There are many myths and misconceptions around mental health and in particular Depression. Often there is a belief that Depression is just feeling sad. Sadness is an emotion that everyone will feel from time to time, and is a normal emotion. Depression is more than a sense of sadness, it is more pervasive and does not need a cause for it to be triggered.
What to look out for?
Depression can present in several different ways in people. Often, we have an image of the stereotypical depressed person – who is sad all the time (Like Eeyore).
Signs: agitation, short temper, poor concentration, poor attention span, difficulties sleeping, feelings of guilt, poor appetite and poor sex drive, as well as an overall sense of hopelessness. For more symptoms click here.
People with depression often start to take a step back from engaging with their normal day to day activities, such as socialising, religious or cultural activities, sports, hobbies and other physical activates. This results in an increase in Hopelessness, where Joy is often not felt. That is the depression talking!
What should I do as their friend/ loved one?
The most important thing you can offer someone is your emotional support and love. Be consistent and listen to them. Do not try to give advice, give them tough love, or tell them to snap out of it. It is best to validate their experience, and gently encourage change, education on their mental health and encourage them to seek medical assistance. Getting a clear diagnosis can assist with guiding treatment options and ways in which your loved one can be supported.
For more tips on how to help your loved one, click here.
Treatments available in NSW
Currently, the first line of treatment is often counselling, psychotherapy or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, to assist with problematic thought processes that fuel depressive symptoms. Therapy is often administered in conjunction with anti-depressant medication. However, more and more people are steering away from medication due to the side effects often associated with this. Other alternative non-medication treatments are also available, such as behavioural therapy, and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, both of which have very strong supporting evidence.
For more information on Myths of Depression: How to help your loved one, please contact one of our TMS Clinicians on 1300 867 888 or visit our website for more information click here.