How to support a loved one through depression
When a family member, a spouse or a friend suffers from depression, your encouragement and support can play an important role in their recovery. You can help them overcome negative thoughts, regain energy, cope with depressive symptoms and help enjoy life again. But, your loved one’s depression can also wear you down, if you chose to neglect your needs.
This guideline will help you and guide you to support a depressive closed one while maintaining your mental health at the best level.
Depression affects millions of people, from young to old, all walks of life. It is, however, a treatable condition. Depression can get in the way of everyday life, hurting not only those who are suffering from it. But also the people surrounding the depressed person.
If someone you love or deeply care about is depressed, there may be a number of feelings at play, like, helplessness, fear, frustration, anger, guilt and sadness. You should know that all these feelings are normal. But if they persist for a long time they can affect life much more than anticipated.
That being said, there are steps that you can take to help your loved ones. This all starts with learning about depression and how to talk about it to your friends and family members. Always keep in mind that depression is a serious illness. It can drain a person’s emotional health, energy and optimism. One cannot just snap out of it. Depression can make it difficult to connect with people, especially on an emotional level.
A depressive person can also lash out at someone for no reason at all. It is important to keep in mind that this is depression talking not your loved ones. You should keep in mind that do not try to “rescue” your loved ones from depression, you can only support them and guide them. It is ultimately in the hands of the depressed person to pull themselves out of it.
Some of the ways you can help a loved one through depression are:
– Always suggest a checkup with a general physician:
Your close one can be anxious about seeing someone for mental health, as this is a social stigma among many people. People will keep on denying that they have depression until the last time. Suggesting someone you suspect has depression to see a general doctor could be a great option as the doctor will not only be able to rule out any medical causes of depression but refer to a psychiatrist if needed. Sometimes this professional push helps toward the right path.
– Offer to find your loved ones a therapist and to go with them on the first day:
Finding the right provider in case of therapy can be difficult and more of trial and error process. For a depressed person on low energy, this could be a huge help towards the fight against depression.
– Encourage your loved one to make a list of problems or symptoms to discuss with the doctor:
This will help them keep their focus during therapy sessions and help discuss real problems.
– Support your loved one throughout a treatment:
The most important thing would be of course to show your support throughout the process and give whatever help needed.