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When Someone You Know Has Depression: Words to Say and Things to Do

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Mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder can be devastating to the person who has the disorder and to his or her family. Depression and bipolar disorder affect every aspect of how a person functions, including their thoughts, feelings, actions, and relationships with other people. Family members and close friends are often the first to recognize the subtle ch Mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder can be devastating to the person who has the disorder and to his or her family. Depression and bipolar disorder affect every aspect of how a person functions, including their thoughts, feelings, actions, and relationships with other people. Family members and close friends are often the first to recognize the subtle changes and symptoms of depression. They are also the ones who provide daily support to their relative or friend, often at great personal cost. They need to know what to say or do to cope with the person's impaired thinking and fluctuating moods. In When Someone You Know Has Depression, Dr. Susan J. Noonan draws on first-hand experience of the illness and evidence-based medical information. As a physician she has treated, supported, and educated those living with--and those caring for--a person who has a mood disorder. She also has lived through the depths of her own mood disorder. Here, she has written a concise and practical guide to caring for someone who has depression or bipolar disorder. This compassionate book offers specific suggestions for what to say, how to encourage, and how to act around a loved one--as well as when to back off. Dr Noonan describes effective communication strategies to use during episodes of depression and offers essential advice for finding appropriate professional help. She also explains how to reinforce progress made in therapy, how to model resilience skills, and how caregivers can and must care for themselves. Featuring tables and worksheets that convey information in an accessible way, as well as references, resources, and a glossary, this companion volume to Dr. Noonan's patient-oriented Managing Your Depression is an invaluable handbook for readers navigating and working to improve the depression of someone close to them.


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Mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder can be devastating to the person who has the disorder and to his or her family. Depression and bipolar disorder affect every aspect of how a person functions, including their thoughts, feelings, actions, and relationships with other people. Family members and close friends are often the first to recognize the subtle ch Mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder can be devastating to the person who has the disorder and to his or her family. Depression and bipolar disorder affect every aspect of how a person functions, including their thoughts, feelings, actions, and relationships with other people. Family members and close friends are often the first to recognize the subtle changes and symptoms of depression. They are also the ones who provide daily support to their relative or friend, often at great personal cost. They need to know what to say or do to cope with the person's impaired thinking and fluctuating moods. In When Someone You Know Has Depression, Dr. Susan J. Noonan draws on first-hand experience of the illness and evidence-based medical information. As a physician she has treated, supported, and educated those living with--and those caring for--a person who has a mood disorder. She also has lived through the depths of her own mood disorder. Here, she has written a concise and practical guide to caring for someone who has depression or bipolar disorder. This compassionate book offers specific suggestions for what to say, how to encourage, and how to act around a loved one--as well as when to back off. Dr Noonan describes effective communication strategies to use during episodes of depression and offers essential advice for finding appropriate professional help. She also explains how to reinforce progress made in therapy, how to model resilience skills, and how caregivers can and must care for themselves. Featuring tables and worksheets that convey information in an accessible way, as well as references, resources, and a glossary, this companion volume to Dr. Noonan's patient-oriented Managing Your Depression is an invaluable handbook for readers navigating and working to improve the depression of someone close to them.

30 review for When Someone You Know Has Depression: Words to Say and Things to Do

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sheri

    Helpful advice for providing support to someone with a mood disorder. Provides a good overview of what depression is and the charts and tables detailing the symptoms and intensity were useful. Relevant communication is discussed as well as other helpful approaches to show support. Advice on finding professional help is offered, but I found the best part of that particular chapter to be the info on what to do when someone refuses treatment. That aspect is not often addressed in books on depressio Helpful advice for providing support to someone with a mood disorder. Provides a good overview of what depression is and the charts and tables detailing the symptoms and intensity were useful. Relevant communication is discussed as well as other helpful approaches to show support. Advice on finding professional help is offered, but I found the best part of that particular chapter to be the info on what to do when someone refuses treatment. That aspect is not often addressed in books on depression even though it is often times a roadblock that friends and family must overcome in order to guide their loved one to get the help they need. Recovery and caring for the caregiver are also covered, followed by a summary of do's and don'ts. This book is easy to read and understand and the advice offered, while seeming simplistic and logical, is often neglected in the wake of the emotional toll mood disorders take on caregivers. I highly recommend this book to anyone seeking to help and support a depressed person or even just better understand depression.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    This newest book by Dr. Susan Noonan, When Someone You Know Has Depression is aimed at supporting parents, spouses and friends who are on the front line. Noonon says, “Family members and close friends are usually the first to recognize the symptoms of depression and the ones providing daily support. Most felt powerless to know what steps to take, what to say or do in response to symptoms, or how to change the course of the illness.” There is a ton of information in this little 160 page book. Some This newest book by Dr. Susan Noonan, When Someone You Know Has Depression is aimed at supporting parents, spouses and friends who are on the front line. Noonon says, “Family members and close friends are usually the first to recognize the symptoms of depression and the ones providing daily support. Most felt powerless to know what steps to take, what to say or do in response to symptoms, or how to change the course of the illness.” There is a ton of information in this little 160 page book. Some of the discussion covers information most likely known already but now viewed more intimately and personal. Noonan’s bedside manner is helpful and styled to make concerned supporters feel more confidant and secure in their conversations and observations. The book is scattered with many professionally developed tables such as Symptoms of Depression, Warning Signs of Suicide, and Anger in your Family Member or Friend. Although it is impossible to address every concern, there’s enough here to provide a guide for each reader. Even a chapter on taking care of the caregiver. And a brief chapter advising the concerned supporter that the depressed person (over 18) has the right to refuse treatment but can be overridden if in danger of harming themselves or others. I would like to have seen some discussion of where the caregiver can turn if the loved one loses the strength to go forward and commits suicide. Perhaps added to the chapter on taking care of themselves to avoid burnout. Overall, a very useful book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Gretchen

