Tips for helping loved ones who are overwhelmed

Is there a depression test?

You may have noticed a friend or family member who seems overwhelmed. He or she may be taking on too much or is feeling stress from work. Maybe your loved one is showing signs of emotional problems or is avoiding social settings even with people at home. This detachment and withdrawal might be a clue that he or she needs help managing stress.

Even if your loved one isn't ready to talk about how he or she is feeling, you can still be helpful in the meantime:

  • Let your loved one know you're concerned and that you're there for him/her

  • Take the time to listen and be encouraging

  • Ask how you can help

  • Help your loved one get involved in activities again

If you have noticed changes in his or her mood, you may be concerned that your friend or family member has depression. A loving relationship means having open communication with someone. With depression, your loved one may find it hard to talk openly. He or she might avoid family and friends. This could make you think that he or she doesn't want your help. But that may not be the case. Your loved one just might not know how to ask for help.

The signs of depression in men may be different than those in women. Some common symptoms of depression in women and men are:

  • Looking sad or hopeless

  • Saying they are tired or lacking energy

  • Saying they are worthless or feel guilty

  • Losing interest in things they used to enjoy

  • Eating or sleeping more or less than usual

  • Having trouble concentrating and making decisions

While not a true depression test, if you see some of these signs, it might mean that something isn't right. If symptoms last for awhile or worsen, talk with your loved one and encourage them to make an appointment with a healthcare provider, so he or she can get help if they need it.

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