that zaps a person’s energy and replaces it with feelings of “doom and gloom.” If left untreated, depression can lead to long-term health consequences and/or suicide. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to help.
Learn to Recognize the Signs and Symptoms of Depression
- Depressed mood – This is a general feeling of being down. It isn’t a fleeting feeling but instead tends to occur consistently throughout the day.
- Feelings of hopelessness – When someone is depressed, they begin to feel like things will never get better.
- Loss of interest in all activities – When someone is depressed, they lose interest in doing things, including those things that they usually enjoy.
- Episodes of Tearfulness – A person who is depressed may begin to cry for no apparent reason.
- Feelings of worthlessness and guilt – When someone is depressed, they begin to feel worthless and may start ruminating about mistakes they have made in the past.
- Agitation – Many people with depression feel agitated and easily angered. This tends to be particularly true for many men who become depressed.
- Sleep Disturbance – Someone who is depressed may sleep for extended periods of time and still complain of feeling exhausted. Alternatively, they may lay in bed for hours without being able to sleep.
- Suicidal Thoughts – Many people who struggle with depression begin to experience suicidal thoughts. The greater the depression, the more intense these thoughts tend to be.
Ways You Can Help
- Be supportive – Remember, no one wants to be depressed. A person who is depressed needs support. Let them know that you still care about them and that they are important to you.
- Where possible, get them moving – When a person is depressed, they tend to isolate and withdraw from life. Helping them have moments where they are active and engaged in activities can help decrease their overall feelings of depression.
- Give them hope – Let your loved one know that there is hope and that they are not alone. Depression is a treatable illness.
- Let them talk – Words are one of the best tools that we have to deal with emotions. The more we are able to talk through our emotions, the less power they have over us.
- Provide encouragement – When a person is depressed, they often feel like they don’t have the energy to do anything or that there is no point in trying. Provide them encouragement so that they can move through the depression rather than becoming stuck within it.
- Get them help – The combination of psychotherapy and medication is often very effective in helping alleviate depression. If you have a family member who is struggling, get them help.
New Dimensions Can Help!
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the above symptoms or problems, New Dimensions can help. Our team of experienced therapists and psychiatrists can help you overcome these challenges and help you develop the skills you need to thrive. To schedule a complementary assessment or to find out more about our programs, contact us at 1-800-685-9796.
Our affiliate, MHThrive, provides Individual Therapy, Couples and Marriage Counseling, and Family Therapy at our locations in Katy, The Woodlands, and the Clear Lake area of Houston, Texas. We also provide telehealth therapy for anyone who resides within the State of Texas. To schedule an appointment with one of the MHThrive therapists, contact us at 713-477-0333 or visit www.mhthrive.com to learn more.