It can be easy to feel frustrated and helpless when someone you love has depression. Or when you think they may but can’t determine for sure. People with depression tend to have a different mentality from others who are feeling down. A person feeling down is optimistic that things will improve, whereas a person with depression feels hopeless and will not change. If someone you care about or know has been diagnosed with depression, learning how to respond is primary. Here are the top ways to respond to a loved one with depression.
Share Your Concerns with Your Loved One
It’s essential to calmly share your concerns nonjudgmentally if you discover signs of depression in your loved one. Most importantly, listening is a critical part of beginning to assist. Respond to a loved one with depression by avoiding suggesting they have no reason to feel sad. Unfortunately, this can be harmful because many people with depression already believe they must be “mentally strong” or “snap out of it.” Overall, these feelings can block their way of seeking treatment for depression.
Assist Them in Receiving Treatment for Depression
Somebody with depression might need assistance seeking care due to several reasons. So, try suggesting that you can help them out, such as reminding them of an upcoming appointment and accompanying them to the visit to get treatment sooner rather than later. Also, even though seeing a mental health specialist is ideal, the important part is connecting to some form of help when necessary. Remember that different people might have distinct ways of viewing the condition, so matching the language that the person can identify with is vital when attempting to intervene.
Support Your Loved One in Their Daily Routine
While starting treatment for depression is crucial to managing depression, you can respond to a loved one with depression by helping them with their daily functioning. You can also assist them with tasks that might feel overwhelming such as laundry or cleaning the house, or suggest you can take a quick walk around the block together. Another form of treatment for depression is engaging in activities that one finds meaningful. Encourage your loved one to complete activities that provide them with personal satisfaction. However, don’t go overboard with socializing activities.
Seek for Signs that Treatment is Working or Not
There are subtle ways to determine when treatment works, such as when someone with depression makes better eye contact. Other signs of improvement include:
- Having a calmer demeanor
- Smiling occasionally and having more relaxed facial features
- Isolating less and interacting with people more
- Eating and sleeping better
In contrast, the absence of any signs most likely indicates that one’s depression is not improving with treatment and may worsen. According to Mayo Clinic, your loved one might be considering suicide, if they exhibit the following:
- Telling others, “goodbye,” as if they will disappear
- Making statements such as “I wish I hadn’t been born” or “I wish I were dead”
- Feeling hopeless or trapped in their current situation
- Getting their affairs in order or giving away their belongings with no other explanation for doing so
- Withdrawing from social contact with others
Create a Plan for Identifying a Relapse
Although depressive episodes can enter into remission with the proper treatment, the possibility of future relapses can take a toll on relationships. It’s also vital to understand that depression is often a chronic illness with signs or symptoms that can flare up periodically, just like diabetes. You may also encourage lifestyle habits to manage your loved one’s depression, such as:
- Reducing stress
- Getting plenty of sleep
- Healthy eating and exercise habits
- Minimizing alcohol and drug use
- Sticking with any depression treatment programs for medication or therapy
Ultimately, this is how you can respond to a loved one with depression.
Enroll Today with Pharmasite Research
If you or someone you know is suffering from depression, it can be a huge hindrance to daily life, but there is always hope and help available. Seek professional help from a therapist who may recommend effective treatment options for you or a loved one. Pharmasite Research in Pikesville, MD, is enrolling individuals with depression for a clinical study. Learn more to see if you qualify! Contact us at 410-602-1440 and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!