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Question
Posted by: Sam | 2010/03/11

How to help a depressed person - who won''t admit they''re depressed

I have a colleague who seems to be depressed. I''ve suffered from depression so I am familiar with the signs. She cries at the drop of a hat, often withdraws, and is very moody. It''s been going on for some time now - over a year - and she has a close family member with depression.

To be honest this is affecting the rest of us as we don''t knowwhen it s safe to talk to her &  when she''ll take offence or start crying. Some days she doesn''t even greet us and often runs off to the loos to cry.
I feel so bad for her as I can see she''s suffering. Yet she seems to not be able to acknowledge there''s a problem and it''s getting worse!

Is there a way to broach the subject with her - and, indeed, should I? I really think she needs help and I''m very concerned for her. But she''s so touchy no one dares approach her..

Any ideas?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Talk gently to her about your own depression, what it was like, how you felt reluctant to face the fact that you were depressed, but how much better you felt after getting proper treatment. If she flatly refuses to listen or talk, or to accept your concerns, you may have to wait a while and hope she sees reason. Does she have famil who should also be paying attention to her mood ?

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6
Our users say:
Posted by: sam | 2010/03/17



I understand how you feel, really I do: I suffered from depression for many years - almost half my life - and tried many different things. Its only in the last year and a half that I was lucky enough to find a good psychiatrist who prescribed medication that worked for me (and believe me, I was VERY resistant to medication - I''ve been on various different ones and none really helped).

The psych took my whole history again and said its possible I was misdiagnosed and am now on a mood stabiliser and a very mild dose of antidepressant. At last, I feel ''normal'' - although had almost forgotten what that was since my normal was to feel moody, unhappy, lonely, depressed, etc.

I would suggest, if you haven''t done so already, make an appointment with a psychiatrist, not a GP. A GP can help to a certain extent but its best to make sure you have the proper diagnosis. IT''s pricey but, considering how awful you must be feeling, probbaly worth it. A psychiatrist is a doctor specialising in psychology and they can prescribe meds for you. My psych sent me for thyroid tests too to make sure it wasn''t a thyroid problem, which can also cause depression. Make sure you have the correct diagnosis and there isn''t something else going on. Then, you can look at more options.

I found what I eat influences how I feel - so I avoid too much ''junk'', sweets, etc. The more sugar I eat, the worse I feel.Also, I exercise now, which I didn''t used to before: I started with just short walks, etc. Now I know when I don''t do my exercises I will start feeling down &  will start struggling to sleep. I also found it helpful to get a book on lifestyle help and natural things to do for depression - like vitamin B complex, fish oil, eating right, etc.

I also had lots of therapy in the beginning and, while it helped me understand why I reacted to things or thought the way I did, it didn''t make the pain go away. It is helpful to join a support group - then you''ll have other people to talk to who know what you''re going through and can give you some tips from their experiences. I''d suggest contacting the South African Depression &  Anxiety Support Group. They also have lots of advice about what to do if finaces are a problem, etc.

Believe me, I know how awful it feels but you CAN get better. I really hope you do get the help you need. Good luck.

Reply to sam
Posted by: Myself | 2010/03/12

Sam I have been there done that but none of this helps I went for counselling and had 11 sessions but it did not help
Yes I have all the symptoms and I am aware of them but I just don''t know what to do it feels so lonely sometimes

Reply to Myself
Posted by: sam | 2010/03/12

sorry - meant to also say: if you have these symptoms, whoever you are, PLEASE get help: you owe it to yourself. And you may think no one has noticed but they have - I''m sure those around you are as concerned as I &  my colleagues are about our collague.
It isn''t nice to live like that - and also not needed as you can get help! ask you doctor for a referal or contact the south african depression and anxiety group - they could also give you some good advice.

Depression isn''t shameful. It is an illness like any othert.

Reply to sam
Posted by: sam | 2010/03/12

I''m using a cover name.

Reply to sam
Posted by: Myself | 2010/03/11

Sam are you talking about me?
This are all my symptoms

Reply to Myself
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/03/11

Talk gently to her about your own depression, what it was like, how you felt reluctant to face the fact that you were depressed, but how much better you felt after getting proper treatment. If she flatly refuses to listen or talk, or to accept your concerns, you may have to wait a while and hope she sees reason. Does she have famil who should also be paying attention to her mood ?

Reply to cybershrink

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