How Can You Help a Friend with Depression?



Just wanted to let you know this episode deals with the topics of depression and suicide so if you're not up for that today. Go ahead and skip it and hey, take care of yourself. Okay. During the publicity that attended the recent suicides of Anthony bourdain end Kate Spade. People were urged to reach out to loved ones. They suspect are coping with depression. There's good reason for this nudge, a more than sixteen million American adults experience major depression with only thirty five percent of those affected turning to a mental health professional for treatment effective treatment can lead to partial or complete remission and thus a vastly improved quality of life. But one of the tricky things about depression is that it can prevent people from getting help still despite these numbers a lot of people are confused are anxious about how to handle a potentially depressed loved one. How can you tell if someone is really depressed and how exactly should you approach the person? What if they get mad at you for asking? Although a lot of variables are at play. And it's impossible to predict a reaction experts insist that it's always better to make a true and carrying effort. We spoke with Matt Onarato director of social work and an adjunct clinical assistant, professor at the Ohio State University. Wet. Sner medical centers Harding hospital. He said a people who contemplate suicide are embitterment up to the end. They want the pain to end. And if there was some other way to end the pain than kill themselves. They would take that. There's always hope you make a small gesture of. Hey, I'm here if you need me, and that could stop someone a week later from trying to kill themselves, the small things we do make a huge impact. So how do you know, if someone is dealing with depression almost all of us get the blues at some point feeling down about our lives or selves, the difference with depression is that this feeling does not lift and has not improved by spending time with friends or taking part in fun activities some fairly well known symptoms of depression include sadness and loss of interest in hobbies enjoyed in the past weight gain or weight loss. Trouble sleeping or excessive sleep difficulty. Concentrating and suicidal thoughts or comments a general ability is a lesser known and often overlooked symptom. Verbal statements of feeling emptier. Worthless are also important to note as well as physical symptoms like pain fatigue, headaches or stomach aches, if any of these symptoms last more than two weeks and interfere with the person's life functioning in some way. It's probably not just the blues like any serious illness depression needs to be treated to get better. A lot of people are scared to approach left. What about depression or suicide a whether it's because they don't want to offend the person are afraid to make the situation to real or are worried that they'll get yelled at we also spoke with Dr Catherine brunette assistant, professor at the school of social work at Tulane university via Email, she said anytime sensitive issue was brought up the potential for defensiveness or anger is there. She also noted that you're not necessarily in for a fight though. Quote, everyone responds differently and many people may be relieved to talk about their struggles. Especially if a non judgmental insensitive approach is taken. In the event that the person does react unhappily. It can be helpful to be open and direct about your emotional response, therapists, suggest saying something like I understand you're going through a lot. But when you snap at me. It makes me feel sad. There's no guarantee that one talk will result in action. And that's okay, Burnett said sometimes they friend seems to blow you off you can affirm that you just care about them. And are there if they ever want to talk your friend may not respond immediately. But your care may have left an opening for future conversations. When you do initiate the conversation calmly expressed concern, then let them do a lot of the talking. Listen, I hold off on any problem solving or suggestions, it might sound silly. But just listening to a person's experience of depression can help them validate that experience for themselves. Once they've had their say, therapists recommend asking probing questions. Like how bad does the scat? A does it ever get worse than what you're telling me? Are you aware of having a lot of guilt or shame? Just void saying things. Like look on the bright side, or it's not that bad or even something like when I was depressed. Once I started walking every day. And I got better. Remember, the depression is a systemic illness. It can affect a person's whole body and being so it needs treatment tailored for every individual person. It may take time, but hopefully, they'll come to the conclusion that their depression can be treated there are lots of options, depending on how severe the situation is if the person is suicidal. There are services that offer twenty four hour access to trained professionals and other resources in the US. Try looking up the National Alliance on mental illness or mental health America. Or these suicide prevention lifeline or the substance abuse and mental health Services Administration some services are free. And there are federally funded outpatient and inpatient programs available to folks without insurance with payment based on sliding scale, according to income if the situation is less urge. Don't talk to your friend about what option they might be most comfortable with this could start with a trip to the family. Doctor a, particularly if your friends doesn't want to see a therapist after all primary care. Doctors are also able to rule out any other medical 'cause like Siread problems or Nimia they can screen for depression prescribed medications and refer patients to mental health professionals, many employee assistance programs offer free or reduced cost counseling sessions to staff and family members. So be sure to check your specific plan for counseling and other resources. Onarato said, I think culturally were becoming in America more comfortable talking about mental health, depression, and suicide people are being more open, and knowing that there is help out there that you won't be judged and are not

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