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Depression In The Family: What You Can Do About It

By Features Desk

Wednesday, September 11, 2019.

When a loved one is suffering from depression it can be a challenging time for everyone in the family, especially if you feel unable to help them. Watching someone you care about go through emotional pain in front of your eyes is horrible and is likely to have an impact on everyone connected to them. However, while you can’t force them to seek help, rush their recovery or make it all go away with a magic wand, there are certain steps you can take to help them during this difficult time which could make a huge difference to their recovery.

Research and learn about depression 

If you can understand depression, you will be better equipped to help and talk to someone who is going through it. This includes learning about the potential causes of depression, symptoms, coping strategies, and treatment options. 

Help them to find the right treatment

There are several types of treatment available, but not all are appropriate for everyone who suffers from depression. There are medications, therapies, counselors and specialist centers such as the Ignite Teen Treatment center which supports teenagers with mental health conditions. Find out more at igniteteentreatment.com. The key to recovery is finding the right combination of therapies for your loved one. 

Encourage them to continue with the treatment

When they have started treatment, they may need you to continue to support them as they go through it. For example, you can help them to remember their medications or attend their appointments, even when they start to feel better as their symptoms will return if they stop. 

Be there to listen when they need you

You should be available for them if and when they need to talk about their thoughts and feelings. While a professional therapist is the best person to advise them, you can be understanding and supportive, so they can ease their worries. Learn more about active listening skills here.

Be a source of positivity 

Depression can cause people to become very negative about themselves and their achievements. Try to focus on their positive qualities and how important they are to you.

Help them with tasks they find difficult

Your family member may struggle to complete some tasks in their daily life, such as keeping track of appointments, shopping for groceries or cleaning the home. While it’s important that they retain their independence, you might be able to ease their burden during the early stages of recovery. Alternatively you could try to minimize stress in their environment by working out a schedule for them which includes daily tasks and self-care such as exercise, household chores, meals, medication, and sleep. 

Organize fun activities or events 

Try to plan some fun activities you can enjoy together to help them find some positivity in life. This could be an old or new hobby, a trip to the movies or even a walk in the countryside. Don’t force them into doing anything they are uncomfortable with, but make sure they know they have the option. 

Remember to take care of yourself

Helping someone with depression is not easy, and it can take a lot of time and energy to be their rock. If you put too much on yourself you will find that you burn out and are no longer able to provide the support they need. This is why it’s important to take time to yourself for self-care, social activities, and your hobbies so you can recharge and be strong for them.

Be patient

People with depression will recover at different rates, and there are no deadlines. Some people may always struggle with depression in some form but can learn to cope through medication and coping strategies. 

Depression In The Family: What You Can Do About It

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