Best help for depression (1 Viewer)

harpygaggle

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How can you help a depressed friend? My friend is always presenting these negative outlooks in life and I feel that these are signs of depression. I am afraid that he might do something harmful to himself.
 

Frothingslosh

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Have him go see a psychologist or doctor to determine if it's 'negative outlooks in life' (which is just being negative) or actual depression - there is a distinct difference.

If it's depression, he'll need appropriate treatment - depression can be caused by chemical imbalances in the brain, personality disorders, or even life events, and each cause needs to be handled differently.

Also, don't pass on that 'Depressed? Just go outside!' crap, because all that does is reinforce the misguided belief that depression is just being sad. It reinforces the stigma the disease already has, and causes depressed people to NOT seek help by making them feel even worse (basically, you're telling them to grow up and get over it).

Others will take it from here - I normally am unwilling to contribute to this site, but I couldn't let this one pass.
 

bumpcache

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you can help him by supporting him and by listening to him always. you can also accompany him to a therapist
 

Harper

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The question is: is it primary or secondary depression. Treatments are contingent on that.
 

Galaxiom

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Physical exercise is one of the best treatments for both depression and negativity.
 

harpygaggle

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The question is: is it primary or secondary depression. Treatments are contingent on that.
What's the difference between primary and secondary depression?

Anyway, I also sent him this article hoping he can get some positive things here.
 

Frothingslosh

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Terrible link. It completely ignores the fact that chronic depression tends to stem from medical or psychological conditions and not 'feeling bad about yourself'.

Articles like that just make the stigma that much worse. And the advice it gives will ONLY help if the depression stems from life events and has no underlying cause.

Would you tell someone with a broken leg to just tough it out and go walking? Someone with a toothache to just try eating different food and the toothache will go away? Then why are you telling someone who could well have a life-threatening medical condition to just go outside and play? If his depression is caused by something other than 'just being sad', all that will do is convince him that 'something is wrong' with him and make the depression that much worse.

First step is to see a professional to see what the CAUSE of the depression is, not send him meaningless and possibly harmful mumbo-jumbo.

What's the difference between primary and secondary depression?
A quick Google search would provide you a wealth of information on the subject, but in general:

Primary depression exists on its own and is not the result of another medical or psychiatric condition. It can also be its own psychological or psychiatric issue, such as major depressive disorder. Anti-depressants are sometimes used to treat this kind of depression, as one of the causes is the chemical imbalance in the brain I mentioned previously. Other times, it requires extensive psychiatric or psychological therapy, especially if (as in my case) it's tied to another major personality disorder.

Secondary depression is caused by something else - major negative life events, major diseases such as cancer, psychiatric conditions like schizophrenia, etc. The primary thing is that this was CAUSED, as opposed to happening on its own. This is the type that can often be handled with changing your routine and getting some counseling.
 

Daisymartin

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Talk therapy involves discussing your problems and how you feel with a trained therapist. Your therapist can help you detect patterns of thought or behavior that contribute to your depression. You may be given homework, such as tracking your moods or writing in journals. This will help you to continue your treatment outside of appointments. Your therapist can also teach you exercises to reduce stress and anxiety, and help you understand your illness.

A therapist can also help you create strategies to identify and avoid any triggers that exacerbate your depression. They can also help you develop coping mechanisms for when you experience these triggers.

Talk therapy may resolve temporary or mild depression. It can often treat severe depression, but not without other treatments such as medication.
 

Cosmos10

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Whenever I feel depressed, I go to the gym and sweat it out. I also hang out with my family and friends. Talking to someone and sharing your thoughts can really help you release the sadness.
 

R_will05

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Fully agree about gym, it always helps. Also, when I was struggling with depression I stopped smoking and began to feel better. I’ve read on VapingDaily that nicotine contributes to mood disorders, so if you smoke you probably should quit.
 

scott-atkinson

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I suffered from Secondary Depression about 8 years ago when my marriage broke up, I'd been in a Mental Breakdown before the break up but hadn't realised it, and this contributed to the break up.

I had to first recognise the problem I had and admit it, this was a hard step and took a close friend to prompt me into action..

I sought counselling, and my sister suggested I started Partner dancing, this greatly helped with my recovery and years later I am still dancing, I have a new life with a new partner and I am very happy...
 

Frothingslosh

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I was diagnosed with some form of chronic, serious depression when I was 12. (Probably at least in part because you can't be diagnosed with borderline personality disorder until you're 18.) I spent many, many years in counseling after that.

The hardest part was my dad spending the next several years swearing that depression (any mental issue, actually, including PTSD) was just mental weakness and by GOD he wasn't going to raise some weakling. He did eventually come around, but it was 30 years later, after he started suffering panic attacks and night terrors due to his cancer. Still, better late than never.
 

Vassago

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It's amazing how hard it is for older generations to come to terms with how chemicals work and how far we've come with science. I'm glad he was able to come to terms and understand how it works. I'm sorry that it took his own issues for it to manifest.
 

The_Doc_Man

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I'm somewhat of a latecomer to this thread, but I've gone through clinical depression more than once. In both cases, it was situational, brought on by family stress. The second round of it was tougher because the source was a more intense situation.

