Depression

Depression: 7 Ways To Support A Loved One Going Through It

Depression is a mental health condition that can negatively impact a person’s lifestyle and overall well-being. Some of the classic tell-tale symptoms of depression include feeling lost or directionless, abnormalities in sleep patterns, severely altered dietary behaviors, and others.

Medical experts agree that there’s no single culprit that can be attributed to depression. In fact, data show that the illness can be triggered by a variety of factors: an individual’s biological makeup, past trauma, substance and drug abuse, and the like. One thing’s for sure though – depression can be a debilitating and harrowing experience for the person going through it.

Trained mental health professionals remind people to be mindful of others for they may be undergoing depression without them knowing how to seek help. Fortunately, there are various ways that you can support a friend or loved one going through it; here are seven of them.

 

  • Recommend Professional Help from Counselors or Psychiatrists Trained in Dealing with Depression

 

One of the ways that you can support a loved one going through depression is by recommending that they get professional help in the form of therapy and counseling. 

Trained therapists are equipped with knowledge that may practically assist your loved one going through depression. Some of the methods that trained therapists use include talk therapy, journaling, and coping mechanisms such as meditation and breathwork.

You can follow this link and engage with the different kinds of treatment with your beloved. They can receive top-notch care in a center for mental health and addictive disorders. Your loved one will be in expert hands and may stand a chance to learn coping mechanisms and efficiently navigate the struggles of depression.

 

  • Tidy Up Their Space

 

When experiencing depression, your loved one might not have the energy to execute their daily chores such as cleaning like they used to. Due to their illness, they may not have the motivation and energy to carry out the cleaning of their room or house. Luckily, you can support them by cleaning their living space.

A tidy space helps to declutter the mind and you’ve helped them immensely with such a gesture. You can enhance their home’s vibe by placing diffusers that harness the power of aromatherapy and give off specific calming and mood-boosting scents. You can also leave a note expressing how you care about them and their wellbeing after cleaning and before heading out.

 

depression

 

  • Make Them Healthy And Filling Meals

 

Cooking is another chore your loved one may find extremely taxing if they’re experiencing depression. One of the hallmarks of depression is extremely altered dietary behaviors – take note if they have been overeating or skipping their meals altogether lately. 

Good food is helpful in achieving a sound mind and body. Make sure that your loved one is full and properly nourished while they’re facing a tough battle with depression. Shop for healthy and fresh produce and other food products good for the mind’s health. You can find a day in the week when you can prepare their meals in bulk and ready for storage in their freezer. Place each meal in small portions in separate microwave-safe containers for easier heating and consumption. 

 

  • Enjoy The Sun’s Warmth With Them

 

Supporting a loved one doesn’t mean you always need to discuss their experience with depression, as this may become draining. Sitting under the sun with your loved one is a simple but effective way to show support. 

The sun’s rays are said to help release the feel-good hormone called dopamine. Hence, experts believe that sunbathing can immediately boost the mood of a person. You can spread out garden blankets and sunbathe with your loved ones while reading a book or snacking on one of the meals that you’ve made for them. 

 

  • Find A Fun Activity They Can Do 

 

The activities that your loved one used to enjoy before their depression set in might not be the same to them anymore. If they were once outgoing, depression may have now pushed your loved one to be more withdrawn. You need not to drastically force them to go back to their former way of life. Ease them in instead.

You can find interesting activities that they’ll feel comfortable doing such as watching funny movies, card games, and board games while drinking healthy beverages. Should they feel like doing outdoor activities again, you can organize a whole day trip to the spa, for example, where they can experience relaxation.

 

  • Avoid Prodding Them With Probing Questions

 

Asking too many questions about depression doesn’t help the situation. When someone is going through depression, in some cases, they too don’t understand what’s going on with them mentally, emotionally, and physically. Thankfully, professional help is available to help with grasping the different dynamics of depression and overcoming them. 

Try to avoid asking direct and intrusive questions such as ‘Why are you depressed?’; ‘What do you have to be depressed about?’; and others. Indeed, these may be valid questions that you may have, but asking your loved one directly may only make them feel guilty about their situation. They may then resort to pretending that they’re no longer depressed to dodge your queries.

Should you wish to find out more about depression, consider reading widely about the topic instead of asking your beloved questions regarding their mental health dossier. You can also speak to therapists about the subject for a deeper understanding of the matter. 

 

  • Give Them Space

 

When your loved one is experiencing depression, they may find solace in spending time alone. It allows them to analyze their thoughts without interruption and feel their emotions – all of which is a positive thing. Introspection can lead to heightened self-awareness. They can then try to understand these and observe patterns, triggers, and responses that help or hinder them from overcoming depression. Step back and allow them to process their depression on their own. 

Yet there’s a caveat; a person undergoing depression may linger on powerful negative thoughts that may lead to self-harm or worse, suicide. Some signs that your loved one may be thinking of harming themselves or others include speaking about death, evidence of physical harm such as self-mutilation, or drug and alcohol abuse, to name a few. You need to alert mental health professionals right away once you spot such instances. 

 

Conclusion: How to Support a Loved One with Depression

Supporting a loved one with depression is a gesture that they’ll truly appreciate. Recommending professional help is encouraged so that they’re under expert care for them to recover quickly from their medical predicament. You may also consider the insights featured above to extend a helping hand to a loved one in a state of depression. 

Depression can be debilitating yet love, patience, care, and understanding are the best gifts you can provide for a loved one going through it that they can use in overcoming it.