Depression is a mental health condition that affects millions of people globally. Out of those, around several million are adults in the USA who have had at least one depressive episode since 2014. Getting depression help for a loved one can be difficult, but living with depression is even more difficult.
However, depression is a very treatable condition. With the right nudges and an excellent mental health treatment program, your loved one can soon go back to feeling happy and able to face life. At Kemah Palms, we provide several tips to help you understand and take care of your loved one with depression. Contact us today at 866.604.1873 for more information about our mental health treatment programs.
Understanding Depression for Your Loved One
Depression is a complex mental health condition that happens because of a complicated interplay of genetics, health, external circumstances, neurotransmitter balance, and even nutrition. Some external contributors include:
- Lack of social support
- History of trauma
- Exposure to prejudice and/or discrimination
- The recent loss of loved one or valuable thing
- Alcohol or substance addiction
Depressed people feel profoundly isolated, even when they are among people. Those who don’t know how to characterize their symptoms may assume that what they feel is normal. This belief can make getting depression help for a loved one more challenging.
Depression can be debilitating. It leads to feelings of inadequacy, sadness, and low motivation, making even the simplest tasks, like getting out of bed, impossible. As a result, the condition makes it difficult for them to work, have good relationships, or enjoy their lives.
Depression Is Not One-Size-Fits-All
Everyone experiences depression differently. Some may have physical symptoms like muscle pain, lethargy and fatigue, headaches/migraines, or nausea and other GI symptoms. Others may show psychological symptoms like aggression and anger towards you, general apathy, listlessness, or non-stop crying.
The best way of getting depression help for a loved one is to realize that depression looks different in various people. You can read up on the symptoms to learn how to care for your loved one. However, empathy for them and reaching out with kindness can help you understand the kind of support they need.
Use what you know about their personality or previous depressive phases to guide your response. If you feel unable to reach them, enlisting external help is best. Getting your loved one into a psychotherapy treatment program can help them sort through their emotions. They will also receive practical coping tips or medication to help regulate their mood disturbances and other symptoms.
Listening Without Judgement
Listening without judging is one of the most helpful ways to support a loved one going through depression. How you listen is just as important: keep an open mind and avoid telling someone how they should feel.
Listen, not to offer solutions or answers, but rather to understand and empathize with how your loved one feels. Even if you have no mental health treatment qualifications, you can let them air their emotions, fears, anxieties, and problems. This action can help them to feel less alone.
It is also critical to take care of your mental health; sometimes, a loved one’s pain can affect your mental state. Talk through your feelings with someone so that you have a clear mind when taking care of your loved one.
Getting Depression Help for a Loved One
If you think that your loved one is depressed, gently guide them towards admitting that they need external help. Dual diagnosis treatment works if your loved one also has a drug or substance dependence that exacerbates their depression symptoms.