Depression and Helping a Loved One or Yourself That is Affected

Depression can affect anyone like you or a loved one as we all have good days and bad days, depending on circumstances in life. Stress and the economy has a huge effect on most of us. Depression is when some people tend to have all bad days and get lost in a deep dark tunnel of no return. There is help available for anyone lost in a deep depression so they can see the light and find new hope in their lives.

Everyone feels down and blue from time to time because of the stresses and tensions in life and possible depression.  When those down feelings begin to lead to despair and worthlessness, it may be a case of depression. This is a serious condition when your normal activities as you know them somehow become difficult to enjoy, as daily functions become overwhelming. 

Depression is not impossible to overcome, as long as you know how the condition affects you.  Depression is much more than a feeling of sadness; it becomes a deep way of life, like living in a dark hole.  Some may show signs of depression through anger, being restless, aggressive, apathetic and unable to concentrate or cope with day-to-day decisions.

If you or someone you love is suffering from the demons of this disorder, there are many avenues in finding help for depression.  Without doing so, the feelings of purposelessness will affect the ability to eat, sleep, study, work or enjoy anything in life.  These dark feelings will only get more intense without treatment options. Before you can get help, keep a journal of your thoughts, feelings, behaviors and symptoms on a daily basis.  Keep the journal yourself if it is a loved one you wish to assist.  Such a journal could aid in looking for and finding the appropriate help.

Since causes and symptoms for depression differ from person to person, so does the process for healing and management of the condition. There is no guarantee that each option will work for each person.  It is necessary for you to explore as many treatment options as you can. It will take a combination of methods, medications and therapies to help you or your loved one through depression. An ideal remedy for you would aim at lifestyle changes, social support, a buildup of emotional skills and qualified mental health professionals; a therapist to work through your feelings and a psychiatrist to evaluate you and provide medications for health and balance in life.

Finding help for depression requires extensive research on the depression itself and the best help in your area.  There are a multitude of mental health professionals, specializing in the field of mental and mood disorders, such as depression. Your journal can now be a useful tool in finding the right person and program to help you to a better life. 

Research in finding help for depression should begin with family and friends.  Actually, it is important to build a support system with those who care about you the most.  Surrounding yourself with those who love you can actually speed up the recovery process. Being depressed with feelings of hopelessness does not mean that you are in a weakened state and can’t be helped.  You indeed can change when you open yourself up to the resources available within your own home and circle.  For the depressed loved one in your life, be there as best you can, since many depressed people prefer isolation.  They may even pick a fight and argue just so you would “go away.” You cannot give up.

Family and friend support is the most honest and sincere approach to a healthier you.  They are the ones who have your back through thick and thin, and love you unconditionally.  Family needs to take a serious role in the weakest of moments with a depressed loved one.  Encourage getting the help of mental health professionals.  If a treatment plan does not seem to be working, seek another treatment option until one is found that works.  Family and close friends may have to take an active role to be sure doctor and therapist visits are followed through, and medications are taken as prescribed.  Remember that your loved one may fight you every step of the way initially because of denial. Be patient, encouraging, affectionate and understanding.

Finding help for depression does begin in the home through observance and communication.  You may not like all the conversations but you must listen carefully.  Don’t deny the feelings expressed but try to offer hope.  If thoughts of suicide are expressed, take them seriously and seek emergency mental health professionals immediately, even if it means calling your local emergency room or 24-hour emergency clinics.

Never make your loved one feel as though the feelings are fake or can be resolved with a slap on the hand.  Denying the feelings only makes the depression go deeper and more extreme.  If you are able to communicate, that is a sign of a depressed person “asking for help” indirectly.  Getting treatment for you or your depressed loved one results in healing over time.

Referrals are best in finding a reputable psychologists and psychotherapists, and your inner circle of support can help you with names and numbers. Most everyone has their own personal doctor, favorite medical facilities and hospitals, resources in finding doctors, therapists and support groups for those suffering from mood disorders. 

You will first need to find a psychiatrist who will help to get you diagnosed.  Accurate diagnosis helps in prescribing you the medications necessary to return joy and balance into your life.  Aside from personal doctors, check the yellow pages under mental health and go online; call local hospitals, crisis centers, suicide prevention, social services, hotlines, emergency medical facilities and any organization or group in the medical field.  Others could include health maintenance organizations, medical school-affiliated programs, state hospital out-patient clinics and employee assistance programs.   These professionals are there to help and can direct you to the best person or facility that can aid you in getting the assistance you need.

Your local library can be full of resources, not only in finding out where you can go for help but also in locating the many highly-accredited self-help books for you or a loved one with depression.  Such resources give you skills and tools to reframe negative thinking.  You can work through the root of your depressive feelings, help you understand those feelings and the triggers that led to your deep, dark state of being.  You can learn how to prevent recurrence of depression through lifestyle changes with the help of professionals in the mental health field.  Cultivate healthy supportive relationships, manage stress, eat properly, sleep well and become a fit and healthy person from the inside out.


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