June 6, 2019 Felicia Durling

How Do You Stage Interventions for Depression?

All over the world, 300 million people suffer from depression.

Depression can affect anyone, and sometimes it can be difficult to notice. However, if you do notice signs in a loved one, you may need to step in and help them.

Did you know interventions for depression exist? Here is how to stage one successfully.

Understand Depression

Before you can plan an intervention for depression, you have to understand what it is and notice the signs and symptoms.

Depression isn’t always people laying in bed for days at a time; sometimes it can be more subtle than that. Even people who seem like they have their life together and are functioning just fine can have depression.

It is also tricky to spot because it can look different in different people. Some people may be more irritable and agitated. Others may just be quieter and reserved. Some may feel more anxious and restless.

There are some other signs and symptoms that may manifest themselves that you should watch out for:

  • Change in appetite
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Joking or talking about suicide or death
  • Self-harm
  • Random aches and pains
  • Memory difficulties
  • Sleeping problems
  • Exhaustion

If you notice enough of these signs, it may be time to stage an intervention.

Decide You Need an Intervention

Many people who suffer from depression may not realize it. Or, if they do realize it they think that they’re not crazy or that they’re normal.

The stigma surrounding mental illness may be what’s hindering them from admitting there is an issue or from seeking help. However, if you show them that you care and aren’t going to judge them, they may be more likely to reach out for help.

Ask close friends and family of your loved one if they think there should be an intervention, and once you all agree, you can start planning.

Form a Team

If you haven’t staged interventions for depression before, you may need some professional help as well. There are people who specialize in setting up interventions that you can hire.

You may also want to consult with a psychiatrist or therapist for help in diagnosing the person. They can also assist you if you think that the person you are trying to help is in danger of hurting themselves.

Depending on how serious the intervention needs to be, you could also get a security detail in case they need to call law enforcement if something goes terribly wrong.

In addition to the professionals, you should also find other close friends and family to help you confront this person. When you have more than one person, it may help them realize that you are in fact serious about helping them change. It may also help them recognize that they do have an untreated illness that they have to deal with.

Prepare Ahead of Time

Before the intervention, meet with all of the people that will be participating to make sure that the intervention goes as smoothly as possible. Go over every possible scenario, good and bad, so that you will be prepared.

If you are checking them into a mental health facility or hospital, make sure you have those reservations lined up ahead of time.

Have resources and information available and be prepared for the worst case scenario.

Rehearse the Intervention

Make sure that you rehearse the intervention beforehand. The more prepared you are, the more successful it would be.

There can be a lot of emotions playing into this, so you want to make sure that you can effectively manage and control yours.

Write a script and give each team member a part. Treat it like you’re writing and directing a play. When you’re rehearsing, have someone fill in as the person that you are having the intervention with. Have them act out all kinds of different scenarios so that everyone is prepared.

Make sure in your script that you show the person that you care about them and love them. Showing compassion can make them more open to treatment and getting help. Also, make sure you treat them with respect and never define them by their mental illness; they are so much more than that.

Also, provide them the facts and statistics to try and help them feel less shame about the mental illness.

Personalize the Intervention

When you’re writing the script for the intervention, make sure that you personalize it to your loved one.

Don’t make it sounds like a template, scripted version that you found off the internet. Instead, tailor it to them, because this will show them that you are serious and that you do care about them.

For example, give them specific instances where you noticed their depression. Depression can warp their version of reality, but if you give them objective facts, they could be more receptive to what you have to say.

Help Them See They Have a Real Problem

As we said above, a lot of people with depression don’t realize it’s a problem.

However, you have to show them that they aren’t paranoid or delusional; they are in fact depressed. This can be a hard thing to realize, so make sure you go about this with care.

People with depression are also more susceptible to anxiety disorders, which can make them feel like they are going crazy. They may be dealing with an internal dissonance and not sure how to feel about it.

Just remember that the goal of this intervention is to help them realize that they do have a problem and need to get help even if the illness makes them believe they don’t have a problem.

Follow Through

After the intervention, make sure that you follow through with whatever you said you were going to do.

Whether that be starting medication, seeing a therapist, or checking into a mental facility, make sure that there is something positive that comes from the intervention.

If they’re non-responsive to change, make sure that that has consequences too. Let them know that you won’t allow the same patterns to go on.

This will make it more likely that your intervention will succeed.

Use These Steps to Plan Interventions for Depression

Dealing with depression can be difficult, and sometimes interventions for depression are necessary.

If the depression is combined with drug addiction, you may need to find a rehabilitation center for your loved one.

Contact us to see if our center fits your needs.



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