Depression is a common illness..
These numbers are also likely underestimating how prevalent depression is. This is because depression is often underreported due to embarrassment.
The fact that you likely know a few people who have dealt with depression in the past is still hard when it happens to a loved one. When you hear a family member is suffering from depression, your first instinct is usually to help.
This can be tough when you don’t know how to deal with someone who is depressed. Not knowing what to say or how to communicate with them can be intimidating. For this reason, we put together this article with a few ways you can help a loved one through a tough time in their life.
Communication is one of the biggest factors in helping someone through any problem, mental or physical pain. Communicate openly and honestly about your worries about the family member and how you’re prepared to support them.
This can help encourage them to communicate openly and honestly, allowing them to work through their problems with you and others.
Judgment should be avoided when communicating with a loved one about depression. This can cause the other person to withdraw and stop discussing their mental health.
This will lead to a breakdown in communication, making the family member feel lonely and contributing further to their depressive state.
No matter how much support you can provide to a depressed family member, a trained professional will always be able to offer more. This is due to their greater training and experience in treating those with depression.
But, gently encouraging a loved one to seek help from a qualified professional should be done. This is because many people may think that seeking help is embarrassing. So, gradually encouraging a loved one to seek help should be a part of your communication with your loved one about dealing with depression.
One thing to expect when trying to help a loved one with depression is for it to be a gradual process. This is because relapses into depression can be common. So, be patient and emphasize all the progress a loved one has made if a relapse occurs.
This will help keep progress consistent and may help stave off a relapse in the future.
Part of helping someone with depression is identifying why they’re depressed. While this may seem obvious, many people often deal with the symptoms. Asking someone why they feel like they do and trying to solve the underlying problems will go a long way in finding a permanent solution.
Having a group of people close to the person with depression help them out can be very beneficial. It can help them feel included and loved while also preventing all the workload of assisting the person from falling onto you.
But, it’s important to include new people in the discussion only with the affected family member’s permission. Otherwise, this can hurt trust and openness.
When depression hits a loved one, many can turn to drugs or alcohol. Including somecan help prevent using these substances as a crutch. This should be used in tandem with open and honest communication.
This is because alcohol and drugs can make depression progressively worse.