Revision on 5.22 Presentation

HOW TO HELP YOURSELF IF YOU ARE DEPRESSED

Depressive disorders make one feel exhausted, worthless, helpless, and hopeless. Such negative thoughts and feelings make some people feel like giving up. It is important to realize that these negative views are part of the depression and typically do not accurately reflect the actual circumstances. Negative thinking fades as treatment begins to take effect. In the meantime:

  • Set realistic goals in light of the depression and assume a reasonable amount of responsibility.
  • Break large tasks into small ones, set some priorities, and do what you can as you can.
  • Try to be with other people and to confide in someone; it is usually better than being alone and secretive.
  • Participate in activities that may make you feel better.
  • Mild exercise, going to a movie, a ballgame, or participating in religious, social, or other activities may help.
  • Expect your mood to improve gradually, not immediately. Feeling better takes time.
  • It is advisable to postpone important decisions until the depression has lifted. Before deciding to make a significant transition change jobs, get married or divorced discuss it with others who know you well and have a more objective view of your situation.
  • People rarely "snap out of" a depression. But they can feel a little better day-by-day.
  • Remember, positive thinking will replace the negative thinking that is part of the depression and will disappear as your depression responds to treatment.
  • Let your family and friends help you.

How Family and Friends Can Help the Depressed Person

The most important thing anyone can do for the depressed person is to help him or her get an appropriate diagnosis and treatment. This may involve encouraging the individual to stay with treatment until symptoms begin to abate (several weeks), or to seek different treatment if no improvement occurs. On occasion, it may require making an appointment and accompanying the depressed person to the doctor. It may also mean monitoring whether the depressed person is taking medication. The depressed person should be encouraged to obey the doctor’s orders about the use of alcoholic products while on medication. The second most important thing is to offer emotional support. This involves understanding, patience, affection, and encouragement. Engage the depressed person in conversation and listen carefully. Do not disparage feelings expressed, but point out realities and offer hope. Do not ignore remarks about suicide. Report them to the depressed person’s therapist. Invite the depressed person for walks, outings, to the movies, and other activities. Be gently insistent if your invitation is refused. Encourage participation in some activities that once gave pleasure, such as hobbies, sports, religious or cultural activities, but do not push the depressed person to undertake too much too soon. The depressed person needs diversion and company, but too many demands can increase feelings of failure.

Do not accuse the depressed person of faking illness or of laziness, or expect him or her "to snap out of it." Eventually, with treatment, most people do get better. Keep that in mind, and keep reassuring the depressed person that, with time and help, he or she will feel better.

WHERE TO GET HELP

If unsure where to go for help, check the Yellow Pages under "mental health," "health," "social services," "suicide prevention," "crisis intervention services," "hotlines," "hospitals," or "physicians" for phone numbers and addresses. In times of crisis, the emergency room doctor at a hospital may be able to provide temporary help for an emotional problem, and will be able to tell you where and how to get further help.

Listed below are the types of people and places that will make a referral to, or provide, diagnostic and treatment services.

  • Family doctors
  • Mental health specialists, such as psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, or mental health counselors
  • Health maintenance organizations
  • Community mental health centers
  • Hospital psychiatry departments and outpatient clinics
  • University- or medical school-affiliated programs
  • State hospital outpatient clinics
  • Family service, social agencies, or clergy
  • Private clinics and facilities
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Local medical and/or psychiatric societies

REFERENCES

1 Blehar MD, Oren DA. Gender differences in depression. Medscape Women’s Health, 1997;2:3. Revised from: Women’s increased vulnerability to mood disorders: Integrating psychobiology and epidemiology. Depression, 1995;3:3-12.

2 Ferketick AK, Schwartzbaum JA, Frid DJ, Moeschberger ML. Depression as an antecedent to heart disease among women and men in the NHANES I study. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Archives of Internal Medicine, 2000; 160(9): 1261-8.

3 Frank E, Karp JF, Rush AJ (1993). Efficacy of treatments for major depression. Psychopharmacology Bulletin, 1993; 29:457-75.

4 Lebowitz BD, Pearson JL, Schneider LS, Reynolds CF, Alexopoulos GS, Bruce MI, Conwell Y, Katz IR, Meyers BS, Morrison MF, Mossey J, Niederehe G, Parmelee P. Diagnosis and treatment of depression in late life: consensus statement update. Journal of the American Medical Association, 1997; 278:1186-90.

5 Robins LN, Regier DA (Eds). Psychiatric Disorders in America, The Epidemiologic Catchment Area Study, 1990; New York: The Free Press.

6 Rubinow DR, Schmidt PJ, Roca CA. Estrogen-serotonin interactions: Implications for affective regulation. Biological Psychiatry, 1998; 44(9):839-50.

7 Schmidt PJ, Neiman LK, Danaceau MA, Adams LF, Rubinow DR. Differential behavioral effects of gonadal steroids in women with and in those without premenstrual syndrome. Journal of the American Medical Association, 1998; 338:209-16.

8 Vitiello B, Jensen P. Medication development and testing in children and adolescents. Archives of General Psychiatry, 1997; 54:871-6.

 

At the start of the presentation, show the test to the audience—if time is not allowed,put it at the "waiting time".

Online Depression Screening Test

FOR MORE THAN TWO WEEKS:

1. Do you feel sad, blue, unhappy or "down in the dumps"?

A. Never

B. Rarely

C. Sometimes

D. Very Often

E. Most of the time

2. Do you feel tired, having little energy, unable to concentrate?

A. Never

B. Rarely

C. Sometimes

D. Very Often

E. Most of the time

3. Do you feel uneasy, restless or irritable?

A. Never

B. Rarely

C. Sometimes

D. Very Often

E. Most of the time

4. Do you have trouble sleeping or eating (too little or too much)?

A. Never

B. Rarely

C. Sometimes

D. Very Often

E. Most of the time

5. Do you feel that you are not enjoying the activities that you used to?

A. Never

B. Rarely

C. Sometimes

D. Very Often

E. Most of the time

6. Do you feel that you lost interest in sex or experiencing sexual difficulties?

A. Never

B. Rarely

C. Sometimes

D. Very Often

E. Most of the time

7. Do you feel that it takes you longer than before to make decisions or unable to concentrate?

A. Never

B. Rarely

C. Sometimes

D. Very Often

E. Most of the time

8. Do you feel inadequate, like a failure or that nobody likes you anymore?

A. Never

B. Rarely

C. Sometimes

D. Very Often

E. Most of the time

9. Do you feel guilty without a rational reason, or put yourself down?

A. Never

B. Rarely

C. Sometimes

D. Very Often

E. Most of the time

10. Do you feel that things always go or will go wrong no matter how hard you try?

A. Never

B. Rarely

C. Sometimes

D. Very Often

E. Most of the time


Disclaimer:
ODST is a preliminary screening test for depressive symptoms that does not replace in any way a formal psychiatric evaluation. It is designed to give a preliminary idea about the presence of mild to moderate depressive symptoms that indicate the need for an evaluation by a psychiatrist.

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: