Depression, an incapacitating and an isolating disorder, can jeopardize relationships, if not treated well. A person living with a depressed individual might feel neglected and deprived and subsequently, adopt an indifferent approach. Sometimes, he or she may feel like walking on the eggshells because of the attitude and response of the depressed person. However, it’s important to realize that with a little care and some effort, the relationship can be salvaged. Here are some steps that can be taken to expand support to a depressed person:
Trying to be there with them: Depression can get agonizing for the depressed individuals and their nearest and dearest. Nonetheless, an individual can still offer support by holding hands, providing reassurance that everything will be okay through the eyes by giving a gentle back rub. One may also say reassuring words such as,”You are not alone in this,””We will learn a way together” or”You’re so important to me.”
Trying small loving gestures: Some people aren’t very comfortable with emotional expressions. They can still extend their service by trying gestures like packing a lunch for the person who is depressed, leaving a care or a love note in the lunch box, sending them a text after regular intervals, helping them with the laundry, doing grocery shopping with or for them, accompanying them for a walk, etc..
Avoid judging or criticizing: It can be very tempting to tell a depressed person he or she is overreacting or lacking a standpoint ; however, these words may puncture a person’s self-esteem. Thus, these have to be avoided Depression is a serious mental illness that can not be won over with a change in outlook or by developing strong willpower. It is important that a friend or a loved one verifies the feelings and emotions of the depressed person so the latter can think about moving forward.
Paying attention to their self-care: Oftentimes, depressed people find it hard to pay attention to their self-care. They may not get out of bed the whole day, might skip meals, might not take shower for days, etc..
Rewarding them rather than punishing: Threatening a miserable person by saying things like,”If you do not take care of yourself, eat dinner, sleep on time, I’ll end this relationship,” is a merciless way of telling them that they are awful. Instead, one should use statements that are rewarding and encouraging at the same time like”Oh! You’re up early, shall we go for a run?”
Encouraging them to challenge their negative thought processes: Depressed individuals have serious negative thinking patterns. It’s important for a friend or a loved one to help them question these ideas empirically. For example, if they say,”I’m worthless,” or”I am dreadful,” one must ask them softly what makes them think like that and this discussion ought to be helpful in breaking the negative patterns.
Depression is treatable and you must never challenge the ability of treatment. Despite the fact that the self-help and support systems can help in the symptom alleviation, none can be as helpful as therapy like cognitive behavioral therapy and medication. Therefore, one has to help the gloomy to seek treatment.