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What to Do When Someone You Love Suffers From Depression

When you love someone who suffers from depression or bipolar disorder you may find yourself frustrated, angry or losing your ability to tolerate their behavior towards yourself, your children or other friends and family.

 

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Sadly, while great strides have been made to treat these disorders, the family and friends coping with sufferers often feel hopeless or discouraged by their attempts to help.

If you are living with, or close to someone who is diagnosed or appears to be suffering from depression or bipolar you will find the following tips beneficial for helping both the individual and yourself from the terrible effects of depression.

The symptoms of depression can vary in intensity but their affect on a relationship is always negative.

IDENTIFY SYMPTOMS

If the person you love has not been diagnosed with depression it is important for you to analyze their behavior and act on it. If the person displays symptoms of depression they may not realize it on their own. Depression often causes a person to feel like a failure and they may blame their lack of interest, energy or ability to show affection as a personal weakness rather than a medical problem.

 

Individuals who have bipolar disorder frequently assume bouts of manic symptoms can simply mean they have high energy rather than a problem that needs attention. Using a questionnaire online or from a pamphlet can help you or your loved one identify symptoms of depression or bipolar disorder.

 

SEEK TREATMENT

If you feel that your loved one is displaying symptoms of depression, including an inability to show interest in activities that they usually enjoyed, sleeping more or less than usual, unexplained crying, withdrawing from interactions and talk of suicide, it is crucial that they seek medical intervention right away.

 

If the individual refuses to seek treatment you may need to enlist the help of others to speak to them, including anyone they might respond to - friends, teachers, counselors. You can even ask your own physician for help if nobody else can convince them. If they talk about suicide call 911 or a suicide emergency help line immediately.

 

BE SUPPORTIVE

Probably the most important action you can take, aside from getting the person medical treatment is to remain nonjudgmental and consistently supportive.

 

A depressed person feels unworthy and weak. This self-depreciation furthers the depression. Losing the ability to work, communicate or enjoy life will erode relationships, lead to financial problems and affect intimacy.

 

It is important to remember this is not the true nature or feelings of the person suffering from depression. A depressed person may start arguments or tell you they don't love you. Do not believe them or take their comments to heart. Indulging their grievances will only further the depression.

 

If the person is being treated for their depression remind them that treatment will eventually work and remain positive. Remind them that this is a medical problem and that they are not to blame. Don't push them to do more than they are capable of and never suggest that they just "pull themselves together" since that will lead to more feelings of worthlessness. Regularly inviting the person to go for a walk, enjoy a movie or other outing, or simply listen to them talk can help when the person feels able to do these activities.

 

KEEP PERSPECTIVE

If you have been through several bouts of depression with the one you love, remember the episode will eventually end. If you are having trouble keeping perspective you might seek out a support group for friends and family of those suffering from depression to help you feel connected to others dealing with similar situations.

 

Find a confidant who will listen without judgment. Especially when dealing with a depressed spouse you may feel unloved or hopeless. Having a friend or therapist who you can share your feelings with will help you remember that it is not the person or yourself causing this turmoil, it is a medical problem that must be viewed as temporary and treatable.

 

Brad Bahr is the editor of many health related websites and publications. He has been testing and reviewing nutritional supplements for over 20 years. After trying hundreds of products, he recommends one supplement above all others for renewing health and energy: http://www.hgh-facts.com

 

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10 Tips for Relieving Depression

 

 

1. Eat life-giving foods.

If you eat devitalized and lifeless food, it makes sense you will be devitalized and lifeless. Your body has nothing on which to draw to keep it energetic and vibrant. If you do not feel like cooking, then eat apples or other fruits or vegetables, sliced or whole. Even though you may crave sugar and junk food, these foods not only do not help in relieving depression, they make it worse. Buy and eat organic foods, if possible. It has not been determined how chemically treated and genetically altered foods affect us, so best to avoid them.

 

We are natural beings living in an unnatural world. This is the insanity. Our bodies, our minds, and our spirits are reacting to this insanity. Know that you are not insane. You are reacting to the insanity outside you.

 

 

3. Turn the TV off.

Take a break from media overload. Turn the TV off and do not read the newspapers. Most of what you hear on TV and read in the papers is not good news. This is not the time to read and listen to sad stories and ponder devastating events you can do nothing about.

 

4. Fake it till you make it.

Sometimes you need to work from the outside in. Act as if you are not depressed. How would you walk, talk or sit if you were not depressed? What would you do if you were not depressed? If Publisher's Clearing House came to your door right now with a $5 million check, would you tell them to go away because you are too depressed? Fake it till you make it. Your brain does not know the difference between what is real and what is imagined. Imagine you are not depressed.

 

5. Dress up.

Wear your good clothes. Do what you can to make yourself look and feel attractive.

