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How to Talk to Your Loved One About Their Depression

a mother consoles her daughter by hugging her and trying to find out how to talk about depression

Talking about depression is never easy. Mood disorders like depression affect people every day across the United States. Depression or depressed moods can be a normal, cyclical part of life, particularly for those with seasonal depression. Unfortunately, when depression takes hold for long periods and affects overall well-being, it’s difficult to ask for help. Understanding how to talk about depression and treatment can benefit you and your loved ones. Discussing mental health can normalize treatment and reduce depression stigmas, helping you and the people you love manage mood disorders.

If you or someone you love is struggling with depression, you are not alone. If you aren’t sure how to talk about depression, the team at A Better State can help. Our Hudson, New Hampshire clinic provides flexible dual diagnosis treatment for mental health issues and addiction for people across the New Hampshire area. Call us now at 781.412.1488 to learn more about depression treatment and get started today.

What Is Depression?

Depression is a common mood disorder characterized by a prolonged depressed mood. Many people describe the feelings and sensations of depression as “numbness” rather than sadness, hopelessness, or lack of motivation. Unlike sadness and low mood, depression persists and affects a person’s whole life. For many people, depression can debilitate them, making it hard to ask friends and loved ones for help. Like other mental health conditions, every person’s experience of depression is their own. The most common types of depression include:

  • Psychotic depression
  • Postpartum depression
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Dysthymic disorder

Depression treatment is the best way to get help and develop tools for long-term mental health because everyone’s depression is unique.  While there are some common treatments, such as medication and therapy, not everyone will respond to the same treatment in the same way. Finding a mental health professional, you trust to work with you to create a treatment plan that meets your individual needs is crucial.

How to Talk to a Friend About Depression Treatment

Because depression is complex, it’s not easy to talk about. Spotting the signs and symptoms can help loved ones know when it’s time to start a conversation about depression treatment and coping strategies. Common signs include:

  • A depressed mood is impeding daily life
  •  Self-isolation
  • A lack of self-care
  • Prolonged isolation.
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Self-harm
  • Intense guilt and shame
  • Feeling hopeless
  • A lack of motivation

Drastic changes in mood and behavior, significant life changes, and changes in health can also be signs it’s time to seek help for depression and mental health. If someone you love shows symptoms of depression know they are struggling to ask for help. Start by providing a non-judgment conversation through questions. Ensure their well-being is a priority. Share your experience of depression and mental health struggles, and ask how you can support them. Work together to come up with treatment options and plans.

By leading a conversation with curiosity, your friend or loved one will feel more seen and supported. Remember that discussing mental health can trigger guilt, shame, and withdrawal. Unfortunately, this is a typical response. Compassion, personal experience, and active listening can all help you connect with a loved one over depression.

Learn Why Talking About Depression Is Important from A Better State

If you or someone you love is struggling with depression, you are not alone. If you’re unsure how to talk to a friend about depression, the team at A Better State can help. Our outpatient programs provide holistic treatment options for clients across New Hampshire. Whether you’re looking for daytime or evening intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) and partial hospitalization programs (PHPs), our team can help. Call us now at 781.412.1488 to speak with an intake specialist and get started today.