If someone you love is depressed, you may be experiencing any of difficult emotions, including helplessness, frustration, anger, fear, guilt, and sadness. Has withdrawn from friends, family, and other social activities. Family and friends are often the first line of defense in the fight against depression. In fact, this may keep the depressed person from seeking treatment. It gets in the way of everyday life, causing tremendous pain, hurting not just those suffering from it but also impacting everyone around them.
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Provide whatever assistance the person needs and is willing to accept. For a depressed talk already low on energy, it is a huge help to have friend making calls and looking into the options. Offer to help the depressed person find a doctor or therapist and go with them on the first visit.
While some changes in your daily routine may be unavoidable while caring for your friend or relative, do your best to keep appointments and plans with friends. You might fear that if you bring up your worries the person will get angry, feel insulted, or ignore your concerns.
Encourage the person to lead a healthier, mood-boosting lifestyle by doing it yourself: maintain a positive outlook, eat better, avoid alcohol and drugs, exercise, and lean on others for support.
Helping a friend
You may notice the problem in a depressed loved one before they do, and your influence and concern can motivate them to seek help. Getting a depressed person into treatment can be difficult.
Speak up for yourself. Because of these obstacles, getting your loved one to admit to the problem—and helping them see that it can be solved—is an essential step in depression recovery. Having patience is important. You can help them to cope with depression symptoms, overcome negative thoughts, and regain their energy, optimism, and enjoyment of life. Suggest a general check-up with a physician.
Depressed people tend to withdraw from others and isolate themselves. If the doctor diagnoses depression, they can refer your loved one to a psychiatrist or psychologist.
Helping someone with depression
It can be frustrating to watch a depressed friend or family member struggle, especially if progress is slow or stalled. In other words, make sure your own health and happiness are solid before you try to help someone who is depressed. Of course you want to help, but you can only do so much.
But remember that being a compassionate listener is much more important than giving advice. Exercise is especially helpfulso try to get your depressed loved one moving. This involves being compassionate and patient, which is not always easy when dealing with the negativity, hostility, and moodiness that go hand in hand with depression.
Has lost interest in work, sex, hobbies, and other pleasurable activities. Invite your loved one to you in uplifting activities, like going to a funny movie or having dinner at a favorite restaurant.
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Expresses a bleak or negative outlook on life. Sometimes it is hard to know what to say when speaking to someone about depression. Your loved one may be less anxious about seeing a family doctor than a mental health professional.
You may be hesitant to speak out talk the depressed person in your life upsets you or lets you down. Start by learning all you can about depression and how to best talk about it with your friend or family member. You could try saying:. Depression is a serious condition. You can, however, control how well you take care of yourself. Encourage the depressed person to talk about their feelings, and be willing to friend without judgment. One of the most important things you can do to help a friend or relative with depression is to give your unconditional love and support throughout the treatment process.
Remember the advice of airline flight attendants: put on your own oxygen mask before you assist anyone else.
Stay on track with your own life. What is the role of the family caregiver? If your depressed loved one is unable to go on an outing or trip you had planned, ask a friend to you instead. You are NOT betraying your depressed relative or friend by turning to others for support. Have realistic expectations.
While you can offer love and support, ultimately recovery is in the hands of the depressed person. Remember, being supportive involves offering encouragement and hope. ing a support group, talking to a counselor or clergyman, or confiding in a trusted friend will help you get through this tough time. Lead by example. Encourage your loved one to make a thorough list of symptoms and ailments to discuss with the doctor.
Be gentle, yet persistent. Depression is a serious but treatable disorder that affects millions of people, from young to old and from all walks of life. Seemingly small tasks can be very hard for someone with depression to manage. The depressed person may believe that the situation is hopeless and treatment pointless. These feelings are all friend. And if you neglect your own health, it can become overwhelming.
Help your loved one make and keep appointments, research treatment options, and stay on schedule with any treatment prescribed. Encourage activity. Very often, this is a matter of talking to the person in language that they will understand and can respond to while in a depressed state of mind. Authors: Melinda Smith, M. Helping Someone Receive Treatment — What to do and not to do when trying to help a loved one get help for depression. Many people friend uncomfortable bringing up the topic but it is one of the best things you can do for someone who is thinking about suicide.
Offer to help out with household responsibilities or chores, but only do what you can without getting burned out yourself! However, honest communication will actually help the relationship in the talk run. Depression makes it difficult for a person to connect on a deep emotional level with anyone, even the people they talk the most. Finding the right treatment provider can be difficult, and is often a trial-and-error process.
How to support someone with a mental health problem
Or complains of feeling tired and drained all the time. Have patience as you encourage your loved one to take the first small steps to recovery. Frequently complains of aches and pains such as headaches, stomach problems, and back pain. Remember that this is the depression talking, not your loved one, so try not to take it personally. Set boundaries.
Finding a way to start a conversation about depression with your loved one is always the hardest part. Australia : Call Lifeline Australia at 13 11 You may be unsure what questions to ask or how to be supportive. Often, the simple act of talking face to face can be an enormous help to someone suffering from depression. Families for Depression Awareness.
To avoid burnout and resentment, set clear limits on what you are willing and able to do.
Sleeps less than usual or oversleeps. Going on talks together is one of the easiest options. Make sure you can be totally honest with the person you turn to—choose someone who will listen without interruption and without judging you. In the U. It may be hard to believe that the friend you know and love would ever consider something as drastic as suicide, but a depressed person may not see any other way out. Depression saps energy and motivation, so even the act of making an appointment or finding a doctor can seem daunting to your loved one.
How to get someone to talk to you again?
Depression also involves negative ways of thinking. You may need to express your concern and willingness to listen over and over again. Seek support. Pitch in when possible.