10 Essentials to Help a Depressed Person

by NIck Stokes

Depression is one of the most common serious mental disorders, and yet it is often misunderstood, unnoticed, or even ignored. Everyone feels down sometimes, but depressed people have a persistently low mood that affects all facets of their life. If you believe you or someone you love may be depressed, read the following information to learn ways to help someone with depression.

Read also: “Can a Christian Be Depressed?”

Here are ten tips that will help you learn about this serious mental disorder and how to treat it.

What is it? – Types Of Depression

Most people do not realize what depression is, and many mistakenly believe that it is relatively harmless. Depression is a common and serious mental disorder that affects your mood, behavior, social and professional relationships, and even your physical health. It can also sometimes lead to suicide.

There are several different types of depression, such as major depressive disorder (MDD), seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and dysthymia. Most types share the same symptoms but differ in their severity and how long they last. For a better understanding of what depression is and how to help someone with depression, take a look at the following links:

What are the Symptoms?

The most common signs that someone may be depressed are a persistent low mood and an inability to enjoy activities that they normally enjoy. Other common symptoms include feelings of guilt, worthlessness, hopelessness, irritability, sleeplessness or sleeping too much, and helplessness, as well as a withdrawal from social situations. Some depressed individuals may also experience irritability and thoughts of death or suicide.

Depressive mental disorders often cause physical symptoms as well. Fatigue, digestive problems, headaches, weight loss, aches, and pains are all common physical symptoms that depressed people may experience. Explore the following links to get more detailed information on depression symptoms:

When to See a Professional – Diagnosis Of Depression

As mentioned above, everyone feels down from time to time. However, if you or a loved one have been feeling down or experiencing any other symptoms for two weeks or more, see your family doctor, a psychologist, or a counselor. After a brief interview, they may give you a short questionnaire, such as Beck’s Depression Inventory.

Who is at Risk? – Causes Of Depression

Many doctors still do not agree about what causes people to become depressed. However, the general consensus is that there are a number of risk factors that can increase your chances of becoming depressed, including having blood relatives that have a history of depression, experiencing trauma (including childhood trauma), stress from life-changing events (like losing a job or the death of a loved one), age, and gender. Your brain chemistry and hormones also play a significant role.

How to Help – What to Say to a Friend with Depression

How you talk to and act towards a depressed person can affect their recovery. Avoid saying things like, “It’s all in your head,” or “We all go through times like this.” Try to affirm that they are important and that they are not alone. If your loved one has had symptoms for a while, you can try gently suggesting they see a doctor or a counselor for help. It is also important that you note of any symptoms that get suddenly and significantly worse, such as a disinterest in pleasurable activities, sex, or food, as they may be warning signs of suicide.

Types of Treatment

Unfortunately, there is no “cure” for depressed people, but there are several treatments that have been clinically proven again and again to be effective in treating people with depression. Broad forms of treatment include natural treatment, therapy, medication, and a combination of treatments. Natural treatment includes exercise and a change in diet. Therapy includes many different talk therapies, such as psychotherapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Medication usually includes antidepressants, like Prozac and Zoloft.

Natural Treatments

If you or a loved one is depressed, natural treatments are always a great way to curb a depressed mood. Contrary to what many believe, natural treatments have been shown to be among some of the most effective treatments for many mental disorders. Exercise in particular has been shown to sometimes be just as effective as medication in improving the mood of depressed people. To help someone with depression, try asking them to go for a nice walk or jog with you.

Counseling and Therapy

Psychologists can also help those struggling with personal issues. There are many different forms of psychotherapy, and you can learn which one may work best for you. The most popular forms of therapy to help someone with depression are psychoanalysis and cognitive-behavior therapy, but there are many other types of therapy that have very different approaches, such as mindfulness and meditation techniques.


Medication is another common form of treatment for depression. Medication is especially used to treat major depressive disorder. There are several different kinds of antidepressant medications, all of which act differently in the body. The most common types of antidepressants are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which work by increasing serotonin levels in the brain. Other forms of medication, such as antipsychotics, are also used.

More Information

When you want to help someone resolve their personal issues it can be tricky. Sometimes the best way to help someone with a depressive disorder is to encourage them to see a professional. Every individual is different: the same treatment may not work for two different people. Furthermore, treatment for depression can take a significant amount of time, and is often an on-going process, so patience is also important.

Psalm 42:11 Why am I discouraged?

Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise him again—
my Savior and my God!

Also, listen to the helpful 3-part Seminar, “Mood Disorders and Brain Chemistry” with Drs. Roger Barrier, Tom Griffin and Glenn Barteau.

For more helpful information, http://bit.ly/1PlPBEZ

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