How to help depressed people?

@laurika (4536)
United States
November 9, 2007 5:06pm CST
I just talk to my mum few hours ago and she is so depressed all the time I talk to her. at firs who you don't know I cannot comfort her by visiting he since I live too far away from her and just cannot fly home. My mum is retired and fell like she cannot fins sense in her life. i am trying to send her some books all the time and things to cheer her up , but it looks like she is not interested to do anything anymore. She is only 58 and I think she has still so much in front of her, but she talks like there is nothing to do anymore. Do you have someone like this around you? How do you help person like this? i am trying to cheer her up, but I am not succesful.
8 people like this
19 responses
@derek_a (10902)
10 Nov 07
I work with depressed people a lot. To get them to change is only possible if they want to change and they are prepared to commit to do whatever it takes to make the changes they need. Once they are prepared to commit, it is just time that makes the difference. Each of feel that we want to have an effect on our life, in our community or even just in our own homes. If we feel that we can be appreciated or get that sense of achievement, then we tend to be more positive. I usually find that depressives usually only want to sit around and do nothing. I get them to commit to make a difference in some way. Small steps first of all. That could be just sweeping the yard to perfection to the best of their ability. Or just helping out a neighbour or friend and making them happy. I also tend to say something like this with depressives. "With the emotions, what you give away to others, comes back to you. If there is some way you can make someone happy by a small act of kindness, then you would be happy to." It needs to be remembered though that the depressives who consult with me do so because they themselves want to make a change in their lives. Pushing them is sometimes like telling them to "pull themselves together". This approach is rarely effective at all. They need to WANT to change themselves and the best way to establish this is to ask them if they are willing to do whatever it takes to improve the way they are.. :-)
• South Korea
10 Nov 07
i pretty agree with you!!!!
1 person likes this
@Margajoe (4720)
• Germany
10 Nov 07
Me too.
1 person likes this
@laurika (4536)
• United States
13 Nov 07
Thank you very much for your response. I have really learn a lot from your answer. I would ask her to make just a small steps and add little bit to it every day.
@Rozie37 (15503)
• Turkmenistan
9 Nov 07
Some people volunteer after they retire. This should give her something to look forward to. Also, it may be time to talk to your mother about seeking counseling if you are very concerned.
@laurika (4536)
• United States
10 Nov 07
I don't think she would admit something like that and went to see some doctor or so. Also I offer her so much what she can do in her free time, She was a teacher at University and i tell her so many kids are looking for privat tutor she could teach some kids and make also some extra monye, but anything I come with she find some excuse.
1 person likes this
@Rozie37 (15503)
• Turkmenistan
10 Nov 07
They have programs at local libraries where you care volunteer to read to the children. I believe that may be less demanding than teaching again and it is very rewarding.
@laurika (4536)
• United States
13 Nov 07
the problem is has hard time walking, so I don't think she would like that.
@Margajoe (4720)
• Germany
10 Nov 07
By cheering yourself up first. You cannot help her if you get depressed to.A wise person once told me, If someone chooses to be unhappy, you can do anything, even stand on your head.It won´t help. It is her own responsiblity. Even when I feel depressed (as even I am only human, lol) I don´t bother my children with it. I want them to enjoy life, be happy, make a good future. It is great that you want to cheer your mom up. But don´t carry her bagage, so to speak. Call her some more times, not to long. Let her know that you love her, the rest is up to her. Take care, have a nice day. And don´t forget "Yourself".
@laurika (4536)
• United States
13 Nov 07
So for responding so late, but wanted tahnk you for your great response. You are so right in this. we really should think at first about ourself , because if we got depressed i am not gonna help her.
1 person likes this
@Margajoe (4720)
• Germany
14 Nov 07
No problem and your welcome. How are you doing? I hope you are feeling better. Take care.
@Unl3ashed (111)
• Belgium
10 Nov 07
You are right when you say that helping depressed people is hard. you really have to watch out with what you say to them. depressed peopletend to react in an other way to the things you say. I often find that if you talk to people in such a state that you should let them speak. let them talk about what's bothering them. you keep nodding encouraging them to tell it all to you. after you heard what they had to say you can start talking. you can start by asking them question about things that weren't clear to you. then you start helping them my trowning in ideas that might help them out. ideas they might use to solve there depression or problems. it's very important you remain passive. people that are depressed get satisfaction of solvin g it themselves. give them advice but you must remain passive and let them do all the working. that way they become striong and they will get to their old selves again. at least that's what i do when i try to help people...
