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Helping Others with Depression: Words to Say, Things to Do

A comprehensive guide to how family members and friends can help someone who has depression.

Mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder are biologic conditions of the mind and body that affect our everyday functioning, thoughts, feelings, and actions. Often devastating to the person, mood disorders can also be overwhelming to their family and close friends, who are frequently the first to recognize the subtle changes and symptoms of depression and the ones who provide daily support. Yet many feel unsure about how to help someone through the course of this difficult and disabling illness. This book is written for them.

In Helping Others with Depression, Dr. Susan J. Noonan speaks firsthand from her perspective as a physician who has treated many patients, as a mental health Certified Peer Specialist, and as a patient with personal experience in living with the illness. Her combined professional and personal experiences have enabled her to write an evidence-based, concise, and practical guide to caring for someone who has depression or bipolar disorder, including men, women, teens, and seniors.

In this compassionate book, Dr. Noonan

• describes effective communication and support strategies to use during episodes of depression
• combines sample narratives with concrete suggestions for what to say and how to encourage and support a loved one
• offers essential advice for lifestyle interventions, finding appropriate professional help, shared decision making, and paying for treatment
• helps readers understand how to navigate difficult situations, such as a loved one refusing treatment or grappling with suicidal thoughts
• explains how caring for a person with a mood disorder creates unique challenges—and how to address those challenges
• explores how concerned loved ones can use mobile applications and other technology to help
• focuses on different populations, including teenagers, older adults, and people with substance abuse issues

She also covers ways to model resilience, explains the concept of recovery—while describing what recovery looks like—and explores how caregivers can and must care for themselves. Featuring tables, vignettes, and sidebars that convey information in an accessible way, as well as comprehensive references, resources, and a glossary, this companion volume to Dr. Noonan’s patient-oriented Take Control of Your Depression is an invaluable handbook.

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Helping Others with Depression is a powerful tool that we will use on a regular basis to help facilitators, families, and friends reach our mission of providing hope, help, support, and education to those living with mood disorders. The perfect companion to another favorite by Dr. Noonan: Take Control of Your Depression.

Jonah G. Sinowitz, Founder, DBSA Neptune / DBSA Freehold Boro


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