Supporting a sad person can be challenging. If you have a friend or family member who is sad, you could feel powerless and unsure of what to do. Learn how to be there for your loved one, how to show them you care, how to be understanding and sympathetic, and how to assist in getting them the resources they require to deal with their melancholy.
Knowing how to help a loved one who is depressed might be difficult. Additional to practical support, emotional support may be crucial. The problem is that we might be uneasy, fearful of saying something offensive, or unclear of what to do. We can feel unqualified to offer emotional support. But everybody is, even us. We can listen with no prior knowledge.
Learning signs and symptoms of depression in loved ones
- Grief, emptiness, sadness, or a sense of futility
- Irrational behaviour, annoyance, or frustration, especially in relation to unimportant matters
- Loss of interest or enjoyment in most aspects of daily living, such as sex, hobbies, and sports
- Excessive or irregular sleeping
- Even the simplest tasks require more effort because of exhaustion and a lack of energy.
- A shift in appetite, such as an increase in food cravings and weight gain or a decrease in hunger
- A sensation of unease, worry, or anxiety
- Slow speech, posture, or other physical actions
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness, fixation on previous transgressions, or self-blame for circumstances that are not your responsibility
- Memory, focus, decision-making, and thinking issues
- Regular or frequent mention of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, or other related topics
- Unidentified bodily conditions, such as headaches or back discomfort
- A sensation of discomfort, worry, or anxiety
Helping someone with depression
Here are some pointers that might be useful. As follows:
- Starting a dialogue
Let your friend know you’re available if they need anything. You can start the conversation by outlining your concerns and asking a specific question. For instance, “I see you’ve been having trouble lately. What are you thinking about?
Consider the possibility that your friend may prefer to talk about their feelings than accept advice.
Approaches for active listening should be employed when speaking with your friend:
- Ask inquiries to find out more rather than assuming you understand what they imply.
- Identify their feelings. You would imagine that to be very challenging. Hearing that hurts me.
- Show empathy and a sense of wonder through your body language..
- Find them some help
Your friend may not even be aware that they are depressed or may not know how to ask for assistance. Even if they are aware of the potential benefits of therapy, finding a therapist and making an appointment may be intimidating. If your acquaintance seems interested in counseling, offer to assist them in finding possible therapists. A list of inquiries for potential therapists and topics for discussion at the initial consultation may be helpful for your friend.
- Remind them to keep up their therapy
On a bad day, your acquaintance might not feel like leaving the house. Depression can sap energy and make it more important to isolate oneself. If they say something like, “I think I’m going to cancel my treatment appointment,” tell them to keep going.
The same applies to medication. Encourage your buddy to discuss switching to a different antidepressant or terminating their prescription with their psychiatrist if they want to stop taking their medication due to negative side effects.
- Self-care is important.
It can be tempting to put all other commitments on hold in order to support a loved one who is depressed. Although wanting to assist a buddy is not bad, it’s equally crucial to consider your own requirements.
- Set limitations.
Setting limits can be beneficial. Let your friend know, for instance, that you’re available to talk once you get home from work, but not before.
- Exercise self-care.
It can be emotionally taxing to spend a lot of time with a loved one who is depressed. Know your limitations when it comes to challenging emotions, and make sure to give yourself some rest. You may say something like, “I can’t talk till X time.” if you need to let your pal know you won’t be available for a while. Can I call you then to check in?
- Provide assistance with routine tasks
When you’re feeling melancholy, routine tasks can seem overwhelming. It can be difficult to know where to begin when tasks like laundry, grocery shopping, or bill paying pile up. Even though your friend could be appreciative of your offer of assistance, they might not be able to clearly communicate their wants to you.
- Be patient
Although the procedure might be tedious and protracted, treatment for depression often leads to improved symptoms. They might need to try a few different counselling techniques or drugs before they find one that reduces their symptoms. Even an effective course of therapy cannot ensure total cure from depression. Sometimes, your friend can still have symptoms.
And for additional assistance you can take marriage counselling from the best Marriage Counsellor at TalktoAngel top mental health well-being platform in India.
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