Jul 11th 2023
Depression is a common mental health condition that can cause impairments to a person’s day to daylife. If you know someone who is experiencing depression, there are ways that you can support them and help them manage their condition.
It may not always be clear when someone is experiencing an episode of depression, but there are certain warning signs and symptoms that can make it easier to notice if a loved one is suffering. These warning signs and symptoms may include: :
Let them talk about what is on their mind and how they are feeling. Try to be open to hearing their difficulties without becoming distracted or showing any judgment. Just listening can help to show that you care about them and will demonstrate empathy and compassion.
It can be helpful to learn more about depressive disorders, including the possible symptoms and treatment options, as it can be easier to support your loved one if you have a better understanding of what they are going through. Similarly, it can provide you with the information you need to advise them on how and where to seek help.
You can suggest options of how your loved one can seek professional help by letting them know what sort of support is available. You might even offer to make appointments for them, or go with them to meet professionals, if they feel that this would be helpful.
You cannot force your loved one to seek help, but you can show them that you are available and willing to help them in this process to make it easier for them.
Stay in contact with your loved one, whether in person or over the phone. Be available to talk or spend time together to help prevent them from feeling isolated and alone.
It might be useful to help your loved one to make positive choices, such as engaging in physical activity, eating well, or taking part in their hobbies. They might not feel up to doing much, but you could try offering to go for a walk together or have lunch together.
You may also be able to help them with practical aspects of life and household chores, such as helping them cook and clean. Although it is important to also gently encourage them to try and do these things for themselves, so they don’t lose their independence.
Try to acknowledge when your loved one has done something positive, whether this is a part of their recovery process or something unrelated to their condition. Acknowledgement can help build their self-esteem and remind them of their improvements.
Be sure to have conversations about things unrelated to their mental health, such as books, TV, hobbies, or other topics that they are interested in. Remember that they are still the same person and that their mental disorder does not define their personality. They may also want to be distracted from their condition and find that this takes their mind off negative thoughts.
Recovering from depression can be a long and challenging process, so it is important to be patient with your loved one. Don’t expect them to take big steps with ease or to get better overnight. You may need to continue supporting them for a long time and should try not to put too much pressure on them.
As recovery from depression can be a long process, you may find that you are spending a lot of time and energy trying to support your loved one, which can be emotionally and physically draining for you. It is important to take care of your own wellbeing during this time. Work on recognizing when you need to take time for yourself, when you need to say no, or when you need to ask for your own help.
Taking a break from caring for someone else may be crucial to your own mental health. Taking breaks can prevent you from also becoming unwell, so you should not feel guilty if this is the case and remember that your health is also very important.
These types of statements and questions can help to show your loved one that you are acknowledging their feelings, that you care about them, and that they are not alone.
These types of statements can result in the individual feeling uncared for, not listened, dismissed, and can damage relationships.
It is possible for symptoms of depression to go away on their own, but this can be very challenging and may take a long time. It is often better to manage depression symptoms with the help of professional treatment, which typically involves a combination of therapy and medication .
If you know someone who is currently experiencing depression, it may be helpful to support them in seeking professional help, so that they can receive appropriate treatment. It can be challenging to seek help, so you may wish to offer to attend an appointment with your loved one to provide support.
Effective treatment for clinical depression usually involves :
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