Mental Health Last updated on 2022-02-04 22:50:04
How to help someone with Depression?
- Ms. Neha Dey
- 5 Min Read
- Fact Checked
How to help someone with depression? Depression also called major depressive disorder MDD is one of the most common yet complicated clinical conditions, it is characterized by pathology mood disorder showing symptoms of sadness/low mood and loss of interest. Although we come across the term very often, still, there is a lack of awareness about the condition and how to go about it? Depression affects millions including young adults and the elder population, obstructing our everyday routine. There is a tremendous amount of struggle not just for the individual having the condition, but also impacting everyone around them. The situation can be better managed with support but the question is how to help someone with depression? Common signs of depression There can be different causes for depression, the symptoms may differ from person to person. Some people may show a combination of symptoms whereas some can have a cluster of symptoms. It is also important that we understand feeling low does not interpret you to have depression. The condition not just affects your mood, but also marks changes in sleeping pattern, energy, appetite, concentration, and thoughts. Physiological signs of Depression:
- Loss of appetite
- Excessive hunger
- Difficulties sleeping or excessive sleepiness.
- Unexplained aches and pains like a headache
- Tiredness or fatigue
- Frequent crying spells
- Social isolation
- In severe forms of depression, people can even find it difficult to perform their activities of daily living and continue with their work and relationships.
- Persistent Sadness
- Lack of interest in previously fond of and pleasurable activities
- Feeling of emptiness
- Negative thoughts or thoughts of self-harm
- Difficulty remembering
- Troubles concentrating and indecisiveness.
- Slowness in performing activities or lack of motivation to perform.
- Try to be more vigilant of the changes in their behavior like getting easily irritable, aggressive, training aloof, and isolated, etc.
- Try to observe changes in a performance like a sudden drop in performance, lack of interest at work, or continuous absenteeism
- Try to observe changes in communication patterns like monosyllabic responses, sudden bouts of silence during meetings, absent-mindedness, etc
- Biological factors: chemical imbalance in the brain may lead to the symptoms of depression. It is often not clear when a person reports symptoms of depression without any major event or happenings, chemical imbalance reasons the same, abnormal levels of norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine which are the important neurotransmitters/chemicals that can result in symptoms of depression.
- Genetic factors: genetics play a major role in depression. WHO studies show that a person having a family history of depression has more positive chances of having the condition, family and twin studies are evidence for the role of genetic factors of depression, twin research data shows that the heritability rate for depression is almost 40% whereas family studies show a two- to threefold increase in the risk of depression in first-degree offspring of patients with depression.
- Environmental Factors: Stressful life events are one of the prominent risk factors for depression like loss of job, death in the family, relationship issues, grief, bereavement, different forms of abuse like physical abuse in childhood, domestic violence, sexual abuse in different stages of life including marital rapes, emotional abuse like constant criticizing, shaming, blaming, and substance abuse like drugs and excessive alcoholism, can also be considered causes of depression.
- Try to accept the feelings, thoughts that they share with you
- Don't try to minimize their thoughts or unacknowledge their feelings.
- The suggestions should be ethical and come from a clinical person and not personal.
- Set your boundaries regarding your availability and the amount of help you can offer for example your reachable time.
- Situations like suicidal thoughts or self-harm threats you can take help from helplines, psychologists, counselors, and other mental health professionals
- In severe forms of depression-like Major Depressive Disorder or Bipolar Depression medication is the primary channel of treatment where the psychiatrist will be required to diagnose and provide the correct medication like antidepressants to help control the symptoms and manage the condition.
- Whereas in moderate levels of depression a combination of medication and therapy is suggested where the clinical psychologist plays a vital role in conducting assessments, providing psychotherapy, and carrying out observation studies, Studies show a combination of medication and psychotherapy is also considered the most effective treatment for depression.
- Milder forms of depression are mostly treated with therapy and counseling, relaxation techniques have also proven to be long-term help for depression that can be provided through Clinical and Counseling Psychologists.
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