    Susan J. Noonan does an excellent job explaining the symptoms, causes and treatments of depression and biploar disorder using evidence-based research. She also gives some good advice regarding what is helpful to say to someone suffering with these disorders. She is very clear that these disorders are biological brain disorders that the sufferer did not choose and no one caused. I have found that to be the foundation of beginning to understand and support someone who is dealing with a mental illn Susan J. Noonan does an excellent job explaining the symptoms, causes and treatments of depression and biploar disorder using evidence-based research. She also gives some good advice regarding what is helpful to say to someone suffering with these disorders. She is very clear that these disorders are biological brain disorders that the sufferer did not choose and no one caused. I have found that to be the foundation of beginning to understand and support someone who is dealing with a mental illness. I found the book very helpful.

  4. 5 out of 5

    John Rinker

    A concise guide to help people to take action when a friend or loved one has depression. For those who fear that they make things worse with the wrong words or gestures, this book provides specific do's (DO talk to your friend about suicidal thoughts without worrying that it may increase the chance that it may occur), and don'ts (DON'T simply say "come on...snap out of it"). It includes advice for all sexes and ages. This is indispensable for anyone who may interact with people with depression - A concise guide to help people to take action when a friend or loved one has depression. For those who fear that they make things worse with the wrong words or gestures, this book provides specific do's (DO talk to your friend about suicidal thoughts without worrying that it may increase the chance that it may occur), and don'ts (DON'T simply say "come on...snap out of it"). It includes advice for all sexes and ages. This is indispensable for anyone who may interact with people with depression - which is probably everyone, considering the incidence of depression today.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Erika Powers

    Easy to read, I didn't pick up new information but someone who is new to depression will. For that person it would be very helpful. Easy to read, I didn't pick up new information but someone who is new to depression will. For that person it would be very helpful.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Karla Winick-Ford

    I think it's well written. There are a lot of helpful approaches. I wished the resources were more extensive as well as the recovery process I think it's well written. There are a lot of helpful approaches. I wished the resources were more extensive as well as the recovery process

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    Helpful guidelines and possible to-dos.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Biff

    A good starting point for ideas for dealing with someone close who has depression and / or is bi-polar.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sequoia

    hmmm.... Some fair advice. I like the idea of "tough love", but how to implement one is, way trickier and harder, I guess. As always. hmmm.... Some fair advice. I like the idea of "tough love", but how to implement one is, way trickier and harder, I guess. As always.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jean-François Pinsonnault

    Though I read and thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and all its suggestions and ideas several years back, I passed it on to a friend who does suffer from depression, encouraging them to read it and possibly apply some of the ideas contained. However, I have come to conclude that though depression is a very debilitating illness, suggestions that come from friends, partners, and/or family rarely taken seriously from these same people. It really requires that a person suffering with depression be Though I read and thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and all its suggestions and ideas several years back, I passed it on to a friend who does suffer from depression, encouraging them to read it and possibly apply some of the ideas contained. However, I have come to conclude that though depression is a very debilitating illness, suggestions that come from friends, partners, and/or family rarely taken seriously from these same people. It really requires that a person suffering with depression be totally open to different perspectives and willing to try at least one or two actions. It has taken many years and outside intervention from professionals in the domain, who have suggested many of the same ideas, to bring about some meaningful change and adjusments. Its a long road ahead.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Denise Spicer

    This 2016 book from Johns Hopkins University Press is a concise introduction to (or review of) mood disorders. It covers depression/bipolar/anxiety and the signs, symptoms, and treatments for these conditions. The author tries to provide useful information on how to communicate (empathic response), find professional help, and anticipate recovery. The book includes tips for caregivers and specific Dos and Don’ts. Although the author provides her reasons in her preface, the PC use of random, disor This 2016 book from Johns Hopkins University Press is a concise introduction to (or review of) mood disorders. It covers depression/bipolar/anxiety and the signs, symptoms, and treatments for these conditions. The author tries to provide useful information on how to communicate (empathic response), find professional help, and anticipate recovery. The book includes tips for caregivers and specific Dos and Don’ts. Although the author provides her reasons in her preface, the PC use of random, disorganized pronouns is jarring and off putting.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    Easy read. Helpful thoughts, if not fully practical with our lack of adequate access to mental health care.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Khan Ashraf Alif

  14. 5 out of 5

    Gruia Novac

  15. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Billig

  16. 4 out of 5

    Raelin Callahan

  17. 4 out of 5

    Laura

  18. 5 out of 5

    Johnny Wimmer

  19. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sara Jones

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

  22. 4 out of 5

    Yami

  23. 4 out of 5

    Harijan

  24. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Lopez

  25. 4 out of 5

    Marilla Stoker

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jordan Stivers

  27. 5 out of 5

    Laura Eadie

  28. 5 out of 5

    Tina

  29. 5 out of 5

    Natto

  30. 4 out of 5

    Juan Antonio Curado Molina

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