Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Practical Ways to Support a Loved One Suffering from Depression; in Mental Health Awareness Week, SIMON MEECHAN and ELISE JOHNSON Look at Spotting the Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety - and Doing What We Can to Help

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Practical Ways to Support a Loved One Suffering from Depression; in Mental Health Awareness Week, SIMON MEECHAN and ELISE JOHNSON Look at Spotting the Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety - and Doing What We Can to Help

Article excerpt

DEPRESSION and anxiety are daunting for the person suffering but what are the signs and how can friends or family help? People struggling with mental health problems sometimes push their loved ones away, who themselves may have little idea about what they can do. Often, the NHS says, it is a partner, friend or relative who first suspects someone has depression, and it can be important to offer encouragement to seek help by arranging an appointment with a GP or finding another source of support.

Anxiety, which can leave people with constant fears and worries which they struggle to control, can affect daily life for anyone who suffers from it regularly.

THE NHS'S SIGNS THAT SOMEONE MAY BE DEPRESSED Depression has lots of possible symptoms. You may notice that someone: |has lost interest in doing things they normally enjoy | seems to be feeling down or hopeless | has slower speech and movements or is more fidgety and restless than usual | feels tired or doesn't have much energy | is overeating or has lost their appetite | is sleeping more than usual or isn't able to sleep |has trouble concentrating on everyday things, such as watching the television or reading the paper SIGNS OF A 'GENERALISED ANXIETY DISORDER' | restlessness | a sense of dread | feeling constantly "on edge" | difficulty concentrating | irritability THERE ARE ALSO PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS | dizziness | tiredness | a noticeably strong, fast or irregular heartbeat (palpitations) | muscle aches and tension | trembling or shaking | dry mouth | excessive sweating | shortness of breath | stomach ache | feeling sick | headache | pins and needles | difficulty falling or staying asleep (insomnia) HOW CAN I HELP MY FRIEND WHO SUFFERS FROM DEPRESSION OR ANXIETY? Stephen Buckley, from Mind, the UK's largest mental health charity, says there are ways to help someone struggling to cope: BE PATIENT AND EXPECT THE UPS AND DOWNS Anxiety and depression are not always constant, so while someone may feel positive one day, that does not mean they won't feel down the next day.

Stephen Buckley, Head of Mind communication, advised "Try not to blame the person for feeling anxious or depressed, or tell them to 'pull themselves together'. They are probably already blaming themselves, and criticism is likely to make them feel even worse."

HELPING THEM WITH EVERYDAY TASKS Anxiety and depression can make everyday tasks feel insurmountable.

Therefore making sure someone has milk in their fridge or clean clothes in the cupboard can create a stable environment. This simple practical support means that the person has one less thing to worry about. …

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