How to Help a Depressed Cop:
6 Do's and Don'ts

The 6 Biggest DO's and DON'Ts When Helping
a Cop Who's Depressed

DON'T be afraid
to Ask If their suicidal

police suicides is on the rise so it's imperative that you aren't afraid to ask this question. Not everyone who's depressed is suicidal, but research shows that oftentimes people who committed suicide had symptoms of depression

DON'T
Ghost Them

When you're dealing with depression it is quite difficult to be upbeat and oftentimes times people don't want to be around "the sky is falling" type of person. However they need your support so don't leave them in isolation.

DON'T
Neglect Yourself

Do not join your depressed friend in his/her depression, your friend's feelings are not your feelings. Depression is a serious mental health condition that requires professional treatment.

DO
Practice patience

Depression usually improves with treatment, but it can be a slow process that involves some trial and error. They may have to try a few different counseling approaches or medications before they find one that works.

DO
Keep in Contact

Don't go MIA on a depressed person. Even if you are not able to spend a lot of time with them on a regular basis, check in regularly with a phone call or quick text message.

DO
Support them

Your cop friend might not feel like leaving the house or even going to work. Depression can cause low energy and increase isolation so make sure you stay in contact with a supportive text.

How this Retired Cop
Overcame Depression & PSTD

Guide on how to help someone
with depression

Depression is a mental disorder characterized by helplessness, anger, guilt, frustration, and sadness. If you live with someone suffering from depression, you may be confused sometimes. The support you give is a step towards recovery. Also, you should reach out for help from a mental health professional.

How to identify symptoms of depression in your loved one

If you don’t understand the symptoms of depression, it can be difficult to motivate the person to seek help. Some of the warning signs that a friend or loved one is suffering from depression include:

Sleep problems

Depression is associated with low energy which can lead to excessive sleeping. Because someone feels tired, they can lose interest in things that you enjoy. While this condition is also associated with insomnia, one may lead to the other. If your family member has withdrawn from friends, its time you take action.

Uncontrollable emotions

A depressed person will have mood swings. He could be angry one minute and cry the other one. Men tend to engage in risky behaviors like substance abuse.

Helplessness

Depression can change the way you see life in general. Other signs include self-hate, inappropriate guilt, and feeling of worthlessness.

Aches and pain

When someone is depressed, he or she will complain of aches and pains. They will have stomach problems, back pain, headaches, etc. This is followed by an increase or reduction in weight.

How should you approach depression?

Now that you know a friend or a family member suffering from depression, how do you approach the matter? Sometimes, you may fear that the person will feel angry or insulted. But no matter how the person reacts, you should be a compassionate listener. Look for a way to encourage the depressed person to talk about how they feel. Since depressed people tend to isolate themselves from others, you should be gentle and persistent. While you may not have magic words to make the person feel better, silence is not the best tactic.

What to say to a depressed person

Let them know you’re there for them
These words can be of great comfort. People with mental problems are reluctant to ask for help. By expressing your willingness to help, they will open up to you. Let them know you’re there whenever they need help.

Ask whether they need some space

Although a depressed person should never be left alone, giving them some space is often a good idea. This will help them recharge batteries and digest how they feel.

I love you

The feeling of helplessness can be terrifying, so you must tell the person you love him or her. These words give hope that you will support them no matter what they are going through.

Let them know everything will be okay

As difficult as things may be, the word `OK’ will soothe their minds. A depressed person sees things in the worst-case scenario. You should calm them down and give them some hope that the situation will improve.

Don’t do anything uncomfortable

The feeling of depression can be upsetting. It’s often difficult to appear cheerful. You should know the events to avoid to cheer them.

You’re not a burden

A depressed person will rely on family members for simple tasks such as cleaning and cooking. Let them know you’re available for help whenever they need you. This will ease the pressure in their daily lives.

Tell them they are good people

The feeling of guilt can sometimes trigger depression. No matter how bad the situation is, you should not judge someone who is mentally ill.

What you should not say to a depressed person

Don’t make comparisons

The person you’re talking to is going through tough times, so you should not make them feel ashamed of their feelings. Show them what they are going through is real and any other person in their situation would feel the same.

Avoid giving pat advice

Every person has a unique way of dealing with depression. But telling someone with depression what he or she needs to do isn’t going to help.

Don’t think like that

There’s nothing wrong with a depressed person thinking the way he or she wants. This is someone who is devastated, lonely, sad, or in despair. Never berate someone for thinking the way they do.

Put yourself together

A depressed person feels useless, hopeless and incompetent.

Depression can trigger suicidal thoughts

A major cause of suicide in our society is depression. When someone is overwhelmed by painful emotions, they may choose suicide as the way out. Unfortunately, most people who die could have been helped. Some of the red flags that someone is contemplating suicide include:

  • Giving away possessions
  • Acting in a self-destructive way
  • Seeking out a gun and other weapons
  • Talking about harming oneself
  • Expressing a state of hopelessness

Don’t wait for a friend or family member to take his or her own life. You should reach out for help immediately- it could save someone’s life.

How to encourage a depressed person to seek help

It’s hard to control someone else’s recovery from depression. It saps the motivation to make an appointment with a doctor. Even worse, some believe the treatment is pointless. With all these obstacles, making the depressed person admit they have a problem may be a daunting task. If they resist you should:

Help them find a therapist

A depressed person is low on energy so you should make calls to secure an appointment with a professional. This is often a trial and error method, but you should not give up.

Suggest a general checkup

The main goal of working with a physician is to rule out medical causes of depression. If they diagnose the patient with signs of depression, they can refer them to a psychiatrist. You may want to make a list of the symptoms you have noticed.

Supporting the treatment

You should show love to the patient throughout the treatment process. This will reduce the moodiness and hostility which is common with depression. Also, keep appointments with the psychiatrist and take the treatment as prescribed. Patience is also a virtue. You should not set high expectations. Finally, maintain a positive look and encourage activities. You can invite them to a funny movie or dinner at your favorite restaurant.

The takeaway

If you care about the well-being of your depressed friends or loved ones, you should reach out for help. You can confide with a trusted friend, speak to clergy, or make them join a support group. Choose someone who will listen and not judge.

Popular Articles

Police Resources

The Sun Will Shine Again

don't give up. Seek out Help