4 Ways To Help A Loved One With Depression
Depression is not always easy to identify; sometimes, it might be completely hidden behind smiles and laughter. However, there are some telltale signs that can help spot a change of behavior in a loved one.
If you believe one of your close friends or relatives is suffering from depression, watch out for behavioral changes such as a switch in communication patterns, lack of engagement, or withdrawal from social outlets. Additionally, if you feel lost and don’t know how to address the issue, consult with a mental health professional; they will be happy to assist you and give you some useful pointers to help you provide support.
- Bring Up Your Concerns
If you have noticed signs of depression in a loved one, it is paramount that you stay calm and practice assertive communication; you want them to understand you are genuinely concerned and not pointing your finger at them. Using “I” statements like, for instance, “I am always here for you” is an effective way to convey support and apprehension. Don’t feel like you need to provide a solution; recovering from depression is not simple and, sometimes, phrases like “cheer up, it will get better” can do more harm than good. Additionally, avoid “you” statements; they could sound accusatory and generate a defensive response in the individual receiving the message.
- Be Patient
There are no quick fixes for depression; the recovery process takes time and patience for the person suffering from it and for those surrounding them. Take into account that depression often needs professional treatment to improve. If you feel like the situation is becoming overwhelming, take some time for yourself and remember that you are not going to be able to fix your loved one’s problems on your own; you are merely there to support and accompany them throughout this difficult time.
- Help Them Get Treatment
This is a delicate subject, especially if the individual going through a depressive episode is an adult; you can not force anyone to get help if they don’t want it. However, there are ways in which you can help them see the benefits that could result from seeking treatment. A gradual approach and introduction to mental healthcare are ideal if they are reluctant to see a healthcare professional. Remind them that it is OK to ask for help and that there are many different methods to manage depression.
- Take Care Of Yourself
Providing a loved one who is struggling with their mental health state with unconditional emotional support can be exhausting for anyone. Therefore, it is fundamental that you set aside some time to practice self-care. Taking care of your own mental and physical well-being will allow you to recharge your batteries to continue assisting your nearest and dearest throughout their battle with depression.
For More Tips on How To Help A Loved One With Depression, Contact Us Today
At Southern Connecticut Behavioral Health, LLC, we know how painful it can be to see someone you love struggle with their mental health. Our team of experts is here to help you and those around you heal.
If you live in or near Milford, Connecticut, and know someone struggling with their mental health, please give us a call; we will happily answer all your questions and guide you through the recovery process.