Discussing Depression

Is a man you care about suffering from what seems to be depression? If he isn’t addressing the issue, it’s important that you do, and start a discussion about the possible depression.

Depression can become chronic if untreated, and each episode can be worse than the last. The longer treatment is put off, the greater the risk that the depression will return frequently, with greater intensity, and be more difficult to treat.

Are you unsure of how to start the conversation about depression? Here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Admitting to being depressed can be difficult, especially for a guy. The person you are talking to might be embarrassed about the conversation.
  2. Approach the person in a supportive manner and express your concern about their well-being.
  3. Be prepared to offer your support whether it’s by listening to the person’s concerns, accompanying him to a doctor’s visit, or helping him to learn more about depression.
  4. Accept that depression is a complex issue that generally isn’t resolved in a couple of weeks. Recovering from depression can take a great deal of work and time. It isn’t possible to just “get over it.”
  5. Help the person you are concerned about understand that depression is common, often treatable. It’s not a sign of a personal weakness.
  6. Help the person formulate a plan of action with measurable outcomes.  For example, “I will help you call your doctor on Monday morning and we will talk to him about depression.”
  7. Remind him: Even though it may not seem possible right now, you CAN feel better. Don’t give up hope.

Next: Frequently Asked Questions about Depression

If you are in crisis, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) National Suicide Prevention Lifeline