• South Korea
10 Nov 07
you are right, keep being passive and give some advice to help them out, and get them to solve the problems themselves.
@laurika (4536)
• United States
13 Nov 07
thank you for your response. Yeah you are right , but it is sometimes hard for me too, just listner her and get depressed too.
• India
10 Nov 07
Hi laurika.. After retirement it is the feeling of people that some thing is deprived of them always and they feel little insecure.. Only thing we can do at this stage is that, you must constantly keep in touch with her, and assure her that, you are always caring for her.. You just keep taking to her, cheering her always just as you do now. Ask her to engage in some useful activities, to have a diversion.Let her thoughts and activities focus on some healthy atmosphere,and if she does so, slowly she will get away from depression.. No worries friend, Take care and happy mylotting.
@laurika (4536)
• United States
10 Nov 07
Thank you very much, this cheer me up too. You are great friend
• India
10 Nov 07
Its my duty to cheer up my friend,and by doing so i derive the immense pleasure. Take care friend.
@lilaclady (28240)
• Australia
9 Nov 07
You mum might be going through menopause which can cause depression in a big way, and maybe she just misses you, mothers love having their little chickens close to them, sometimes people just need love in their lives or even just a purpose, mothers go through life being needed when they think they are no longer needed they feel like they are no longer of use. Maybe your mum just needs to get out and start something new in her life and find a new friends or friends, I hope she works it out feeling negative and depressed is horrible I have been there...good luck...
@laurika (4536)
• United States
10 Nov 07
thank you very much, i hope she would go through it.
• China
10 Nov 07
I agree with those lilaclady said .Travelling may be helpfull
@TerryZ (22083)
• United States
10 Nov 07
Hi lauika yes I do have someone in my life like that. Its my aunt she is always depressed. She had to move in with her sister when she sold her house. She should have got a little apartment so could fix it up the way she likes things. She hasnt talked about getting a place anymore. Its just so depressing to hear her talk. All she does is work part time and watch her daughters kids all the time. She never makes any time for her self.
@laurika (4536)
• United States
13 Nov 07
That is just too depressed.
@Toni_07 (175)
• United States
10 Nov 07
Hello laurika, My mom is also a depressed person.She will be up 1 day and down for 2(when i say down,i mean in bed dont get up for nothing)It drives me insane.Im not like that and i have a hard time understanding.Ive been thru just as much as she has but i still get up everyday and put one foot in front of the other. My advise would be just keep encouranging her to keep going,try babying herself to make her self feel better? Hope she snaps out of it.
@laurika (4536)
• United States
13 Nov 07
Hey Toni, sory for replaying so late, but thank you for support.
@dlucia (208)
• United States
10 Nov 07
I agree, it might be menopause. I too, have been diagnosed with depression, and and pre-menopausal at 51. I have episodes where I get really down and cry and I'm on Zoloft for it. Is your mom on any medication for it?
@laurika (4536)
• United States
13 Nov 07
No she is not. I don't think she wants admit, taht she has depression, so I don't think even if she would go to the doctor she would take some medication.
@williamjisir (22903)
• China
10 Nov 07
Hello dear laurika. I think that one of the best ways to help cheer up your mother is to have her go and take as many activities as she can so that she will life is still so much fun. It is no good for her to just have herself in her own world if she feels depressed about life. I hope that you will be a success in helping your depressed mom. Good luck.
@laurika (4536)
• United States
13 Nov 07
Thank you for support, William, you are great friend.
@drannhh (15226)
• United States
10 Nov 07
Unfortunately sometimes people want you as a codependent rather than as a helper and unless they really want help there is not much that can be done. Sometimes acting "down" is a way to control others by making you listen to all this a be sad too. Misery loves company! However, if this is new behavior from someone who used to be upbeat and happy, I'd look first at her nutrition. It is highly likely that she is dehydrated as well as not getting basic nutrients such as the whole range of B-complex vitamins which have a lot to do with mood and how the nerves fit together. Maybe volunteering to help those less fortunate than herself would help lift her spirits, but one would think she would have thought of that herself. Is she otherwise in good health?
