Helping friends and family cope with depression
All of us feel sad, moody or “blue” from time to time. These feelings are a normal part of life. Depression, however, is different.
Depression is a treatable medical condition that involves chemical imbalances in the brain and affects people of all genders, races, ages and income levels.
Depression is not a sign of personal weakness, nor can a person just "snap out of it." It is hard to recognize depression if you are the one suffering.
If you know the signs and symptoms of depression you can lend a hand in getting your family member or friend help.
Recognizing the signs of depression
Depression can be very different for each person, but some common signs include:
- Loss of energy or interest in normal daily activities
- Difficulty experiencing enjoyment or happiness
- Feelings of sadness, isolation or crying spells
- Experiencing fatigue, insomnia or excessive sleep
- Significant weight loss or gain
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering or making simple decisions
- Thoughts of death
If you suspect that someone you care for is depressed, one of the best steps you can take is to gently urge your loved one to see a doctor. Point out that depression is a medical condition that doctors can effectively treat. You may also offer to go to their first appointment with them for support.
A call can help
A qualified, licensed professional therapist can be very helpful for anyone struggling with stress, anxiety and depression. Short-term, problem-focused therapy may provide you and your family with additional support during difficult times. Contact your doctor today.