The verb “to support” says it well: to support someone to prevent them from falling.
What is depression and what are its forms? What are the symptoms that you need to be aware of? How can you support a person throughout the process?
Depression is a complex disorder that affects the sufferer both physically and psychologically. Most people experience feelings of joy or sadness on a daily basis. However, a person experiencing depression will have more difficulty controlling their emotions and will experience negative emotions more intensely and for a longer period of time. In many cases, someone suffering from depression will find it difficult to carry out daily tasks, such as work, family and social obligations.
According to the Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Montréal, 15 to 20% of Canadians are affected by depression at least once in their lifetime.
If you notice that some of these issues persist, you should consult a physician or contact your local mental health access point.
Depression is treated by recognized methods, most often by psychotherapy, sometimes combined with antidepressant medication. The process can be long, both for the therapy and for the medication, since it can take several weeks before the person feels the first effects of the antidepressants. It is important to be patient and to seek treatment and services:
In most cases, someone contemplating suicide leaves clues as to their intent through:
If you recognize these warning signs in the person you are caring for, call the Association québécoise de prévention du suicide (in French only) hotline, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, across Québec: 1-866-APPELLE (1-866-277-3553). If there is an immediate danger, call 911.
The person I am caring for suffers from depression. Am I a caregiver?
If you are caring for that person, even if you don’t live with them, the answer is yes. Read the definition of a caregiver.
How do I know my limitations?
A group of mental health organizations has developed a list of rights you can give yourself to care for yourself. Reading it will help you identify the boundaries of your assistance and support and will have a positive effect on you. At l’Appui pour les proches aidants, we really like number 11 on the list: “the right to add my own statements of rights to this list, based on my own situation, feelings and experience.”
Association des médecins pschiatres du Québec. Dépression et maladie mentale : rappel de l’Association des médecins psychiatres du Québec. Savoir reconnaître les symptômes pour venir en aide à ceux qui en ont besoin.
L'Appui pour les proches aidants. Proches aidants : que faire lorsqu’on se sent démunis devant la maladie mentale d’un être cher?
Gouvernement du Québec. Dépression.
Gouvernement du Québec. Vivre auprès d’une personne présentant un trouble mental.
Need to talk?
Contact our Caregiver Support Helpline for counselling, information et referrals.
Every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Free of charge.