When you begin to notice behavior in a friend or relative that seems to resemble clinical depression symptoms or signs of seasonal affective disorder, you may worry about what to do. One thing to keep in mind is that only one move can result in a negative outcome, and that’s choosing to do nothing at all.
Just think, what would you do if your loved one did harm to a career, relationships or himself because of his mental disorder? The challenging discussion about depression can perhaps be unpleasant, but the consequences of not reaching out to a friend in need can be far worse.
Does My Friend or Relative Really Have Seasonal Affective Disorder?
Depression can take many forms and one of those incarnations is found in seasonal affective disorder. If you notice that a loved one seems to experience depression symptoms during the colder, late fall and winter months, he may have SAD.
Those who suffer from SAD develop a predictable set of symptoms such as decreased energy, increased appetite and weight gain, poor concentration and withdrawal from activities she once enjoyed.
What You Should Do When You Think a Loved One has SAD
While it can be a difficult conversation to initiate, it is important that you reach out to a friend or loved one that you believe is suffering from seasonal affective disorder or another form of depression.
You should look to get your loved one the help he needs. After someone receives an accurate diagnosis, treatment can begin. You may need to make an appointment on your loved one’s behalf or accompany her to an exam.
After the Seasonal Affective Disorder Diagnosis
When a loved one is diagnosed with SAD, provide emotional support, patience and encouragement, listen carefully and offer hope. Try to invite someone you feel is depressed out for walks or social events. Even if he declines, keep trying. Diversions and company help someone suffering from depression, but too many demands can increase anxieties and feelings of failure.
Make sure you never disparage feelings that your friend or relative expresses and that you never ignore comments about suicide. If your loved one is talking about suicide, report these comments to his therapist or doctor.
It may be hard to identify exactly what mood disorder your loved one is suffering from, and you may ask yourself, What’s the difference between clinical depression and SAD? Regardless of what ailment your friend or loved one suffers from, they need help.