 

6. Count your blessings.

When you are depressed, sad and perhaps angry, being grateful is not the first thought that comes to your mind. However, this is the perfect time to count your blessings. This is the perfect time to remember there are people who would gladly trade places with you. We have so many things to be thankful for; however, we often take them for granted. With an attitude of gratitude, depression cannot thrive.

 

7. Drink water.

You can survive many weeks without food, but only a few days without water. Dehydration will cause your body and your brain to shut down. Being happy and having a great attitude is impossible if your body is dehydrated. Drink plenty of water. One rule is to drink half your body weight in ounces each day. That is, if you weight 200 pounds, drink 100 ounces of water. Drink filtered or spring water if possible. The tap water in many of our cities contains chemicals and, again, we cannot be sure how these chemicals are affecting us.

 

8. Listen to motivational tapes.

Do not leave your mind alone to do its "own thing." Obviously, your self-talk is not serving you well at this time. Therefore, this is the perfect time to listen to someone else's talk. Listen to motivational and inspirational tapes and music. Bombard your brain with uplifting thoughts from others. If you feel like reading, read uplifting and inspiring material.

9. Dance.

The body needs to move. Get that blood flowing through your body and your brain. Your brain needs a good supply of blood in order to work properly. But when you are feeling depressed, the idea of exercising is not appealing.

So, dance! Play uplifting and happy music. Play music that reminds you of happy times. Stretch out those parts of your body you are able to stretch. Move, move, move. Dance, dance, dance. Your body, your mind, and your soul will thank you.

 

10. Remember who you are.

You are a precious entity in this great cosmic universe. You are a representation of God. There is nothing true of the greatest among us that is not true of you. You are magnificent. Sometimes we forget how wonderful we are. Have you?

 

Wambui Bahati "Miss Inspiration" is a professional speaker and entertainer. Her passion is: Reminding YOU of YOUR magnificence. http://www.wambui-bahati.com http://www.inspiration-motivation-celebration.com

 

Depression Treatment

Depression is of two types one is Major Depressive Disorder and the other Bipolar Disorder. The two are different which require different treatments.

 

The symptoms of the former involves sadness, excessive crying, loss of pleasure, sleeping too much or too little, low energy, restlessness, difficulty in concentrating, irritability, loss of appetite or overeating, feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness, feelings of physical problems that are not caused by physical illness or injury like headaches, digestive problems, pain and thoughts of death or suicide.

 

2. Know that you are not insane.

Depression is a warning sign that something is wrong. It is a symptom that something is out of balance in your body, in your environment, or both. We live in an environment filled with toxins. There are wars, inequitable laws, financial pressures, and media overload. The list is unending.

 

Bipolar disorder involves episodes of depression and also episodes of mania like inappropriate sense of euphoria (excitement), reckless behavior, little sleep needed, excessive energy, racing thoughts; talking too much, out of control spending, difficulty concentrating, irritability, abnormally increased activity including sexual activity, poor judgment, aggressive behavior, extreme irritability or "out of control" behavior. People with depression do not experience manic episodes.

 

And an episode whether depressive or manic can last for days, weeks, months or even years. It is very essential to note that the treatment differs for both the conditions. Both biological factors like genetics and psychological factors like stress play a major role in causing depression.

 

For people who are correctly diagnosed with depression i.e. major depressive disorder, antidepressant medications are often highly effective and they must be taken regularly for three to four weeks, sometimes even longer, before the full response is seen. Other treatments involve Electroconvulsive therapy, Lithium and Anticonvulsant medication both used for prevention. Sometimes interpersonal therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy is also used.

 

Treatments for bipolar disorder often involve a two-part plan of using both medication and psychotherapy. Different types of medications are used to treat bipolar disorder, including medicines for controlling manic symptoms, depressive symptoms or medications that help stabilize the patient's mood. Psychotherapy, with a licensed therapist or social worker, is also used in bipolar disorder treatment.

 

Cognitive Therapy focuses on changing inappropriate or negative thought patterns, Behavioral Therapy focuses on current behaviors and Interpersonal therapy focuses on current relationships that can affect the illness. Psychoeducation helps the patient and family understand the illness and recognize signs of relapse.

 

Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy focuses on daily routines that can promote emotional stability. The line of treatment depends on the patient's needs who usually works with healthcare professionals that supervise the patient's care maintaining personal contact with each other to help ensure the patients' continued progress.

 

In both of the above cases it is very important that you do not stop treatment on your own, whether you have concerns about your medicine or if you feel you are doing better, discuss openly with your doctor.

 

NamSing Then is a regular article contributor on many topics. Be sure to visit his other websites Depression Treatment and One Stop Information

Depression FAQ

Here are a few common misunderstood things about depression.

