• 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
jazz.jpg
Members Online
0 Users Online
Guests
Visible
No users online.
Follow Us On Twitter
Like Us On Facebook
Medical News
  • Understanding the unhappy side of serotonin
    Antidepressants improve mood by boosting serotonin levels, but serotonin can have negative effects, too. Scientists have been exploring why this happens.
    Psychology / Psychiatry News From Medical News Today
    Saturday, 27 August 2016 21:00
  • Marijuana use leads to laziness, study suggests
    Rats given THC - a psychoactive compound in marijuana - were less willing to complete a difficult cognitive task in order to receive a greater reward.
    Psychology / Psychiatry News From Medical News Today
    Friday, 26 August 2016 06:00
  • Reducing prescription opioid addiction by switching receptors
    Addiction to opioid painkillers has risen rapidly over the last decade. Could its addictive power be reduced by switching to a different receptor subtype?
    Psychology / Psychiatry News From Medical News Today
    Friday, 26 August 2016 05:00
  • In unstable times, the brain reduces cell production to help cope
    People who experience job loss, divorce, death of a loved one or any number of life's upheavals often adopt coping mechanisms to make the situation less traumatic.
    Mental Health News From Medical News Today
    Thursday, 25 August 2016 21:00
  • Vitamin cocktails: An ethical dilemma of supply and demand
    The Daily Meal report on intravenous vitamin therapies - also known as vitamin drip treatments - which have gained popularity recently.
    Pharma Industry / Biotech Industry News From Medical News Today
    Thursday, 25 August 2016 21:00
  • Disruptions to sleep patterns lead to an increased risk of suicides
    The link between sleep problems and suicidal thoughts and behaviours is made starkly clear in new research from The University of Manchester, published in the BMJ Open.
    Sleep / Sleep Disorders / Insomnia News From Medical News Today
    Thursday, 25 August 2016 21:00
  • Psychosis associated with low levels of physical activity
    A large international study of more than 200,000 people in nearly 50 countries has revealed that people with psychosis engage in low levels of physical activity, and men with psychosis are over two...
    Schizophrenia News From Medical News Today
    Thursday, 25 August 2016 21:00
  • Schizophrenia symptoms eased with aerobic exercise
    Around 12 weeks of aerobic exercise was found to significantly improve the cognitive functioning of individuals with schizophrenia in a new study.
    Schizophrenia News From Medical News Today
    Friday, 12 August 2016 06:00
  • Mental stress may cause reduced blood flow in hearts of young women with heart disease
    Younger women with coronary heart disease and mental stress are more susceptible to myocardial ischemia (reduced blood flow to the heart muscle, which can lead to a heart attack), compared to men...
    Mental Health News From Medical News Today
    Thursday, 25 August 2016 02:00
  • How epigenetics shapes neuronal excitability
    A new study suggests that epigenetic changes can alter the abundance of specific channels to control neuronal excitability, which is known to be dysregulated in many brain disorders.
    Mental Health News From Medical News Today
    Thursday, 25 August 2016 02:00
  • Metformin associated with decreasing weight gain in kids with autism
    The diabetes medication metformin hydrochloride was associated with decreased weight gain in a small clinical trial of children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder who were taking...
    Autism News From Medical News Today
    Thursday, 25 August 2016 04:00
  • HIV-infected adults with depression have increased risk for heart attack
    Among more than 26,000 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected adults, those with major depressive disorder (MDD) were more likely to experience a heart attack than those without MDD, according...
    Depression News From Medical News Today
    Thursday, 25 August 2016 04:00
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