Helping Someone with DepressionAlyssa
When someone you care about is hurting, all you want to do is help. Unfortunately, depression isn’t something your loved one can just snap out of. It is a complicated mental health disorder that is persistent and can be the result of several factors. Although you may be feeling lost or overwhelmed, there are some things that you may be able to do to help them.
How to Help Someone with Depression
As a mental health rehab in Florida, we know that you want what is best for your loved one, but helping someone with depression can be complicated. Not everyone will respond in the same way and some cases are more severe than others. If your loved one is suicidal, it is important to get immediate help to keep your loved one safe. If your loved one’s depression is less severe, than these tips on helping someone with depression may help.
Unless you have struggled with depression yourself, you may find it hard to understand. In order to put yourself in your loved one’s shoes, you should educate yourself on depression. Learn about the symptoms so that you can monitor your loved one’s symptoms and learn about depression as a whole so that you can gain a better understanding of what your loved one is dealing with. Once you have more knowledge on depression, you will be able to better help your loved one with this struggle.
Communication is important in every relationship, but if your loved one struggles with depression, they may have a lot on their chest. Try to encourage open communication with them. Let them know that you are there to listen no matter how trivial they may believe their problems are. When they do talk to you, be a compassionate listener and do not judge or minimize their problems. Instead, focus on letting them talk and validate their feelings.
People with depression are often looking for support. Make sure that you are there for your loved one and be supportive in the way that they need. Support can look different for everyone so be sure to talk to your loved one about the kind of support they want/need. You cannot do it alone, so also encourage them to look for support elsewhere. This support may be in the form of therapy, support groups, or other friends. Be careful; there is a difference between support and enabling. You want to be supportive but still set necessary boundaries in order to best help your loved one.
Even if you do everything right, depression won’t just go away. Often, your loved one needs professional help and treatment, so do not wait to do so. Especially if you are looking to help someone with severe depression, you want to act quickly. This professional help may be therapy once a week or it could be a residential mental health program.
If your loved one does get depression treatment, make sure they are following through with their treatment plan. Helping someone with depression is often about helping them with treatment. Make sure they continue to take their medications. Encourage them to attend their group meetings or therapy sessions regularly. If their doctor recommends getting regular exercise and eating a healthy diet, go to the gym with them and eat healthy with them. By joining them or keeping tabs on them, you are helping to keep them accountable and on the right path.
While your number one priority may be your loved one, you need to also take care of yourself. You can only help your loved one so much if your own mental health is suffering. Make sure to set time aside for yourself or to relax. Try to practice a healthy routine and good coping mechanisms. Avoid using drugs or alcohol to deal with the pain as this could eventually lead to addiction.
There is only so much you can do. If your loved one’s mental health is suffering or if you find yourself struggling, get help. Especially if drugs or alcohol have become involved, it is important to get help immediately. At Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches also known as the Center for Alcohol & Drug Studies, we help people with their behavioral health problems so they can look toward the future.
To get started, reach out to us at 561-220-3981.