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Helping a Loved One Through Depression

Helping a Loved One Through Depression

Depression affects people of all ages and all walks of life. About 20% of children and teens experience bouts of depression by the time they’re age 18, and more than 6% of all American adults experience it, too.

It’s a complex mental health condition, and it can impact your life in a variety of ways, including your relationships with the people who care about you the most. Many people see their loved ones struggling with depression, and they’re left wondering what they can do to help.

Depression is a serious condition, but it’s also treatable. Annette Lusko, DO, and our team at Ketamine Integrative Medicine take an alternative approach to treating this common mental health condition. If you’re worried about a loved one who’s battling depression, it’s time to learn how you can help.

Recognizing the signs of depression in others

Everyone feels sad from time to time. But if you notice that your friend, child, spouse, or other family member seems moody or sad most of the time, you might start wondering if they have depression. 

Clinical depression is characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, with or without a clear cause. It’s a common mental health condition, and it often requires professional care to get better.

Depression affects different people in different ways. If you have a loved one with depression, you might notice changes in their outlook on life or their behavior, such as:

Some physical signs of depression can include:

Children or teens may have different symptoms than adults. If you’re concerned that your child could be suffering from depression, watch for the following:

If you suspect a loved one is depressed, the first step is to talk with them about ways to seek professional help.

How to support your loved one through depression

No one likes seeing a friend or family member struggle with depression. It’s natural to want to help, but what’s the right thing to do?

Start by letting them know you’re there if they need anything. Tell them you care about them and their well-being, and consider mentioning a few symptoms of depression that you’ve noticed in them. 

Remember that clinical depression is more than just sadness that can be shaken off. Avoid offering “quick fixes” for their feelings, and don’t minimize their symptoms. Ask if there’s anything they want to talk about, but don’t force them to talk if they don’t want to.

Many people may not be aware that what they’re experiencing may actually be depression, while others may be embarrassed or defensive about it. You can make a difference by starting a discussion to break down the stigma of seeking care for mental health.

Take the time to research some local treatment options. If your loved one is willing, help them schedule a consultation with a mental health professional for an evaluation. Depression is a common and very real condition, and there’s no shame in seeking treatment.

How Ketamine Integrative Medicine can help

At Ketamine Integrative Medicine, Dr. Lusko and our team specialize in alternative treatments for depression. Traditional antidepressant medication isn’t the right solution for everyone, and we’re here to help people find the treatment approach that fits their needs.

Ketamine is a type of anesthetic that’s delivered intravenously. A series of ketamine therapy sessions can improve depression symptoms, even in patients with treatment-resistant depression. For people taking antidepressants, we also offer SPRAVATO™, a nasal esketamine spray that can help improve mood.

Depression is treatable, and many people see significant improvements in their physical and mental well-being after seeking professional care. But, if your loved one isn’t ready to seek treatment, don’t stop offering support. 

Whether or not your loved one seeks treatment for depression, let them know you’re there to support them. Ask them what you can do to help them, and continue offering them grace if symptoms interfere with their daily lives.

To learn more about ketamine therapy for depression, book an appointment online or over the phone with Ketamine Integrative Medicine today.

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