By Rose White Young
Support is very important for people who suffer from depression and mental health illness. Often the first person who is in a situation to help a depressed person is a family member or close friend. Sometimes depressed people will reach out for help and try to talk to a family member or friend about the symptoms of depression but not always. Many people who are suffering from depression are not able to ask for help, or they do not know they are depressed or they are afraid to ask for help. Whatever the unique situation it is extremely situation to treat the depressed person with empathy, dignity and love.
The following is a self help guide for people who are trying to support someone with depression. I have detailed 7 ways to help a depressed loved one but you are welcome to grow the list and shape it for your unique situation.
1. It’s not their fault
Remember that they cannot help being affected by depression. Often at the beginning when a person realizes they are depressed they are in a very vulnerable state and are feeling very unsure about who they are. They might feel they are not the person they used to be. It is so important not to administer any blame to anyone about why they are depressed. Depression is an illness, it is no one’s fault. Many intricate factors contribute to the onset of depression.
2. Listen to what they have to say
Encourage the person to talk and listen to what they are saying. Avoid giving your opinion, diagnosis or prognosis. You are trying to build trust and the situation is very delicate and communicate could easily breakdown.
3. Show your love
This point is extremely important. Often when we find out someone we care about is depressed we get a shock and become afraid of the situation. Many people feel like walking away from the problem because they are overwhelmed by it.
4. Keep in touch Let them know that you care about them.
Stay in contact with them. Send a card, give them a ring, visit them in their home. Remember that depression can be a very isolating experience.
5. Help them to feel good about themselves by praising daily achievements.
6. Encourage them to help themselves by adopting self-help techniques.
Try to offer your help in a non invasive non pushy manner. Many people who are depressed do not feel motivated to help themselves so thread softly with this one!
7. Find out about support services available to them and to you (self-help groups, out-of-hours emergency support, help lines, etc). It is extremely important to access all the good supports available.
Encourage them to visit their doctor, and ensure that they take any prescribed medication as directed.
Lastly if you are unable to cope with the situation, for whatever reason, ensure that another person close to the sufferer is made aware of the situation and takes over where you left off. However, this may be a blow to the sufferer because they may feel you don’t care about their illness. Remember depression is not a rational illness so whilst the sufferer should be taken care of it is also important for carers to look after their health too.
Are you unhappy with your life? You are just moments away from discovering how to finally overcome depression. Use this simple approach to attract happiness, health and wealth into your life.