It’s very hard to know what the right thing to do is when it comes to depression care. Having a loved one with depression is upsetting and often pretty exhausting because you simply don’t know what the right thing to do is.
If you’ve never had depression, it can be hard to understand what it feels like. When you’re depressed, it can feel like you’ll never get out from under the dark shadow that consumes you – no matter how much your family and friends tell you “you’ll be okay”.
The good news is that even the most severe depression is treatable. Learning about your loved one’s depression care and treatment options will help you decide which approach is right for them. From therapy and medication to healthy lifestyle changes, there are many effective treatments that can help your loved one overcome depression and feel happy and hopeful again.
Just because you may have tried one or two treatment methods that haven’t worked, you shouldn’t simply give up. No two people are affected by depression in the exact same way, and so there is no one treatment that cures all forms of depression. What works for one person might not work for another. The best way to treat depression is to become as informed as possible about the treatment options, and then tailor them to you.
How can friends and family help with depression care?
The first, and arguably most important part of looking after someone who is depressed, is being open and frank about their depression and depression recovery.
Lots of people can find it hard to open up and speak about how they’re feeling. Try to be open about depression with them so that they don’t feel threatened speaking to you about it or embarrassed. Encourage them to speak often about depression and difficult emotions, so your friend or family member knows that it’s OK to talk about what they’re experiencing.
Sometimes the best and only thing that you can do is simply listen. You often don’t need to say anything, just having you to listen to their problems makes them feel less alone and isolated.
Encourage them to get help. You can’t force anyone to get help if they don’t want it, so it’s important to reassure your loved one that it’s OK to ask for help and make sure they are aware that there is help out there.
By simply listening to your loved one, never judging them or simply telling them to “cheer up”. Caring for someone with depression means you also need to care for yourself. Your mental health is important too. Looking after someone with depression can put a strain on your wellbeing and start to affect your mental health. It’s important to take time for you.
If your loved ones depression is keeping you from living the life you want to, don’t hesitate to seek help – for them and for you.