How can I help someone with depression?

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If you or someone you know is depressed, finding appropriate treatment can be difficult, depending upon where you live and the resources available to you. While many treatments can be provided and monitored in primary care, barriers to effective care include the lack of resources and lack of trained providers. Even some of the symptoms of depression can be a barrier to treatment. A person may feel too tired or too overwhelmed to get help.

The first step to finding help is to begin in your community, with resources familiar to you. Try to talk with a healthcare practitioner. If there is no healthcare provider in your community, talk with a representative from non-governmental organizations (NGOs). An estimated 93% of African countries and 80% of Southeast Asian countries have NGOs in the mental health sector. These organizations provide diverse services -- including counseling, advocacy, informal support, suicide prevention, substance abuse/misuse counseling and research. In some communities, the NGOs provide the only programs available; in others, they complement existing programs. If there is a university nearby, its departments of psychiatry or psychology may be able to help. Or consider a telephone directory or community resource book and look under “mental health,” “social services,” “suicide prevention,” “crisis intervention,” “hotlines,” “hospitals,” “health clinics,” “physicians,” or “health.” Another source of treatment and support could be a traditional healer, common in many countries and cultures.

Depression may be unfamiliar to people who are trying to help you. If you cannot find the help you need, you may need to seek treatment farther away. Utilizing the internet to find information could be very helpful. If you don’t have access, go to a local library or NGO.

Continue Learning about Depression Treatment

Depression Treatment

Depression Treatment

Because it is a multi-faceted condition, treatment for depression is multi-faceted as well. Minor depression can often be treated with therapy and a few simple lifestyle changes, while chronic or major depression treatment can req...

uire medication in addition to therapy. In some severe cases, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may be used. It's important to work with your mental health professional to determine which course of treatment for your type of depression is most appropriate.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.