Depression is a deadly but curable mental disorder.
Depression affects millions of Australians from teenagers to people at their old age. When it gets into someone’s daily life, it causes tremendous pain. The impact of depression is not only felt by people suffering from it but also people around them.
If someone you love is depressed, there are high chances that you will also experience sad feelings, which include frustration, sadness, guilt, fear, and anger. However, all of these feelings are normal. They only become depressive if they are repetitive.
Your support is crucial in the recovery of your loved ones. So how do you take care of your loved ones? Below is a simple guide you can use to help.
Step 1: Understand Depression
You won’t be able to help anyone if you don’t know anything about depression. Start by equipping yourself with relevant information concerning depression.
Understanding depression will help you know what to look out for. Besides, you will know what is required of you when you are caregiving. Taking care of a person with depression can drain your motivation, optimism, and energy. Therefore, strive to understand the following factors when you give proper care to your loved ones.
- The symptoms of depression
- The treatment of depression
- The right time to seek help
- Taking care of yourself
Step 2: Recognising Symptoms of Depression in Your Loved Ones
It is essential to know the early signs of depression. Be concerned about your loved ones if;
- They don’t care about things that mattered to them before
- Start expressing negative outlook or bleak to life
- Complain of pain and aches frequently
- Have a sleeping disorder
- Starts drinking more or abusing any other drugs
Be on the lookout for and if you notice any of the symptoms, help them get help or overcome their feelings. Do note that some of these signs could be very normal. But if they are repetitive, take action.
Step 3: Talk to Your Loved Ones About Depression
Sometimes it can be challenging to speak to someone about depression. You might not know what to say or how to say it. You don’t want to be ignored or feel insulted for trying to do what you believe is right for them.
Act simply. Talk to them about depression in a simple language. Avoid using jargons or medical term, use a language your loved ones can easily understand. Keep engaging them in a conversation that will make them feel better. Your goal should be to soothe their emotions.
At first, you might not see any improvement. Despite the discouragement to stop talking, be persistent, gentle, and sensitive in your conversations. Above all, be compassionate as a listener. This is more important than giving advice.
Step 4: Encourage Your Loved Ones to Get Help
Sometimes it will be difficult for you to help your loved ones. If the depression symptoms persist, you should get help from a mental health professional. As a caregiver, your role will be to convince your loved one to accept medical attention.
Step 5: Support them with Their Treatment
Be there for your loved one when they are undergoing treatment. Remind them to take their medication if they have any. Remind them about their appointment with the doctor. If they are journaling, help them to be consistent.
You can always find a way to support them throughout their treatment. This will help them recover quickly. They will know that they are not alone.
Step 6: Take Care of Yourself
It’s natural to want to fix the problems of your loved ones. In other times you will start worrying on things you cannot control. In the end, you might completely neglect yourself, and you might end up being depressed.
As you take care of your loved ones, take care of yourself too. You cannot help your loved one if you get depressed. Do the following activities to take care of yourself:
- Set boundaries
- Keep a journal
- Stay focused on your life goals
- Seek support and help when the burden is too much for you
- Always seek medical attention when you start feeling depressed
Caring for people with depression can be exhausting. However, don’t be discouraged. Your persistence in helping someone overcome depression will yield fruits.