Depression can be very debilitating, impacting every aspect of someone’s life. According to Healthline, approximately 350 million people worldwide experience depression. When we witness a loved one going through depression, we may feel concerned. We may not know what to do; our support and encouragement is very critical during this time. First, understanding what our loved one is going through is a wonderful way to learn more about depression and ways to help.
Web MD notes symptoms of depression as feeling sad, anxious, empty, helpless, worthless, guilty, and irritable. Your loved one may feel uninterested in their usual activities, and may have trouble concentrating. They may also have changes in their eating and sleep patterns. For example, they may sleep a lot less or a lot more than normal. Editor Margarita Tartakovsky from Psych Central suggests telling your loved one that they are important to you and that you want to help them feel better. Here are some other very effective ways to help your loved one during this time:
- Try a small gesture. Sending a card to show you care, cooking a meal for them, and calling and leaving them a voicemail are just a few ways to show that you are thinking of them.
- Don’t judge or criticize. Statements such as “you just need to look on the bright side” or “it’s all in your head” implies that your loved one chooses to feel this way, which isn’t true.
- Avoid giving them tough-love. Some people may be purposefully impatient with their loved one or push their boundaries hoping they will “snap out of it”. This can be considered useless and harmful to your loved one.
- Don’t minimize their feelings. Saying things like “why do you let every little thing get to you?” or “you’re just not very thick-skinned” makes a person feel weak, small, and just as useless as they already feel. It doesn’t help.
- Be patient with them. You can’t control the rate at which your loved one processes, feels, and recovers. Let them know that you will be there for them, no matter how long their depression lasts. This will help them to feel like they are not alone and that they can count on you.
Everyday Health notes that simply listening to your loved one may be all they need. Do your research and learn about depression as much as possible. If their depression is serious and is causing major distress to your loved one, you may want to refer them to a treatment facility.
New Vista Behavioral Health is comprised of wonderful centers that offer a confidential, distraction-free environment where your loved one can work on their mental health. Our centers embrace a multi-dimensional, client-focused approach and our licensed health care professionals will work with your loved one from the beginning of their recovery and on. Call us today at 844-593-4104.