Depression is a common health condition globally, with at least 6% of people experiencing depression in the last year. Statistics show that one out of three women and one out of five men struggle with depression by age 65. Depression is not always constant; people transition in and out of it.
In the words of Atticus, depression is being colorblind and constantly being told how colorful the world is. People suffering from depression will feel alone and left out. If your loved one suffers from depression, here are seven ways to help them.
1. Encourage Treatment
Depression treatment centers are your loved one’s reliable companion on their journey to recovery. They provide an avenue to heal and live happier lives and offer evidence-based treatment. With the right treatment, your loved one can get better.
2. Actively Listen
Whether your loved one suffers from daily depression or random bouts of depressed feelings, their mental health is important. They may not always easily express themselves and their feelings. Mostly, they feel alone, so you need to help them realize they are not alone. Once they decide to talk, you need to listen to them actively. Listen to understand and empathize rather than listen to respond. Do not downplay their feelings with statements like they are not the first to go through such stuff. Being an active listener will help them open up about how they feel.
3. Don’t Judge
If you’ve never battled depression, you may think it is a feeling of sadness or a bad mood. In reality, it is a state of numbness. And the last thing they need is for you to judge them for their feelings. So, if they open up, restrain yourself from making judgemental comments. Instead, provide positive reinforcement, reminding them of their positive qualities and how much they mean to you.
4. Educate Yourself on Depression
When you take time to learn about depression, you become better equipped to help your loved one recover. Learn about what it is and what it is not, and its causes. In addition, learn its symptoms and potential remedies. Learn what to say and what to refrain from saying to avoid pushing them further into depression.
5. Create a Low-stress Environment
It is advisable to create a regular routine around your loved one to help them feel more in control. You can make schedules for medication, meals, physical activity, sleep, and time to help with household chores. This engagement allows them not to sink deeper into their loneliness and sadness.
6. Take Care of Yourself
You’ve heard that you cannot pour from an empty cup. That means you need to take intentional steps to prevent burnout and overwhelm. Ask for help and find time for your spiritual renewal, hobbies, friends, and physical activities.
7. Be Patient
Your loved one will not get out of depression instantly. Once you enroll them in a depression treatment center, give them time to recover and heal. Regardless of how long it takes, be patient.
Showing love and support to a person battling depression is daunting. However, try to understand hopelessness, loneliness, and blackness. Be available whenever they need you and help them as much as possible so that they don’t lose themselves or their will to live. This is the best, noblest and kindest thing you’ll ever do. Also, encourage them to enroll in one of the many depression treatment centers.