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Mental Health: What to Say to Someone with Depression

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For various reasons, most persons with major depressive disorder do not seek therapy. This may be because these individuals are uninformed of accessible therapy options. Individuals in their location may lack access to treatment, another possible cause. A third argument is that these individuals may receive little or no aid from their friends and family. Lastly, a fourth reason why persons with major depressive disorder do not seek treatment is that they are unaware that their symptoms are more than just transitory sorrow.

Major Depressive Disorder

Major depressive disorder is one of the most prevalent mental diseases affecting persons. For some individuals, the condition may impede their ability to complete basic tasks and interfere with their everyday lives. When a person loses interest in something they formerly enjoyed for more than two weeks, this is a sign of serious depressive disorder. A person with severe depressive disorder is depressed for an extended period and displays at least four symptoms listed below.

  • Sleep difficulties
  • Appetite loss and other eating difficulties
  • Insufficient energy
  • Concentration lapse
  • Problems with self-esteem or confidence
  • Suicidal or death-oriented thoughts

If you or someone you know exhibits four or more of these symptoms, you or they should consult a mental health professional.

The Different Forms of Depression

Numerous people are unaware that there are numerous types of depression. There are two types of depression: dysthymia and major depressive disorder. Because there are numerous types of depression, a depressed individual should consult a medical professional to comprehend his symptoms better. A medical professional can help you choose an appropriate treatment. Here are some details regarding the numerous types of depression.

1. I and II Bipolar Disorders

Bipolar disorder patients may experience mood swings ranging from hypomania or mania to severe depression. Because most hypomanic patients do not seek medical attention, trained health professionals may have difficulty distinguishing between bipolar and major depressive disorders. Frequently, affected individuals only seek therapy when they are depressed.

2. Cyclothymic Syndrome

Cyclothymic disorder is extremely similar to bipolar I and II disorders, albeit with milder highs and lows.

3. Persistent Depressive Illness

Persistent depressive disorder is a long-lasting form of depression typically milder than other types of depression. Nonetheless, this moderate sadness can develop into chronic depression if left untreated.

4. Syndrome of Premenstrual Dysphoria

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder is caused by hormonal fluctuations that occur three to seven days before a woman's menstrual period. Typically, depressive symptoms disappear after menstruation. It is essential to keep in mind that prescription medications, underlying medical conditions, and recreational drugs can all induce depression.

What to Say to a Depressed Individual

Here are some things to say to someone who has a mental illness:

1. Inform Them Of Your Concern

These two simple words, "I care," can mean a great deal to someone who believes the world is against them. A warm embrace or a gentle hand touch could also convey this message. The most important thing is to reach out and express your appreciation for the individual.

Remember that while you may initially feel uneasy and uncertain, what you say does not need to be profound or lyrical. It should simply emanate from a place of acceptance and compassion.

2. Remind Them That You Are Readily Available

Depression may cause you to believe that no one understands or cares enough to attempt to comprehend what you're going through, which can be isolating and burdensome.

According to research, people tend to withdraw when depressed, so reaching out to a friend in need is an essential first step. If your friend isn't ready to chat, continue encouraging them by spending time with them and frequently checking in via text, phone, or person.

3. Determine How You Can Be Of Assistance

You can probably do several things to aid your friend's recovery, as depression exerts a great deal of physical and mental strain on the individual experiencing it. Your friend may be hesitant to accept your offer out of fear of becoming a burden, so make it clear that you don't mind and are willing to help in the same way you know they would for you.

It is also possible that your friend's melancholy has rendered them so exhausted and depressed that they do not know what kind of assistance to seek.

4. Encourage Them to Seek Advice from a Professional

Depression therapies are an essential component of recovery from depression, but many individuals are ashamed of their illness or skeptical that therapy can be effective.

5. Ask If They Wish To Speak

The most important thing you can do for a friend who is depressed is to listen compassionately as they express their pain, allowing them to release the weight of their suppressed emotions.

6. Listen Attentively

We all desire to assist those we care about, and we frequently propose quick solutions to alleviate our feelings of helplessness—people who are frequently depressed need to talk without having their conversation hijacked by well-meaning advice.

7. Reiterate Their Significance

Depressed individuals frequently believe that their lives are pointless and that no one would miss them if they were to die.

If you sincerely express to your friend how much they mean to you and others, they will recognize their value and worth. When someone struggles with feelings of insignificance and melancholy, letting them know they are an essential part of your life can mean a great deal.

In addition to informing your friend that they have a serious medical condition, you may reassure them that depression, like any other medical condition, is treatable. Your acquaintance has a very good chance of regaining normalcy with the aid of medication and therapy.

Wrap Up

Being straightforward is frequently the easiest way to initiate a conversation. Determine if your friend is depressed. Avoid accusing, threatening, blaming, or diminishing your friend's emotions. Let them know you care and can discuss the matter with them if they choose.

Show your support, look for ways to assist, and remind them that effective treatments are available. Keep an eye out for suicidal thoughts or actions and encourage them to seek treatment from a mental health professional.

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