(Before you read this, check out the previous parts)
Ask for medical help before its getting too late.
When to get professional help for depression
If you’ve taken self self-help steps and made positive lifestyle changes and still find your depression getting worse, seek professional help. Needing addittional help doesn’t mean you’re weak.
Sometimes the negative thinking in depression can make you feel like you’re a lost cause, but depression can be treated and you can feel better!
Don’t forget about these self-helf tips, though. Even if you are receiving professional help, these tips (mentioned in the previous parts) can be part of your treatment plan, speeding your recovery and preventing depression from returning.
Help someone with depression.
Depression is a serious issue, but treatable disorder that affects millions of people, from young to old and from all walks of life. It gets in the way of everyday life, causiong tremendous pain,hurting not just those suffering from it but also impacing everyone around them.
If someone you loved is depressed, you may be exeriencing any number of difficult emotiond. Including helplessness, frustration, anger, fear, guilt, and sadness. These feelings are all normal. It’s not easy dealing with a friend or family member’s depression. And if you neglect your own health, it can become overwhelming.
Your companionship and support can be crucial to your loved one’s recovery. You can help them to cope with depression symptoms, overcome negative thoughts, and regain their energy, optimism, and enjoyment of life.
Start by learning all you can about depression and how to best talk about it with your friend. But as you reach out, don’t forget to look after your own emotional health– you’ll need it to provide the full support your loved one needs.
Here, we’ll go over some things you can do to help as well as a few things to avoid.
Things to do.
1. Listen to them
Keep in mind that your friend may want to talk about what they feel, but they might not want advice.
Engage with your friend by using active listening techniques:
Ask questions to get more informations instead of assuming you understand what they mean
Validate their feelings. You might say, ” That sounds really difficult. I’m sorry to hear that.”
Show empathy and interest with your body language
Your friend may not feel like talking first time you ask, so it can gelp to continue telling them you care.
Keep asking open questions (without being pushy) and expressing your concern. Try to have conversations in person whenever possible.
2. Help them find support
If your friend seems interestef in counselling, offer to help them review potential therapists. You can help your friend list things to ask potential therapists and things they want to mention in their first session.
Encouraging them and supporting them to make that first appointment can be so helpful if they’re struggling.
3. Support them in continuing therapy
On a bad day, your friend might not feel like leaving the house. Depression can zap energy and increase the desire to self- isolate.
If they say something like, ” I think I’m going to cancel my therapy appointment,” encourage them to stick with it.
You might say, ” Last week you said your session was really productive and you felt a lot better afterward. What if today’s session helps, too?”
The same goes for medication. If your friend wants to stop taking medication because of unpleasant side effects, be supportive, but encourage them to talk to their psychiatrist about switching to a different antidepression or getting off medication entirely.
Abruptly stopping antideppressants without the supervision of a healthcare provider can have serious consequences.
4. Take care of yourself
When you care about someone who is living woth depression, it’s tempting to drop everything to be by their side and support them. It’s not wrong to want to help a friend, but it’s also important to take care of your own needs.
If you put all your energy into supporting your friend, you’ll have very little left for yourself. And if you are feeling burned out or frustrated you won’t be much help to your friend.
- Set boundaries
- Practice self-care
5. Learn about depression on your own.
imagine having to educate each person in your life about a mental or physical health issue you’re experiencing– explaining it over and over again. Sounds exhausting, right?
You can talk to your friend about tjeir specific symptoms or how they’re feeling, but avoid asking them to tell you about depression in general terms.
Read up on the symptoms, causes, diagnostic criteria, and treatments on your own.
While people experience depression differently, being familiar with the general symptoms and terminology can help you have more in-depth conversations with your friend.
6. Offer to help with everyday tasks
With depression, day-to-day tadks can feel overwhelming. Things like laundry, grocery, shopping, or paying bills can begin to pile up, making it hard to know where to start. Simply having company can make the work seem less daunting.
7. Be patient
Depression doesn’t have a clear recovery timeline. Expecting your friend to return to their usual self after a few weeks in the therapy won’t help either of you.
8. Stay in touch
Letting your friend know you still care about them as they continue to work through depression can help.
People living with depression may become more withdraen and avoid reaching out, so you may finf yourself doing more work to maintain the friendship. But continuing to be a positive, supportive presence in your friend’s life may make all the difference to them, even if they can’t express that to you at the moment.
To be continued….