• No one should be alone in this. We can help.
If you - or someone you know - are having thoughts about suicide, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Calls are connected to a certified crisis center nearest the caller's location. Services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.                                                                            If you - or someone you know - are having thoughts about suicide, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Calls are connected to a certified crisis center nearest the caller's location. Services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Advertisement

Main Menu
Sponsored Links
Donate to DF
Latest Forum Topics
No posts were found
Search

Find a Therapist
Powered by Good Therapy
Forum Admin  Forum Admin

How to Help a Depressed Loved One




It could be the most important conversation you'll ever have. Get expert advice on how to talk to a loved one who you think may be depressed.

By Dr. Gail Saltz from The Oprah Winfrey  Show, "An Actress, a Supermodel and a Country Star Pull Back the Veil on Depression"
Helping a loved one who's suffering from depression can be a difficult and emotional process. Psychiatrist Dr. Gail Saltz, author of Anatomy of a Secret Life: Are the People in Your Life Hiding Something You Should Know, offers expert advice on how you can best help a friend or relative out of the darkness.

Acknowledge that depression is an illness.

Depression can bring feelings of denial and shame in those who are suffering, so it's important to realize that your loved one can't just "snap out of it." Dr. Saltz says the first step is to realize that depression is a medical condition. "In fact, more than half of this country still believes that depression is due to personal weakness as opposed to understanding that it's an illness," Dr. Saltz says. "Treat the illness, and they can be like anyone else."

Realize that isolation is often a symptom of depression.

If you've noticed a friend or relative has stopped going out or communicating with others, this may be a sign of depression. Make yourself a regular presence in that person's life. "Part of the disease is not wanting to talk or go out," Dr. Saltz says.

Don't let a loved one isolate him or herself, Dr. Saltz says. "Push them. Say, 'I know you don't want to, but I'm not taking no for an answer. We haven't talked in awhile. I'm coming over,'" she says. "They need connection. If you're busy being polite, it won't go well."

Face-to-face conversations are ideal, Dr. Saltz says, because depressed people aren't usually very verbal. But if you are in a long-distance situation where you can't be face-to-face with that person, Dr. Saltz says to make regular phone calls. "Be persistent," she says.

Don't distance yourself from a depressed loved one.

It can be hard to be around a loved one who is depressed, but Dr. Saltz urges people to remain present in that person's life. "Most people's reaction—it isn't conscious—is to pull away, get away," Dr. Saltz says. If this is your reaction, it doesn't mean you are a bad person.

Dr. Saltz says loved ones of depressed people are sometimes afraid that if they identify with that person, they will also get pulled into the darkness. "Know that you can talk to them without feeling what they feel," she says. "You can do a great service by reaching out. You don't have to imagine what it feels like."

Recognize your own limitations and feelings.

Helping someone who is depressed isn't always easy, so don't be afraid to accept your own feelings. "Recognize you might get angry with them because it seems like they aren't trying," Dr. Saltz says. "It's important to recognize you can help but you can't make someone have treatment. You can't necessarily feel like you are responsible for them."

Don't be afraid to ask if they are suicidal.

Dr. Saltz says one of the biggest myths about depression is that you should never ask someone if they are contemplating suicide. "That's not true," says Dr. Saltz. "It's important to ask."

If you find out a friend or relative is thinking about suicide, take it very seriously—15 percent of "most people do tell someone. Sometimes it's a cry for help," Dr. Saltz says. "There's no way of knowing for sure, but if you have to go that distance to ask someone, it's not to be taken lightly."

In fact, asking someone about whether or not they are suicidal can provide some relief and open up a path to treatment, Dr. Saltz says.

If your loved one admits they are suicidal, keep asking questions.

If a friend or relative tells you they are thinking about killing themselves, Dr. Saltz says it's important to ask if they have a plan. "The suicide rate is 15 percent completions for depression," Dr. Saltz says. "Most often, they'll tell you the whole plan."

Offer to help.

When your loved one has admitted to considering suicide, Dr. Saltz says to take action immediately. There is a lower risk of suicide if they don't have an easily accessible method, so remove all potentially dangerous items. Then, find them a mental health professional immediately or drive them to the emergency room for a one-on-one intervention.

If you have a loved one who is not severely depressed but still struggling, Dr. Saltz says you should urge them to seek treatment. Say that you are aware that there are a number of treatments and that they don't have to feel bad all the time. "Sometimes they need a crowbar. If you can just offer to make a call for them or drive them to an appointment, it can mean the difference between getting help and not getting help," Dr. Saltz says.

Educate yourself.

