If you have someone in your life that suffers with depression, you are not alone. Depression is something that knows no age, race, gender or class. It can affect anyone, anywhere, in any circumstances. Not everyone experiences depression in the same way, the symptoms can and do vary from person to person.
One of the worst things for someone suffering from depression is feeling alone, unsupported and like they have no one to turn to. If you have someone in your life that is depressed, being there for them in the way that they need is of the utmost importance. Here are some ideas on how you can support, love and care for a loved one with depression.
Listen and Love
When someone is depressed, it is very common for them to feel isolated and totally alone. This can often manifest in them withdrawing from reality and their loved ones. If this happens, the first thing to do is to check in with them with how they are feeling. Ensure you listen to their answers and explanations with love and empathy. Remember, you are not there to fix them or judge them. In fact, trying to do either of these things will likely result in your loved one withdrawing even more. They need a safe place to share how they are truly feeling and to know they won’t be judged for it.
If they are struggling to communicate with you, remember that this is ok and often a symptom of depression. Keep asking questions (gently, without being pushy) and showing them you are there to support them. Validating their feelings can be very soothing for someone suffering with depression. Even if you do not have first-hand experience with what they are going through, you can try your best to empathize with what they’re experiencing.
Treatment and Care
Let’s talk about being a part of helping your loved one find the treatment and care that they may need. Not everyone feels comfortable enough asking for help, or admitting that they need it.
It will help your loved one enormously to know that they have you to hold their hand through the sometimes overwhelming process of seeking medical help. Assisting them with phone numbers and making appointments to see a therapist/psychiatrist or even their family GP will help relieve some of the pressure off of them.
Ensuring they get to their appointments, help them pick up their medication and remember to take their medication is helpful too. When someone with depression is having a bad day, or a particularly low dip, then these day to day tasks that may appear simple for us can feel really overwhelming for them. Having someone to gently remind them of these daily important tasks can ease their burden slightly and remind them to practice self-care.
Remember to be patient, compassionate and understanding and to give yourself time to relax and enjoy the Bingo Canada offers too. Everyone is different and everyone reacts to treatment and to support in different ways. Don’t take things personally, if they aren’t responding well to you or your help, remember that this isn’t about you as much as it is about them. In saying that, please remember to take care of yourself too. Have firm boundaries in place from the beginning and try to communicate your needs lovingly. If you are not able to assist them with something or you need to take care of your own mental health too, then communicating openly and honestly from a place of love and kindness is the way to go.