7 Ways to Help Someone With Depression
Depression is a severe mental health condition that can affect anyone, regardless of age, sex, or race. It’s a disorder that affects how a person feels, thinks, and acts. Physical symptoms like headaches, body aches, and sleep problems can accompany depression. It can also cause changes in a person’s appetite or how they eat. When left untreated, depression can last for weeks, months, or even years! The good news is that depression can be treated with medication and psychotherapy.
Most people who get treatment for depression start to feel better within a few weeks. But it can take a few months or longer before symptoms disappear entirely. The most important thing to remember is that treatment works and that most people get better with time and patience. If you have a friend or family member struggling with depression, here are some things you can do to help.
1. Don’t brush it off
Depression is a serious condition. Moreover, it can be difficult for people to open up about it. When someone you care for tells you about what they are going through, the worst thing to do is to brush it off as merely a stage they’re going through or tell them that they’re only being “dramatic. Depression is real, and the reason why people open up to you is that they trust you. So, take it seriously, and don’t pass it off as a joke.
2. Let them know that you are there for them and that they can talk to you about anything
One of the most precious things anyone can have are friends they can talk to and share their thoughts with. It’s always a blessing to have people you can depend on during difficult times. Be this person for them. Let them know that you are there for them. Make them feel that they can divulge their thoughts and feelings to you without fearing judgment. Let them know that you’re here for them. Because sometimes, knowing someone cares can be enough to get them to open up about their feelings and problems.
3. Encourage your friend or family member to see a doctor as soon as possible to get treatment for his or her depression.
Depression can be cured, but oftentimes one will need professional help to get through it. So, encourage your friend or family member to go and see a doctor for treatment. Allow them to feel that it’s totally normal. Healing emotional wounds is as important as treating physical wounds. So, let them know that asking for help to treat it isn’t embarrassing or abnormal. Depression is an illness, and like any other illness, you’ll need the help of a doctor to heal it.
You can try to find out the best clinics or medical institutions that you can recommend to your friend to make it easier for them. Social media and search engine can be really helpful for checking reviews of previous patients. You can come up with a list of the nearest clinics and then
4. Offer to go with your friend or family member to their appointments and help them navigate the healthcare system if needed.
Going to doctor’s appointments can be daunting to some. In fact, other people even refuse to attend because they feel uncomfortable about it or because they don’t know how to start. Be with them during this time. Offer to go with them to their appointments, help them by learning about the process. Help them through this difficult time by supporting them every step of the way.
5. Be patient and understanding.
Remember that recovery takes time and that your loved one will need support during this time. Mood swings, difficulty opening up, and other related behaviors can happen to a person who is depressed. So don’t respond to it negatively. Be patient and understanding and know that it’s all part of the process of healing. Simply be with them during the process and let them know that you’re there for them.
6. Try to be positive and encouraging
It may be difficult for your friend or family member to think that way, but making an effort to show that you’re optimistic about their future can go a long way in helping them heal. And remember that even if they don’t talk to you directly about their feelings, you can still be there for them when they need help or simply need you to listen.
7. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor or other health care providers any questions you may have about depression.
Some clinics and mental institutions have websites and resources for mental health diseases. You may also try calling toll-free hotlines of organizations and groups dedicated to mental health needs. In the Philippines, the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) has a hotline that is available 24/7. The NCMH Crisis hotline can be reached at 0908-639-2672 or 0917-899-USAP.
The bottom line is that depression is a disease like any other, and it can strike anyone at any time. It’s important to stay positive and supportive of anyone who is dealing with this disease. Learning more about the condition can help you better support your loved one when they’re going through treatment.
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