When someone is depressed, it can feel all-consuming. The person who is suffering from depression will often withdraw and isolate themselves. It’s during these times that they need your companionship the most.
It’s often hard to come out and say “yes, I feel depressed” since there is a stigma associated with depression. However, you may notice some mental health symptoms. A depressed individual may demonstrate side effects that include insomnia, changes in appetite, tiredness, and even headaches and backaches.
What can you do to help someone you love who may be going through depression? Here are six ways to encourage your loved one from their mental health slump:
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Learn the symptoms of depression
The hardest part is there’s no way you can help a depressed companion if you don’t know they’re depressed. If you suspect they may be depressed, try learning what the symptoms of depression are. With the knowledge, you can more easily recognize the condition and reach out to comfort them.
Some of the symptoms of depression include loss of pleasure in activities, angry outbursts, frustration, and irritability. A depressed person may also have insomnia, loss of appetite, and blame for things that are not their fault. There are many more symptoms of depression, both mental and physical. Learning all the signs will help if you want to encourage a loved one with depression.
Find out how you can help
You will never know how you can help if you don’t ask. While it’s always nice to take the initiative and help out with things like grocery shopping and household tasks, there may be something your loved one could use help with that might not be as obvious.
The best thing you can do is communicate. Ask your loved ones how you can help. You may not think it, but even helping them accomplish small tasks can be a lifesaver. Not only will this take some of the pressure off your loved one, but it will likely open up time that they can use in their therapy. So, don’t be afraid to ask your loved one how you can help.
Encourage them to seek help
When someone is experiencing depression, they may not realize that they are depressed. If your loved ones are aware, they may believe that they should get over this condition on their own. You can encourage them to seek help in a non-judgemental way. Open up to the person and tell them what you’ve noticed. You can tell them about promising therapies such as TMS which are completely non-invasive and offer a great rate of success.
Show them know that depression is a medical condition and that it’s okay to ask for help. Encourage your loved ones to attend treatment by offering your support. Offer to help them find a qualified psychotherapist like Brian Collinson and accompany them to appointments. You never know how much you can help someone unless you try.
Sometimes you don’t need words to support someone with depression. Simply showing up and being there for them can mean more than any words can. If they don’t want to talk about how they’re feeling, remember that it’s okay.
Let them know that you are here if they want to talk, but don’t push the subject. Your loved ones will appreciate you being there keeping them company. Often when someone is depressed, they withdraw from their friends and family, so being present can be the gift they need.
Create a regular routine
Routine is something that can significantly help someone who is suffering from depression. It gives your loved ones predictability and helps organize their day. Sit down with them and see which things need to get done every day. You can then help them create and implement a plan. A routine is a great way to encourage depression, as they can have a reliable schedule for meals, chores, and sleep.
Watch for warning signs
Depression may lead to thoughts of physical harm, though this is not always the case. You can be there for your loved one by being on alert for the signs of self-harm. Some warning signs include your loved one talking about suicide, wanting to be left alone, and having mood swings. They may also be preoccupied with death or give away belongings. If you believe this to be true, talk to your loved ones and encourage them to seek medical help.
These are just some of the things you can do to encourage a loved one who has depression. Remember that the best thing you can do is to be there for them. It could make all the difference for someone who feels isolated and lonely.