How to help, what to say or not to say. The World Health Organization (WHO) has called for April 7, the world day of the depression, regarded as the psychiatric disorder most common, it is estimated, starting from 2020 will be the second disease in terms of prevalence after cardiovascular disease. Depression is the main cause of disability globally, and represents 7.5% global disability according to 2015 data. In Europe, over 40 million people suffer from depression – one in 25 – and around 322 million people suffer from depression worldwide.
Often a depressed person does not let his state of mind be revealed, he continues to appear apparently happy. Those who suffer from anxiety and depression are usually surrounded by people who cannot detect symptoms of depression and for this very reason they feel completely misunderstood.
The symptoms of depression are different, such as the inability to experience pleasant emotions, fatigue without reason, mood swings sometimes associated with episodes of crying is unjustified, apathy, lack of confidence, irritability , guilt, loss of hope, difficulty concentrating and making decisions, anxiety, decreased sexual desire, withdrawal from social life, recurring thoughts of death or suicide.
How to understand from what he says if a person is depressed.
How to help him? What to say and what to do or avoid doing in his presence. The advice of the psychotherapist Giovanni . In Italy 4.5 million people suffer. Depression is increasingly widespread and people are increasingly aware of it, so much so that in a recent survey, it is placed second (27%) after tumours with perceived impact on the lives of those suffering from it (White Paper data on depression). “Depression is a way of working in which a person is deeply and almost entirely focused on their own shortcomings and frustrations. – explains the psychotherapist Giovanni Porta-the external world is but a reflection of the internal one, and it appears threatening and refusing. Depressed people are accused more often of past faults and shortcomings, you feel inferior to others and for this they take refuge progressively in the universe always closed and avoidant, seemingly motionless, but in reality full of internal conflicts so deep and painful to get them to fall into apathy, so as not to hear anything and shelter indirectly by suffering considered excessive”.
For family and friends it is often difficult to discover the first signs of depression in a person they care about. You tend to underestimate the discomfort, thinking it will pass by itself. What should we pay attention to help? “One of the most obvious spies that a person is depressed, beyond apathy and lack of desire to take initiatives, is found precisely in his speeches. – explains the psychotherapist John Port – let’s See together what are the phrases that we must put in the alarm, especially if repeated often, and how to respond or what actions to take”
The spy phrases of depression.“Nothing will ever change”. Depression is a complicated condition because it’s like having to start a very long journey feeling exhausted. The apathy of the depressed is often accompanied by an acute sense of lack of strength, hence the almost total lack of motivation. What the depressed have stopped experiencing is that the energies regenerate, doing pleasant things. What to do to help them-a way to help them overcome immobility is, as with convalescents, to slowly re-settle them to do something nice together with someone else, better if not tiring. What to answer-a possible phrase to oppose depressive immobility can be something like ” Do you want to watch a movie?” (or some other less challenging activity to do together or, at least, close)
“I’m nothing” Depressed people tend to demand too much of themselves. They are not content to succeed in something, but they usually want to excel, which causes them to fall into an endless gorge of self-pity in the event of a result that does not suit their expectations. At the slightest hiccup in their plans, they accuse themselves of being incapable because they confuse not to take precedence with not being worth anything.
How to respond-a good sentence in response to the complaint about the lack of one’s own value can be
“I love you just as you are, including your flaws”. “I want to go back to that” A tendency common to many people with depressive symptoms is to focus their attention on the past instead of the present, usually idealizing it as a happy and satisfying moment. In many cases, however, this is their experience, so much so that most non-organic depressions develop as a result of some unpleasant event (end of a sentimental relationship, dismissal, etc.).
What to suggest to help them – The key thing to improve their condition it is the policy of small steps, that is, to improve their day to day life, without expecting everything immediately (activities in which the depressed are masters). What to answer-a good answer to give them can then be: “okay, you want to go back to the one you used to. What’s the first step you can take today? If you tell me, I’ll help you.”
“It’s too late now” Depressive despair is based on a mixture of generalization and lack of hope. The depressed make the whole thing a bundle: they stop distinguishing between one problem and another and create a huge single problem called depression from which it seems impossible to get out. Moreover, they are filled with regrets: they complain of lost opportunities, lost goals, defeats, and they feel that if they try again where they have failed, they will fail again. Their horizon is gloomy, because hope is completely lacking. Hope is the most precious good, and being able to give it back even a drop is certainly a great result. What to answer – an example of a sentence to say to them in a moment of distress may, in my opinion, be “I believe you will succeed in reaching your goals. Maybe not right away, certainly not all, but I’m convinced you’ll make it.”
The language we use, the words we say are very important for stable a channel of communication with those facing a moment of depression. “We have to be careful what we say, ” explains the psychotherapist John Port – The ancients claimed that words can hurt more than the sword and never as in this case, it is true. I understand it’s complicated not to lose patience in the face of a depressed person’s complaints and immobility. However, it is an individual who is constantly being accused. Accusing him in turn or treating him aggressively, in most cases, is totally useless. It is not just about tact, it is about avoiding attitudes that can be counterproductive. Let’s see together two of the typical phrases that it’s best to avoid”.
Phrases to avoid telling a depressed. “Come on, move!”
Depression is not a whim, it is not just won by willpower. To get through it, you need a profound restructuring of your way of being in the world. Much better to work to convince the depressed person to start a psychological support path instead of encouraging her to move doing it you don’t know what. “So you make me sick too”. It’s not a problem of depression like we are.making him feel guilty only makes his condition worse.
With due individual differences, we almost all want the same things: love, friendship, acceptance, companionship, recognition. “Thank God, it is not impossible to find someone who appreciates us, to whom we arouse sympathy or attraction, a job. – concluded the psychotherapist Giovanni Porta-fundamental is however to seek enough. A great step for depressed people is to concentrate their forces on achieving the really important things, abandoning the superfluous ones. It is, in fact, much easier, for example, to find a friend who’s become a rock star and not only the rock stars have friends…Different people with depression suffer much, because they believe not to be worthy of love because they are not enough of something (interesting, intelligent, beautiful, brilliant, rich, etc) and challenge the world to prove its value. The good news is that it is not for lack of value that they are not loved. The bad news is, to get the love they want, they have to do much more than they’re used to.
The depressed, in fact, are hyperactive emotionally and mentally, but act very little. They usually demand, but they don’t do anything. Furthermore, it is important, to stay in the world without suffering too much, accept the fact that it is inevitable to fail sometimes, especially if you have ambitious goals. The depressed act Little, and when they do, they demand that the cosmos give them the result they hope for. If they don’t, they make a big deal out of it, and they start making endless complaints about their bad luck or injustices that kept them from getting where they wanted. Lamenting, unfortunately, does not change the situation by a comma. Much more useful is to take responsibility for what you want it to create action plans with concrete or abandon, if the goal is too difficult to achieve. Giving up something impossible is not cowardice, but the only way not to throw your life into regrets. To get out of depression, often, it can be imperative that a professional intervention that will accompany the person to a journey of change and acceptance of their history and of their own limits, in order to regain interest in themselves and in being in the world, a journey of rediscovery of the pleasure and of the small beauties that make life worth living”.