Depression is one of the most common mental health problems in the world today. Many of us get down at various times in our lives but it can be a problem when that depression becomes chronic and starts to affect the way we live our lives. For some people, it is a debilitating condition that requires medical intervention and counselling. For those loved ones around a person who suffers from depression, it can also be a challenging time as they try to find ways to support and help them.
The good news is that there is a lot of support out there which can help, from local groups and networks to online resources. For those suffering from depression it can be difficult to take that first step and even admit that something is wrong. In many areas of society there is still a lot of stigma attached to the condition and it is often seen as a sign of weakness, particularly by men.
Supporting Loved Ones to Get Help
It can be difficult with a condition such as depression to get someone to find help in the first place. You’ll need good listening skills and a lot of patience before they may decide to move forward and make a positive intervention. This can be a key moment for someone with a severe depression and can start them on the road to recovery. It’s important to stay calm as you try to help and not to get frustrated. It may take several attempts before you succeed and you shouldn’t try to make any assumptions about your friend or family member.
There are plenty of practical things that you can do such as researching the condition online and providing things like helpline numbers or useful web addresses that the person can contact. You can help with their day to day living too, if they are amenable, perhaps arranging childcare or cooking and cleaning.
Supporting Friends and Family Through Depression
A lot will depend on the person you are trying to help and the circumstances of their depression. Lending a shoulder to cry on or being a good listener when the person needs it is a great start. Most people realise pretty quickly that getting out of a depressive episode is not as simple as taking a pill or going for a walk. It can be a long processes and there may be times when the person suffering from depression takes two steps back rather than going forward.
There’s no doubt that family and friends play an important part in helping someone with depression get over the condition and move on. It can be challenging and there will be moments when you doubt your own abilities, but with the right support and plenty of patience you should be able to help them to other side where they can begin to enjoy their life again.