Depression is one of the most horrible mental illnesses that sometimes can have fatal consequences. And watching someone close to you suffer from it can be equally devastating.  

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That’s why we have Dr. Robin Henderson, PsyD to tell us if there’s a way to make a positive difference.

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  1. How to detect depression even if the person denies suffering from it?

“Ever notice when someone seems ‘off’ — they don’t return calls, stay away from social situations, seem overly tired, and may cry easily and often? While these aren’t all the signs, they are some that friends notice first. That’s a good time to take the first step and ask.”

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  1. How do we approach the person suffering from depression?

“Start with the basics. ‘How are you doing?’ Also, ‘Is everything OK? You seem kinda down lately. I want to help — let’s talk.’ Then, do the hard thing. Be quiet, be present, and just listen.”

  1. What else can be done besides listening?

“Listening is good, but it’s not always enough. Let them know that depression is treatable — with great success. Let them know they aren’t alone and that they aren’t the first person to have depression. Normalizing things is a great way to take the first step to getting help.”

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  1. How do you ask a person suffering from depression if they want help? Where do we start?

“Many people are more comfortable talking to their primary care doctor than they are seeking mental health treatment. Great! Many primary care doctors have behavioral health providers in their clinics these days! Many also screen for depression. Asking someone when the last time they saw their doctor — and even helping them schedule an appointment — is a great first step.”

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    5. What should we do if we’re worried someone is going to harm themselves?

“If you have any reason to believe someone is thinking about suicide or self-harm, it’s time to seek outside help. Call your local crisis line and talk about what you’re hearing. Offer to take them to an appointment with a professional — and go with them to make sure they follow through. If you don’t live with them, make sure someone close to them knows your concerns.”

  1. How do we deal with people who have suicidal thoughts, but is already seeing a therapist?

“While a therapist can’t talk to you [as a non-patient], you can always talk to them. If you know who their therapist is, give them a call and tell them your concerns —but don’t press for information.”

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      7. What should we do if someone has suicidal thoughts in the moment we’re with them?

“If someone has suicidal thoughts, it’s best to call your local suicide hot line and discuss options for an assessment. Make sure someone stays with them and that they feel safe. Most of all, seek professional help, and if you’re concerned about a suicide attempt, definitely seek help from the local county crisis team or even your local emergency room.”

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  1. Can certain lifestyle changes help make a difference?

“Absolutely! Self-care is a great way to help with depression. Getting exercise, fresh air, sunshine, and healthy food, and cutting back on alcohol, can all be helpful ways to ease symptoms — especially when done with a friend. Sign up for a spin class together. Cook dinner, and talk while you’re cooking. And be sure to get some sunshine. Seasonal affective disorder affects many more people than they realize. We need sunshine in our lives!”

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  1. What are the things you shouldn’t say to someone who is depressed?

“‘Get over it! You don’t have anything to be depressed about.’ ‘Buck up! This too shall pass!’ Anything that minimizes their experience isn’t helpful and could even be harmful.”

    10. How do we cope with the guilt and powerlessness that can come along with having a loved one suffering from depression?

“Self-care is important. Remember that no one can ’cause’ depression in another

— and unless you’re a trained professional, you can’t stop it either. There’s a big difference between empathy and sympathy, so be sure to protect your own boundaries. Don’t join someone in their depression.”

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    11. Where should we start looking for help once we know someone needs it?

“The best place to start is usually with someone’s insurance company. Many insurers have limited panels, and you need a referral that will be covered. Most insurers will help and provide leads for therapists. Primary care physicians also have referrals.”

Source: buzzfeed.com

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Depression is one of the most horrible mental illnesses that sometimes can have fatal consequences. And watching someone close to you suffer from it can be equally devastating.   That’s why we have Dr. Robin Henderson, PsyD to tell us if there’s a way to make a positive difference. ...