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What to Do When a Loved One is in Severe Depression?

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It’s so difficult to describe depression to someone who’s never been there because it’s not sadness. Sadness is to cry and to feel. But it’s that cold absence of feeling-really hollowed-out feeling- J.K. Rowling

Depression is a serious mental illness that ranges in severity. If you suffer from mild episodes of depression then you will experience bouts of sadness, irritability, fatigue, and anger that will last for weeks or more.

Mild to moderate depressive episodes tend to interfere with daily life and relationships. Some depression cases can be quite severe and the symptoms are pretty harsh like losing appetite, weight loss, insomnia, and frequently thinking about suicide.

Severe depression symptoms:

Some of the prominent symptoms of severe depression include:

  • Excessive sleeping
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Losing interest in activities you used to love
  • Feeling hopeless or worthless
  • Paranoia
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts
  • Hallucinations (in extremely severe cases)
  • Inability to perform basic functions like bathing, eating, or completing work/school tasks

If you keep feeling like there is no hope, for a long time, have a conversation with your doctor about treatment options. Asking for help is a good idea, depression should never be swept under the rug.

Risk factors that contribute to suicidal thoughts:

Suicidal thoughts usually stem from depression and the following risk factors that also serve as trigger factors:

  • Feeling constantly hopeless
  • Incarceration
  • Suicide attempts in the past
  • Family history of suicide
  • Mental illness in the family
  • Firearms at home
  • A history of substance abuse

What can trigger severe depression and anxiety?

Some of the common triggers for anxiety and depression include-

  • Losing a loved one because of death, divorce, or separation
  • Feeling isolated or deprived
  • Major life changes like retirement, graduation, moving to a new city, and so on
  • Personal conflicts in relationships
  • Emotional, mental, sexual or physical abuse

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How is severe depression diagnosed?

When you consult a medical professional like a psychiatrist, they will perform a thorough medical evaluation on you. You will mostly receive a screening for depression at your regular visits to the doctors, these screenings will ask you to divulge personal and family psychiatric history; they will also ask you questions that will screen you for major depression symptoms.

There is no standard blood test, X-ray, or any other lab test that can be used to diagnose major depression. Sometimes, your doctor may suggest blood tests if they think your depression is connected to any other medical issue like hypothyroidism.

Major depressive disorder, or called a Severe Depression is an isolating disorder that can jeopardize relationships, if not managed well. When supporting someone with such an incapacitating illness person can sometimes feel like they are walking on the eggshells because of the irritable mood of the depressed person. However, it is crucial to understand that with a little effort and care, the relationship can be salvaged. You can extend great support to your loved one who has severe depression, here are a few simple yet effective things you can follow.

Severe Depression: How to help someone with depression in 4 Simple Ways

  • Being there for the person: Depression can be agonizing for the suffering individuals and their caretakers. Nonetheless, one can still provide support by providing reassurance, holding hands, that everything will be alright. You can also say comforting words like, “We will find a way together” or “You are important to me”, “You are not alone in this,”
  • Avoid criticizing or judging: It can seem easy to tell the depressed one he is lacking a perspective; however, these words can do harm a person’s self-esteem. These must be avoided. Depression is a critical condition that can’t be won over by developing strong willpower or with a change in their outlook or. It is important that you validate the emotions and feelings of the person so that they can think of moving forward.
  • Paying attention to self-care: Oftentimes, a person dealing with depression finds it hard to pay attention to his/her self-care. They might skip food, might not get out of bed the whole day, might not take shower for days. This is the time when you can pitch in and help the person eat some nutritious meal, make their bed. It is the little things that count.  
  • Helping them deal with negative thought processes: People with depression may have negative thoughts running in their minds. It is important you help them question these thoughts empirically. For example, if they say, “I’m horrible,” or “I’m worthless,” one must ask them gently what is making them think that way. Remember your discussion should aid them in breaking their negative patterns.

How to treat signs of severe depression?

If diagnosed with clinical or major depression, you don’t have to worry because the condition is treatable. The treatments depend on the intensity of the depression episodes, and if they get too severe the psychiatrist may recommend an antidepressant to help you cope. They may also suggest psychotherapy, which will help you address your emotional state. At times, other medicines are prescribed with the antidepressants because they are more effective together. Your doctor may have to try with different doses until they figure out the one that works best for you.  If drugs prove ineffective then there are other treatment options like Electroconvulsive therapy or shock therapy that can be used as well.

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Can you prevent severe depression?

Once you suffer from an episode of severe or major depression, then you’re at high risk of having another attack. The best way to keep the episodes at bay is to be aware of the triggers which mean you have to analyze your environment and avoid the causes that can bring about a relapse. It’s vital that you are aware of the symptoms of severe depression, and talk about it to your doctor as early as you can.

Severe Depression Treatment: Reach us today for Help

Depression is manageable. Even though the support systems and self-help can be helpful in alleviating the symptoms, none can be as helpful as therapy such as CBT- cognitive behavioral therapy and medication.  

It might take some time for the mental health professional to determine whether the symptoms of depression are caused by a medical condition or any other reason. That it is to say, the suggested intensive treatment depends on the severity of their depressive disorder.

Though taking antidepressants or certain medications with long-term therapies may have an optimal effect on the mental condition of the patient, there are several other alternatives you can opt to treat depression. Above all, these alternatives do not rely on drugs or medication – so you don’t have to worry about any long-term side effects.

If your loved one is suffering from severe depression, encourage them to seek help and support. Call at our 24/7 helpline at +91 96111 94949 or visit Cadabam’s to get credible information about the best severe depression treatment. Kindly understand that seeking help from a professional is not going to hurt their reputation or their standing in society. Do not let external sources bog them down mentally to confront the most inevitable. It is good to get help before it is too late.

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