Many misconceptions exist about the most effective way to deal with depression symptoms. Such myths are harmful to those who suffer from this very treatable condition. According to one such myth, talking about depression either wonÃ•t make symptoms go away, or will make depression symptoms worse.
This myth has perpetuated perhaps because those that suffer from depression often believe that repressing their symptoms will make them go away. In fact, depression symptoms canÃ•t be ignored, and refusing to communicate can actually worsen depression symptoms.
In reality, talking about her feelings may be one of the most important steps an individual can take in order to get help with depression. Rather than making things worse, the relationship between depression and communication can provide hope for recovery and many treatment options.
Talking About Depression
When a person is depressed, communication can be difficult. Common symptoms of depression include negative thoughts and lack of energy or motivation. These symptoms can make it hard for a person to reach out and discuss their symptoms with a friend or family member.
Negative thoughts about talking about depression may include:
- “My feelings arenÃ•t important”
- “No one can help me anyway”
- “No one will understand my feelings”
- “Talking about my feelings will be embarrassing.”
Depression and Isolation
Depression and isolation go hand-in-hand. Isolation is a classic symptom of major depression, along with avoiding once-enjoyed activities. As a result, patients may avoid friends and family members, denying the connection between depression and communication.
Another barrier to talking about depression is the cultural attitude that people should keep feelings to themselves. Some think others will consider them weak when seeking help with depression. Others worry that talking about depression will elicit the negative stigma of mental illness.
Depression and Communication
If you suspect that a friend or relative is depressed, talking about depression symptoms with them may help. When doing so, you may want to:
- Acknowledge her feelings, but point out realities
- Be patient and understanding
- Continue to spend time with her
- Encourage her to be involved in activities, but don’t expect too much too quickly
- Never ignore suicidal comments. Report these to her doctor or therapist immediately
- Offer emotional support, encouragement and hope.
The link between depression and communication is an important one. Communicating with a depressed person may help them come to terms with their symptoms and realize that theyÃ•re not alone.
Help With Depression
Beginning to communicate feelings of depression is often the first step toward depression treatment and recovery. This step often gives patients the support they need to battle the illness and prevent the toxic cycle of depression and isolation.
Since depression symptoms may require medication, psychotherapy or other depression therapies, a patient should consult his doctor in order to be diagnosed and get the correct help with depression.
If speaking with a doctor isn’t a possibility, depressed individuals can start by talking about depression with a nonjudgmental, trusted friend or relative.
Avoid Depression Staff. (n.d.). Talking about depression. Retrieved May 11, 2010, from the Avoid Depression website: www.avoiddepression.com/talking_about_depression.html.
National Institute of Mental Health Staff. (2009). How can I help a friend or relative who is depressed? Retrieved March 11, 2010, from the National Institute of Mental Health website: www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression/complete-index.shtml#pub11.