Knowledge is power, and the more you know, the more you can help someone you love. Here are some resources that can help you save a life:

This Month In Pictures
leaves.jpg
Members Online
0 Users Online
Guests
Visible
No users online.
Follow Us On Twitter
Like Us On Facebook
Medical News
  • Hunger may motivate us more than thirst, fear, or anxiety
    A mouse study reveals that hunger may be a stronger motivating force than a number of other driving states, including fear, anxiety, and social needs.
    Psychology / Psychiatry News From Medical News Today
    Thursday, 29 September 2016 06:00
  • Brain's biological clock stimulates thirst before sleep
    The brain's biological clock stimulates thirst in the hours before sleep, according to a study published in the journal Nature by McGill University researchers.
    Sleep / Sleep Disorders / Insomnia News From Medical News Today
    Thursday, 29 September 2016 05:00
  • Certain NSAIDs may raise the risk of heart failure, study finds
    In a new study, researchers have identified nine NSAIDs that - at certain doses - may increase the risk of hospital admission for heart failure.
    Pain / Anesthetics News From Medical News Today
    Thursday, 29 September 2016 05:00
  • Headaches and Menopause: What's the Connection?
    Headaches are among the symptoms some women report during menopause. Learn more about what causes them, what other symptoms occur, and treatment options.
    Pain / Anesthetics News From Medical News Today
    Thursday, 29 September 2016 03:00
  • The roots of human violence may lie in our evolutionary tree
    Lethal interpersonal violence is a particular feature of primates and is likely to have been inherited by humans during the course of evolution, finds a new study published in Nature.
    Psychology / Psychiatry News From Medical News Today
    Wednesday, 28 September 2016 21:00
  • Hormonal contraceptives may raise depression risk
    The use of hormonal contraceptives was linked to higher risk of depression and antidepressant use in a new study, especially for teenage girls.
    Depression News From Medical News Today
    Wednesday, 28 September 2016 06:00
  • Economic hardships pave the way to cognitive aging
    The effect of poverty on cognitive aging is clearer than many believed. It also appears to begin earlier in life than previously thought, too.
    Psychology / Psychiatry News From Medical News Today
    Tuesday, 27 September 2016 21:00
  • Health experts report US$246 billion cost of workplace depression across eight countries
    New data shows that workplace depression is a major issue across different cultures and economies, with "wide and devastating" consequences for thousands of organisations worldwide.
    Depression News From Medical News Today
    Tuesday, 27 September 2016 21:00
  • The birth of politics in children: The case of dominance
    As they grow up, do children become young Robin Hoods? Depending on their age, they do not allocate resources in the same way between dominant and subordinate individuals.
    Psychology / Psychiatry News From Medical News Today
    Tuesday, 27 September 2016 02:00
  • Group psychoeducation offers 'early intervention' for bipolar patients
    Structured group psychoeducation sessions could be more successful in treating patients in the early stages of bipolar disorder than standard peer-support offered by the NHS and the voluntary...
    Bipolar News From Medical News Today
    Tuesday, 27 September 2016 02:00
  • Cancer prevention benefits of colonoscopy may diminish after age 75
    Colonoscopy screening is modestly effective for preventing colorectal cancer in patients aged 70 to 74, but the cancer prevention benefits may begin to diminish in older patients.
    Schizophrenia News From Medical News Today
    Monday, 26 September 2016 21:00
  • Respiratory Acidosis: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
    Respiratory acidosis develops when air exhaled out of the lungs does not adequately exchange the carbon dioxide formed in the body for the inhaled oxygen.
    Sleep / Sleep Disorders / Insomnia News From Medical News Today
    Monday, 26 September 2016 21:00
Suicide Prevention Lifeline
suicidepreventionlifeline.org
Andertoon
Daily Toon Click to enlarge
ANDERTOONS.COM PSYCHIATRY CARTOONSPsychiatry Cartoonsby Andertoons
Tweets Liked by ~ Lindsay (@DepressionForum)
Depression Forums - A Depression & Mental Health Community Support Group
Copyright © 2014 The Depression Forums Incorporated - A Depression & Mental Health Social Community Support Group. All rights reserved.
The Depression Forums are intended to enable members to benefit from the experience of other members who have faced similar mental health issues by sharing their experiences.
* DF does NOT vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any posting or the qualifications of any person responding.
Use of the Forums is subject to our Terms Of Service (TOS) and forum guidelines which prohibit advertisements, solicitations or other commercial messages by members, or false, defamatory, abusive, vulgar, or harassing messages and may subject violators to be banned from the forums.
All postings reflect the views of the author but become the property of DepressionForums.org. Your personal information will never be shared with others.
If you have any questions on how it will be used, please see our our privacy policy.
Information supplied on Depression Forums should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for medical advice from a health professional or doctor.
* DF © is an acronym for DepressionForums.org