How can you help your loved ones with depression: If you’ve ever seen your loved ones has depression, you may wonder how can you help. You may even experience a range of difficult feelings of your own, such as worry, disappointment, and anger.
Ground Report | New Delhi: Although depression can be a life-altering experience, it can be hard to recognize when you’re actually going through it. Many people tend to chalk up bad days or moods to being a normal part of life but when it becomes more of a pattern that negatively affects life activities, it could be depression. In some cases, it’s easier for you to see that your partner, friend, or family member is depressed because you can see the changes and symptoms with a little more distance and perspective than they can.
So what are the signs of depression, and what exactly can you do to help a loved one going through this situation?
Signs of Depression:
Apathy or Loss of Interest:
When someone begins showing apathy for the things they once loved, this can be one of the hallmark signs of depression. While opting out of a yoga class or taking a couple of weeks away from piano lessons isn’t necessarily cause for alarm, an extended, maintained lack of interest is worth noting.
Changes in Sleep Patterns:
Something else to keep an eye out for is any change in sleeping patterns. People experiencing depression may see changes in their usual routine while some people may sleep more or at different times of the day, others may sleep less and find it hard to get settled. It’s the change itself, rather than the type of change, that’s notable here.
Changes in Eating Patterns:
Other important changes to observe are those within typical eating patterns. If someone you love is eating far more or less than usual, or if their dining habits have changed for no reason you can think of, it’s worth seeing whether the shift might be related to mood changes or depression.
Fatigue or Energy Loss:
While many people associate depression with sadness, we’ve seen it’s much more than that. However, one of the symptoms that may look like sadness is fatigue or energy loss. Having depression can be exhausting, and people who experience it may seem lethargic or slow-moving compared to their formerly active, chipper selves.
Finally, if you suspect someone you love is depressed, you may notice they’re more snappy and irritable than usual. Though this symptom is more commonly associated with men, anyone who is feeling depressed may exhibit it.
One of these signs on its own might not be alarming and could be caused by normal life changes, changes in season, or any number of factors; however, if you see two or more signs or if they seem to be disrupting your loved one’s day-to-day and quality of life, it’s worth talking to them about seeking help.
Ways You Can Help
In order to catch the signs of depression and help those you love, it’s important to be there for them. In the most obvious, literal sense, that means making time, sitting down with them, and spending time together. But it also applies in the more figurative sense: Communicate your support, care, and availability.
Simply being there can help them more than you know.
Research Your Rights:
You should also learn about the other aspects of living with depression, such as the legal rights of people seeking treatment. You may also want to inform yourself and your loved one about the relevant disability laws in your state for people who have a mental illness. (How can you help your loved ones with depression)
There is a lot of stigma around mental illness, and depression is no different. Remember, depression is not a choice, a weakness, or a flaw — it is a serious illness that requires treatment like any other. You can help support your loved ones by accepting them as they are and doing some research to clear up any questions (or frustrations) you might have.
There are support groups available for people with depressed loved ones; try doing a Google search for ones in your area or look for your local mental illness.
You can also help them remember to refill prescriptions, keep their pills organized, make sure they are taking their medication as prescribed, and reassuring them that they are not “crazy” for needing to take it. (How can you help your loved ones with depression)
Offer your loved one hope in whatever form they are able to accept it. It may be a faith in God or another kind of higher power, their children or pets, or anything in their life that makes them want to keep living. Know what matters to your loved ones and find ways to remind them of it when they feel down and hopeless. Be sure to remind yourself of these things, too.
Love Them Unconditionally:
People who are depressed often feel a deep sense of guilt. They may believe that they are a burden to those around them. Sometimes, they even begin to feel that their loved ones would be “better off” with them. One of the ways you can combat these feelings is by regularly showing and telling them that you love them unconditionally. When you become discouraged or angry, it’s important to reassure them that you are frustrated with their illness, not them.
When you care about someone with depression and are trying to find the best way to help, it’s essential that you have some support yourself. Whether it comes from other people in your life or a support group for caregivers, taking care of yourself not only strengthens your ability to help your loved one but also sets a positive example of good self-care.
Note: When you care about someone with depression and are trying to find the best way to help, it’s essential that you have some support yourself. Whether it comes from other people in your life or a support group for caregivers, taking care of yourself not only strengthens your ability to help your loved one but also sets a positive example of good self-care.