Anxiety, Depression, Eating Disorders, ADHD, Et al: How to Support a Friend with Mental Illness

By: Sarah Cohen

When helping a friend with a mental illness, the first step should be assessment of their symptoms. Sometimes they just might be going through a difficult time, but if certain common symptoms associated with mental health issues persist it is imperative to respond sensitively. Majority of the time, friends will just want to know they have your support and that you care about them. A good way to show your support is by talking to them. If you provide a non-judgmental space for them to speak about their issues it will help encourage them to be open with their problems. Let them lead the conversation and don’t pressure them to reveal information. It can be incredibly difficult and painful to speak about these issues and they might not be ready to share everything. If you aren’t their therapist do not diagnose them or make assumptions about how they are feeling, just listen and show you understand. If someone doesn’t want to speak with you, don’t take it personally, just continue to show them you care about their wellbeing and want to help as much as possible. Just knowing they have support can give them the strength they need to contact someone who can help them.

If a friend is having a crisis, such as a panic attack or suicidal thoughts, you must stay calm. Try not to overwhelm them by asking a lot of questions and confronting them in a public setting. Ask them gently what would be helpful to them right now or reassure them. If they hurt themselves, get first aid as soon as possible. If someone is suicidal, contact the suicide hotline at 800-237-8255 immediately.

The best way to help someone is by connecting them to professional help. By expressing your concern and support you can show them that they can get help and their mental health problems can be treated.

If you or someone you know needs support with their mental illness, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit

Depression at Work


Depression at Work

By Jessica Burgess

Trying to work while depressed can often feel pointless. Being productive is difficult enough without adding on a state of depression. When depression goes untreated, it can lead to a loss of productivity. Depressed workers are more likely to be away from work than non-depressed individuals and also are less efficient at work based on a national survey published in the Journal of the American Medical Association1. So do our jobs make us depressed? Or does our depression make us poor workers? Psychologists say yes and no.

Depression is not caused by our jobs, but our jobs can add to our depression. Depression is partially due to our hereditary predispositions2. To put it simply, some of the reason why we get depressed are due to the genes we inherit from our parents or grandparents. But not all people that inherit a risk for depression, end up depressed. Exhibiting depression may be due to environmental triggers, such as the workplace or other stressors.

As a result of certain triggers, many individuals exhibit depression which can have consequences in the work environment. In 2013, the leading cause of loss of productivity in the workplace was depression3. Some triggers that can lead to depression in the workplace are related to the workplace itself such as:

  • Work/life imbalance
  • Introvert/extrovert stress
  • Feeling trapped
  • Unclear guidance

Other causes may be more internal such as:

  • Guilt over being a working parent
  • Discomfort with those you work with3

Depression can limit how much we can get done at work and even how often we are at work. Similarly, work can trigger depression and make it worse.

If you believe you or someone you know is struggling with depression speak with one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychotherapists. Contact us at our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 respectively to set up an appointment. For more information, visit





Depression in Children: What are the Signs?

By: Sally Santos

In children the most common mental health disorder is depression. When a child is going through depression it may affect their mental and physical health. As mentioned in a Psychology Today article the symptoms “must also interfere with the child’s functioning in normal daily activities.” Since children are still young they are not able to communicate their feelings well to others. Children with depression can be helped that’s why it is important for parents, caregivers and teachers to recognize the signs of depression. Some of the symptoms are:

  • Angry outburst
  • Anxiety
  • Decreased in energy
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Lack of concentration
  • Weight loss
  • Insomnia
  • Refusal to go to school

According to the National Alliance of Mental Health “Once a young person has experienced a major depression, he or she is at risk of developing another depression within the next five years.”



If you are a parent and are concerned about your child having depression call the licensed psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy can assist you. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, visit