Depression is a mental disorder characterized by helplessness, anger, guilt, frustration, and sadness. If you live with someone suffering from depression, you may be confused sometimes. The support you give is a step towards recovery. Also, you should reach out for help from a mental health professional.
How to identify symptoms of depression in your loved one
If you don’t understand the symptoms of depression, it can be difficult to motivate the person to seek help. Some of the warning signs that a friend or loved one is suffering from depression include:
Depression is associated with low energy which can lead to excessive sleeping. Because someone feels tired, they can lose interest in things that you enjoy. While this condition is also associated with insomnia, one may lead to the other. If your family member has withdrawn from friends, its time you take action.
A depressed person will have mood swings. He could be angry one minute and cry the other one. Men tend to engage in risky behaviors like substance abuse.
Depression can change the way you see life in general. Other signs include self-hate, inappropriate guilt, and feeling of worthlessness.
When someone is depressed, he or she will complain of aches and pains. They will have stomach problems, back pain, headaches, etc. This is followed by an increase or reduction in weight.
How should you approach depression?
Now that you know a friend or a family member suffering from depression, how do you approach the matter? Sometimes, you may fear that the person will feel angry or insulted. But no matter how the person reacts, you should be a compassionate listener. Look for a way to encourage the depressed person to talk about how they feel. Since depressed people tend to isolate themselves from others, you should be gentle and persistent. While you may not have magic words to make the person feel better, silence is not the best tactic.
What to say to a depressed person
Let them know you’re there for them
These words can be of great comfort. People with mental problems are reluctant to ask for help. By expressing your willingness to help, they will open up to you. Let them know you’re there whenever they need help.
Although a depressed person should never be left alone, giving them some space is often a good idea. This will help them recharge batteries and digest how they feel.
I love you
The feeling of helplessness can be terrifying, so you must tell the person you love him or her. These words give hope that you will support them no matter what they are going through.
Let them know everything will be okay
As difficult as things may be, the word `OK’ will soothe their minds. A depressed person sees things in the worst-case scenario. You should calm them down and give them some hope that the situation will improve.
Don’t do anything uncomfortable
The feeling of depression can be upsetting. It’s often difficult to appear cheerful. You should know the events to avoid to cheer them.
You’re not a burden
A depressed person will rely on family members for simple tasks such as cleaning and cooking. Let them know you’re available for help whenever they need you. This will ease the pressure in their daily lives.
Tell them they are good people
The feeling of guilt can sometimes trigger depression. No matter how bad the situation is, you should not judge someone who is mentally ill.
What you should not say to a depressed person
Don’t make comparisons
The person you’re talking to is going through tough times, so you should not make them feel ashamed of their feelings. Show them what they are going through is real and any other person in their situation would feel the same.
Avoid giving pat advice
Every person has a unique way of dealing with depression. But telling someone with depression what he or she needs to do isn’t going to help.
Don’t think like that
There’s nothing wrong with a depressed person thinking the way he or she wants. This is someone who is devastated, lonely, sad, or in despair. Never berate someone for thinking the way they do.
Put yourself together
A depressed person feels useless, hopeless and incompetent.
Depression can trigger suicidal thoughts
A major cause of suicide in our society is depression. When someone is overwhelmed by painful emotions, they may choose suicide as the way out. Unfortunately, most people who die could have been helped. Some of the red flags that someone is contemplating suicide include:
Don’t wait for a friend or family member to take his or her own life. You should reach out for help immediately- it could save someone’s life.
It’s hard to control someone else’s recovery from depression. It saps the motivation to make an appointment with a doctor. Even worse, some believe the treatment is pointless. With all these obstacles, making the depressed person admit they have a problem may be a daunting task. If they resist you should:
Help them find a therapist
A depressed person is low on energy so you should make calls to secure an appointment with a professional. This is often a trial and error method, but you should not give up.
Suggest a general checkup
The main goal of working with a physician is to rule out medical causes of depression. If they diagnose the patient with signs of depression, they can refer them to a psychiatrist. You may want to make a list of the symptoms you have noticed.
Supporting the treatment
You should show love to the patient throughout the treatment process. This will reduce the moodiness and hostility which is common with depression. Also, keep appointments with the psychiatrist and take the treatment as prescribed. Patience is also a virtue. You should not set high expectations. Finally, maintain a positive look and encourage activities. You can invite them to a funny movie or dinner at your favorite restaurant.
If you care about the well-being of your depressed friends or loved ones, you should reach out for help. You can confide with a trusted friend, speak to clergy, or make them join a support group. Choose someone who will listen and not judge.