- What is depression?
- What are the different forms of depression?
- What are the basic signs and symptoms of depression?
- What causes depression in women?
- What illnesses often coexist with depression in women?
- How does depression affect adolescent girls?
- How does depression affect older women?
- How is depression diagnosed and treated?
- What efforts are underway to improve treatment?
- How can I help a friend or relative who is depressed?
- How can I help myself if I am depressed?
- Where can I go for help?
- What if I or someone I know is in crisis?
How can I help a friend or relative who is depressed?
If you know someone who has depression, the first and most important thing you can do is to help her get an appropriate diagnosis and treatment. You may need to make an appointment on her behalf and go with her to see the doctor. Encourage her to stay in treatment, or to seek different treatment if no improvement occurs after six to eight weeks.
In addition, you can also:
- Offer emotional support, understanding, patience and encouragement.
- Engage her in conversation, and listen carefully.
- Never disparage feelings she expresses, but point out realities and offer hope.
- Never ignore comments about suicide, and report them to your friend's or relative's therapist or doctor.
- Invite your friend or relative out for walks, outings and other activities. Keep trying if she declines, but don't push her to take on too much too soon. Although diversions and company are needed, too many demands may increase feelings of failure.
- Remind her that with time and treatment, the depression will lift.