This Tuesday we want to talk about what you can do if you think someone you love might be suffering from more then just an average case of the blues. Here is a crash course on the treatment options for depression, and the way to broach the subject with someone who might be suffering from it...
- Anti-depressant medications
- Psychotherapy (interpersonal or cognitive behavioral)
- Illness education
- Support groups
- Attention to lifestyle, including diet, exercise, proper sleep, and smoking cessation
- Expressive art
WHAT TO DO
- Remind that person that depression is not anyone's fault or a character flaw.
- Remind them that depression cannot be overcome with willpower alone.
- If you don't know what they need, ask, and then listen.
- Listen with compassion and non-judgment.
- Never ignore comments of suicide. If the person expresses suicidal thoughts, get help immediately. Stay with the person until you've taken them to a trained professional.
- You will not cause someone to commit suicide by talking about it with them, so don't be afraid to broach the subject if you are concerned that they might be considering it. For more information on suicide prevention visit the website of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or call 1-800-273-TALK.
WHAT TO SAY
- I may not be able to understand exactly how you feel, but I care about you and want to help.
- You are important to me. Your life is important to me.
- Tell me what I can do now to help you.
- I am here for you. We will get through this together.
WHAT YOU SHOULD AVOID SAYING
- It's all in your head.
- It's just a phase.
- We all go through times like this.
- You'll be fine. Stop worrying.
- Look on the bright side.
- You have so much to live for; why do you want to die?
- I can't do anything about your situation.
- Just snap out of it.
- What's wrong with you?
- Shouldn't you be better by now?