 

Q: What is clinical depression?

A: Clinical depression is characterized by a constant depressed mood, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, and a lack of interest in activities. Other symptoms of clinical depression can include weight gain, insomnia, and thoughts of death and suicide. It is difficult for people that have never experienced clinical depression to understand exactly how horrible a condition it is.

 

Q: What causes clinical depression?

A: There are several different causes of clinical depression. Clinical depression can be caused by physical conditions, such neurochemical imbalances in the brain, which can be hereditary. It can also be caused by life experiences, such as a traumatizing event in childhood or the loss of a job or loved one. A common misconception is that clinical depression refers only to depression caused by neurochemical imbalances in the brain, or that antidepressants can only treat this kind of depression. In reality, antidepressants are capable of eliminating all kinds of depression.

 

Q: What treatments exist for clinical depression?

A: The most common form of treatment is through antidepressant medication, such as SSRI and SNRI drugs. These drugs can carry severe side effects and withdrawal symptoms, and may be overkill for cases of minor depression. If your depression is caused by life experiences, such as financial difficulties or the death of a loved one, it may be better to receive talk therapy or cognitive behavior therapy rather than risk taking antidepressant medications. If the cause of your depression is physical, then not much aside from medicine will help you.

 

$ The loss of sleep is one of the leading causes of stress and anxiety, which are directly related to depression. In order to improve the quality of your sleep, make sure that your mattress is comfortable, along with your pillow. It may also help to keep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature so that you can sleep soundly through the night without being disrupted by hot or cold temperatures. And finally, the use of portable air filters will help to remove allergens in the air and will leave your room with a feeling of cleanliness. This may help to ease allergies, which often disrupt sleep and can lead to anxiety throughout the day.

 

Q: Who can I go to to get help with my depression?

A: Most people would go to their doctor (general practitioner) first, however this is not always the best decision. If you go to your doctor, you are likely to be given antidepressant medication with little consultation, and many general practitioners are untrained in the nuances of antidepressant medication. As a result, you may experience side effects and withdrawal symptoms due to your doctor either giving you too much medication when you begin taking antidepressants or not tapering your dosage of antidepressants correctly when you stop taking antidepressants. If the cause of your clinical depression is neurochemical or hereditary in nature, you may be served well by going to your doctor first.

 

However, if your depression is minor or is related to life events, you may instead choose to seek out psychological counseling, either in group therapy or in one-on-one sessions. This may be a better choice for some people who are afraid to take antidepressant medication due to the risk of side effects. Even if you do decide to take antidepressant medication, consider going to a psychiatrist instead of a general practitioner, as they are better prepared to handle clinical depression. Unfortunately, you may not have insurance, or your insurance may not cover psychiatric care. In this event, a psychiatrist may be too expensive for you. As an alternative, you may choose to consult a psychiatric nurse working with a psychiatrist. It should cost about the same amount to visit a psychiatric nurse as it would to visit a general practitioner, and they are generally more knowledgeable about psychiatric care than many doctors.

 

How You Can Conquer Stress, Depression, & Anxiety Quickly, Naturally & Permanently And Enjoy A Brighter, Happier Future Today

5 Ways To Effectively Treat Minor Depression

$ Consider adopting a pet. Studies have shown that individuals who own pets, including cats or dogs, live a happier and healthier life. The reason is because pets provide companionship and unconditional love, which is one of the reasons that they may help to eliminate minor cases of depression and/or stress.

 

$ A regular fitness regimen may help to treat depression, including walking or a leisurely jog. Experts believe that walking for 30 minutes each day may help to ease stress and anxiety, which often lead to depression, and may also improve cardiovascular health.

 

$ Find a hobby that you enjoy. If you have too much time on your hands, consider volunteering at a local hospital or becoming involved in some type of community activity that offers you personal satisfaction and enjoyment. After all, busy hands are happy hands.

 

$ Consider the cause of your depression and try to remove it from your life. Whether it be a job or a relationship, you may be able to effectively eliminate the depression by getting away from the cause. If your work is stressful because of the amount of hours spent on the job, consider cutting back on overtime in exchange for more enjoyment at home and with family. If your schoolwork is too demanding, consider evaluating your courses and which are most important for your education. If a relationship is what has you in a rut, consider a counseling session for couples or talk with your partner about whatever it is that's troubling you. If the problem is too great to work through, consider some time apart to reevaluate your relationship and see if the depression eases after a trial separation.

 

This article is to be used for informational purposes only. The information contained herein should be used as, in place of or in conjunction with professional medical advice relating to the treatment of depression. Anyone who notices the symptoms of depression, or believe that they may have a problem, should consult a physician for a proper diagnosis and/or treatment recommendation.

 

The author is a regular contributor to Depression Data where more information about depression is available.

 

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