My therapist decided that I needed cognitive therapy rather than drugs because my situation wasn't chemical. My stresses were due to being my mother's primary caregiver while she slowly sank into the depths of Alzheimer's Disease. I was alone at that time because my father had already passed and I have no siblings. My closest family was at least five hours of hard driving away and at the time I wasn't married or seeing anyone. The latter (not having a special lady) was at least partly due to being overwhelmed by suddenly having the situation pile up on me.

I am glad to say that I eventually worked through it with a good therapist. But being in the downward spiral of depression is no joke.
 

Galaxiom

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My stresses were due to being my mother's primary caregiver while she slowly sank into the depths of Alzheimer's Disease. I was alone at that time because my father had already passed and I have no siblings.
This must have been dreadful. My mother-in-law had dementia and passed away last year. Her's was not classic Alzheimer's but anxiety and depression which is really common among the elderly. We looked after her at our place for a while but eventually she asked to go to a nursing home where there was 24/7 support. Fortunately the facility where she wanted to go was only about a mile from our house.

MIL had outlived her husband, siblings and most of her friends. My wife was her only surviving child. She was miserable and systematically alienated everyone who cared about her. Some left in tears and said they couldn't handle visiting any more. The worst was saved for my wife because "she could be herself" with her.

My wife had me for support yet she still suffered with depression. She still has guilt feeling like she didn't do enough.

Watching someone you love go down to dementia is horrible. It was a slow deterioration that we eventually realised had started long before it became really apparent. We were spared the worst that would have come because of a stroke but the last few weeks between the first stroke and her ultimate passing were particularly harrowing.
 

The_Doc_Man

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Yes, watching the slow decline of a loved one is a form of slow torture. In my case, it dragged on for at least five years when I was the caregiver, but Dad before he died also saw changes and talked to me about them.

The depression in such cases comes from the feeling of helplessness and a desire to abandon the hopeless situation. It leads to major cognitive dissonance with family duty, love, and personal honor to not abandon a loved one in dire need. Mom wanted to stay home and I did my best until the day that she became so impaired that she no longer appreciated that she WAS home. She went through classic Alzheimer's, all four stages ending in a persistent non-responsive state in fetal position.

Three days during that time stood out as hitting me with near physical force.

First, the day that I took her to the nursing home and left her there. Driving home alone was incredibly more lonely than I ever imagined loneliness could be.

Second, the first time I walked in to visit her and she no longer knew me. That was when I learned to put on the blank mask and swallow all emotion, because the first time led to ME crying, and that set HER off, so it took us a long time to calm down. After that, I learned to bottle it all up and take it home before letting it out.

Third, the day her doctor called me regarding her kidney failure and how to proceed, and I had to ask for non-surgical actions only plus a Do Not Resuscitate order. That last one was the day I grew up and realized that sometimes you have to let go of the past no matter how desperately you want to cling to it. Clinging to that past with the result of prolonging someone else's agony is purely selfish. But I let go and 19 days later, she passed in her sleep.

It often hurts to remember those times, but one thing is true: I can still look at myself in a mirror in the morning and not hate myself for what I went through or the crazy thoughts I had during that time. I stayed true to family.
 

ColinEssex

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I have learned over the 20 odd years of being a carer for my wife with Multiple Sclerosis and watching her slowly deteriorating that people (friends, neighbours etc) have not got the slightest interest in your depression / situation.

They have their own problems, and think your problem/ depression is a pain in the bum. After a while they avoid or ignore you because they are not interested.

The answer? Keep your gob shut and stop moaning on, and cope with it - as whatever you do - like therapy doesn't make it go away, you still have the same situation when you get home.

One answer is to end it all then the authorities will have to act.

Col
 

The_Doc_Man

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To be honest, Colin, I was indeed suicidal during that dark time. But I realized that to end it all before Mom was gone was merely passing the buck with ZERO guarantee that what was left to do would be done right. I had that much strength of duty to realize that if I ended it all, no one would know how to take care of the final arrangements, and at that time, funeral planning wasn't something you did ahead of time. (Times HAVE changed in that regard...)

Yes, you do have the same situation each day, or perhaps a slightly worse situation each day. Hard to tell sometimes, but long-term it was a slow decline. However, friends can be helpful sometimes. I agree, they won't take over for you. But sometimes if you have a good enough friend, you can get a sounding-board session.

Perhaps it was marginally close. I'll never really know, and I'm OK with not knowing just how close I was to ending it. But I had a strong enough sense of duty to family to not leave Mom's final wishes in someone else's hands. And once she died, the pressure was off because I didn't have to go see her in bed, non-responsive in fetal position, unaware of my presence or her surroundings. That was the gut-wrencher. I just felt a sense of relief that there was an end to her suffering and degradation.

It took me several months to come out of the funk - and it WAS a sheer black funk that I was in - but eventually I saw that life could go on, perhaps differently than before. At least there was an end to that ordeal. I found my dear Linda and suddenly life wasn't so bad any more. It happens. What is it they say? When one door closes, often another one opens. That is what happened with me.
 

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