10 ways to help a person with depression
Depression or a major depressive disorder is a common and serious medical condition. It is known to negatively affect how you feel, the way you think and how you act.
Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease a person’s ability to function at work and at home.
What is depression for me?
Depression is that one word that anyone would throw around so easily nowadays.
It's that one word we use to describe anything from a bad day to an overwhelming inability to live life. But as anyone with depression knows, it is much more than any one word can describe.
If you ask me, what's the best decision I made so far? The best decision I made so far is to acknowledge that I have mental health issue, my depression & to go to a psychiatrist isn't bad at all.
It's hard to understand why I'm going through one & as a Momma of a tot already, everyday may be a struggle, but everyday I should fight it, because my little one needs me more than ever.
It may be difficult to describe depression to someone who's never been there, because it's not sadness.
Depression is living in a body that fights to survive with a mind that tries to die & it's exhausting, 'coz you need to fight it everyday.
But you know I ain't weak just 'coz I have depression, I believe I am strong 'coz as I said I fight it every single day.
As they say you have to fight through some bad days to earn the best days of your life. Thus, you may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.
What helped me cope up with depression?
To be honest there was one time when I was going through my episodes, I thought of taking my life. But, looking back to that life where I could be with my baby, I said to myself, "I can't throw away my life just like that, 'coz I'll miss a lot of my baby's life."
At first, I actually do not acknowledge that I have depression, I don't really share my feelings to anyone, not even my closest friends neither my best friend.
Why? I actually don't know. I mean I just don't feel like sharing my burden to anyone who I think might be having problems too, that was my first thought.
In reality, I actually need to share to lessen my burden. I just needed someone to listen to me, even not really understanding me.
My psychiatrist told me it's not easy to help, care, or even support someone with depression. Why? It is because I have to be openly letting someone else in.
I started opening up to a friend when he asked if something's going on with me, plus what he can do to help. But he never forced me to share right then and there, he gave me time until I was ready to finally share and let someone in.
10 ways to help a person with depression
As a person with depression and basically basing it in my own experience and with my talk with my psychiatrist, here are 10 ways to help a person with depression:
- Don't force the person to share immediately.
- Wait until the person is ready to share.
- When he/she is finally ready to share, be there for him/her.
- If you wanna comfort the person, you can try small gestures in doing so. You could send text messages of encouragements. You could also send notes that you're just there when the person needs someone to express his heart or feelings.
- Don't judge or criticize the person sharing to you, you just gotta really listen.
- Try to avoid offering advice to the person. It may be true that a depressed person needs guidance, but somehow when you give an advice or something it might make the person feel insulted and may detach and not share anymore.
- Try to avoid making comparisons. Unless you've experienced depression or if you really did, still not try to compare because it might cut short on the person sharing his struggles to you.
- Probably know something about depression before helping, caring, or supporting someone with depression. There's a lot more in depression you still don't know.
- Be patient, be really patient. I believe this is the most pivotal part of supporting the person with depression.
- Lastly, be very careful and mindful if you want to bring up on going to a psychiatrist already. You can't really force the person to go to a psychiatrist immediately. But if you believe it's getting worse, you let the person know first that he/she needs to seek help already.
Source: Women's Health Magazine