Tuesday, May 21, 2013

How To Help Someone Who is Depressed?

While most of the people visiting this blog are likely to be suffering from depression themselves, we know for a fact that many people who take interest in this subject do it because they're looking for a way to help a close friend or relative who is suffering from depression. If that's your case, this article was written with you in mind. Here, we're focusing on practical strategies that you can use to actually help that special someone. Understand their premise: to begin with, you can't really help someone who is depressed unless you can understand what they're going through, at least on an intellectual level. To this effect, you should do your own research in websites like this one. The accumulated knowledge will help you better related to someone who's struggling with depression, and it will also help you notice the warning signs. Having knowledge of their predicament will increase the chances of you connecting with the person in a way they feel comfortable opening up to you. Listen, and be prepared: often, a depressed person will endure through months of years on holding back on their depressive feelings, and keeping them bottled with fear of being misunderstood. So when you offer to listen to their problems, be prepared to really listen... and make your best effort not to pass judgment, no matter what you hear them say: a person suffering from major depression will likely speak in terms that will seem a little strange or crazy you, assuming you’re someone who hasn't suffered from this sickness. Be prepared for that. Take the person seriously: if the person you're trying to help claims they're enduring unimaginable suffering, or even if they bring up suicidal thoughts... do not assume they're just exaggerating. Those are very real, very common feelings among people suffering from major depression, and the chances they'll actually follow through with suicidal attempts are actually considerable. Show the person that you realize they're going through hell, even if you've never personally experience quite the same feelings. Prompt for treatment: try to encourage the person you're helping to seek the help of an accredited therapist. Offer to accompany them on their first couple of sessions, if they find the support beneficial. Make a point of telling them how treatments for depression are quite effective these days, and explain there's absolutely no embarrassment in seeking treatment for a mental disorder. Be there: do not patronize; never tell a depressed person to just "shake it off". Never make them feel you're thinking too light-heartedly about their condition. Most importantly, do not in any way let them feel inferior to you. Just be there, willing to listen and fully receptive. Focus on listening more so than on passing advice.

Monday, May 13, 2013

If You Think No One Cares... (Cartoon)

This cartoon may sound a bit inhumane at first sight, but it's the cold hard truth! And you know, one of the trademarks of depression is getting you so deep down into yourself that you fail to realize - or even care about - your duties and responsibilities  The problem is that being unable to meet such duties will eventually mean you'll have to face the consequences, and that will only make you feel even more depressed in the long run. It really doesn't look like there's an easy way out, does it?

Well, the matter of fact is such: there is no easy way out of depression. Which means you should take it even more seriously than you do. Because otherwise, it could get worse and worse until your life really gets out of whack. We don't mean to scare you, of course ... and yo should keep in mind that depression is treatable no matter how severe it gets. But like any other adverse condition, the worse it gets, the more challenging the treatment.

With that in mind, why not make it a little easier on yourself, and decide today to change your life around, for the sake of a better tomorrow?

Monday, May 6, 2013

3 Conditions that Tend to Co-Exist With Depression

Depression is a complex and multi-faceted sickness, which is often interwoven with other conditions. It's not always clear which work as causes and which work as effects, being more likely they build up on one another dynamically over time. In any case, when another condition manifests co-morbidly with depression, it will often require an additional course of treatment.

For the sake of reference, this article will overview four of the most common conditions that tend to co-exist with depression. Generally speaking, both depression and its associated conditions will diminish and fade out gradually, provided the right therapies are embraced. Conversely, focusing just on treating depression will not be too effective if other concurrent issues are left undiagnosed and untreated.

Anxiety disorder

By far and wide, the most common issue that manifests with depression is anxiety disorder, with both conditions often going and in hand and reinforcing one another. In fact, as many as 50% of patients suffering from depression also suffer from anxiety disorder, and vice-versa. This is quite a catastrophic combo, that can be equated to a feverish state comprised of hot flashes and cold chills... except it takes place in your mind and could go on and on for decades.

Substance abuse

Another highly common issue that develops in patients suffering from depression, and often one that leads up to chronic depression, is substance abuse. Whether the substance in cause is alcohol, illegal drugs or pharmaceutical drugs, patients suffering from abuse problems will find it nearly impossible to manage their depressive moods until they've received treatment to keep their substance abuse problems in check.

Other medical issues

In many cases, depression can either be the cause or the effect of an undetected physical sickness - anything from heart disease to cancer or hypothyroidism. In this case, the underlying disease can make it particularly difficult (or even unlikely) to manage depression, unless it's also addressed its own treatment  The opposite is also quite common: people struggling with serious medical conditions often have undiagnosed depression, which when treated will also make it easier for the patient to overcome the associated medical condition more easily.

The bottom line: people suffering from depression should get thorough medical exams to determine whether there may be an underlying physical condition working together with depression. People suffering from serious physical sicknesses should see a therapist to be analyzed for the possibility clinical depression; in fact, it looks like the boundaries between physical and mental sickness often are blurred, and in the future the work of medical doctors and psychologists should evolve to become more collaborative and adaptive to one another.