@laurika (4536)
• United States
13 Nov 07
Sorry for replaying so late. No she is not in good health. Maybe that is the problem. she is really obese and don't want to do anything about it. So when she want really do something she is too tired to walk and breathless and that 's where the depression come from.
@ElicBxn (60884)
• United States
10 Nov 07
My mother is 81, pretty disabled and is now suffering from some depression. She was always really active until she just couldn't walk any more to speak of. Now, she has trouble concentrating on reading books, even watching tv shows. You need to help your mother by telling her about people that need her still. Surf the net and see if you can find some volunteer things for her to do. I know its tough, my mom can't do things that she could do 5 years ago - and that a lot of people that are older than she is can still do. Strokes have weakened her, she still knows whats going on around her, but sometimes she doesn't always understand.
@laurika (4536)
• United States
10 Nov 07
My dad had stroke too, but he is back working and yeah he has sometimes sad moment, but he is much different like my mum. Mother is sick too, but still she could teach a kids at home( she was teacher), but she is not interested in anything.
@raychill (6530)
• United States
10 Nov 07
I don't really know if other people can help someone who is depressed. They just don't always listen and they just turn everything you say into just another negative. I don't really know if there's much you can do other than just being there for them and trying to see the positive aspects. I have a friend who just complains to high heaven (not the same, but still) and all I can do is turn the negatives into positives for her. It's tough, but just be there for her.
@laurika (4536)
• United States
10 Nov 07
Yeah that is what I am trying, thank you for help.really aprecciate it
• United States
10 Nov 07
You could always try to get her to see a doctor and get anti-depressants. I was off the charts depressed in high school and, sadly, it took me about 10 years and I had to pull myself out of my depression. I refused help from anyone for some reason. And for about 8 years I didn't even recognize I was depressed until someone I had just met said something to me about it. My parents did everything they could though. They took me to doctors, did everything they could to make me happy, put me on medicine. I think it's just something you have to change yourself. You have to start thinking happy thoughts and find something that makes you happy. Even if it starts with something small like enjoying an evening to yourself and really truly enjoying it. She has to find something to look forward to and enjoy. It helps. Good luck!
@laurika (4536)
• United States
10 Nov 07
Thank you. I was thinking about it too, but it is kinda hrd with anit-depression in my coutry. It is still tabu and if you are taking them people would think about you , you are crazy. And my mother is well-educated she knows a lot about pills, so there is no chance to give her something , becuase she would know what it is. But thank you anyway.
• Pakistan
14 Nov 07
A depressed person is a miserable and requires special attention. You should wait for her cool down position. You should try to make her sleep. If she is unable to sleep then you should consult a qualified doctor, who will advise for sleeping draught. Rest of mind is very important for a depressed person. Try to not discuss the topic which makes her depressed. You are far away from her. You should come close. Behave as you are behaving with a kid. she needs your full attention. she is feeling shortage of some thing. shortage of some beloved relative, like your father, her or your sister. she needs a close companion. she wants some too lookafter. you should search for shortcomings or something missing. she needs a friend. Forget that you are her daughter or son, you should become her friend. Listen her, she will tell all about the pains she feels. use to listen her and this will heal the relationship.
@youless (91498)
• Guangzhou, China
14 Nov 07
Besides talking a lot with the depressed people, I think it's good for them to have some sports. Sports is a good way to have a better mood. And also let them eat more chocolate and bananas. They will be very helpful for having a good mood. I learn this from the science report.
• United States
14 Nov 07
I would say sing her a song over the phone .. talk to her of things you remember when you were little, send her some nice candies or a boquet of flowers.
@isaelmas (159)
• India
10 Nov 07
yes my mom often looks depressed, i try talking to her like you do, i try to cheer up engaging her in funny talks, asking her about cooking and help me in making new delicious food items, most of the time passes away in preparing those recipes. but even though i try she looks depressed the other day, we can only try and try and make her comfort.
@glamgrl (384)
• Ireland
9 Nov 07
she needs to see a good doctor