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3 Tips on How to Help Someone Cope with Depression
Depression is a serious mental illness that affects millions of people. Depression can be debilitating in many ways, and it affects people of all ages, whether they’re older adults or even young kids. Thankfully, it’s treatable with a lot of support from friends and family and a little bit of medication. But, unfortunately, the worst thing about it is it’s a silent killer. Many people don’t even know that they have symptoms of depression before it’s too late.
Some will even deny it and refuse any form of treatment to treat depression. If someone you love is depressed, it can also be a challenge for you. You will also feel many emotions such as frustration, anger, helplessness, etc., but as their loved ones, the one thing that we have to do is to be there for one another.
However, even if depression isn’t contagious, helping a depressed person can also impact your emotions and mental health and, in some cases, can lead you to depression as well. But that only happens when you mishandle things. We have some tips that can help you help someone cope with depression in the right way.
As mentioned earlier, many people showing symptoms of depression may not recognize or not even acknowledge that they have depression symptoms. This is because they are not aware of the signs, and thus, they think that what they’re feeling is normal and will go away soon enough. Not only that, because of the stigma that depression has, people feel ashamed of letting their loved ones know that they have depression and feel like they need to get rid of their depression through their willpower alone.
However, in reality, depression rarely goes away without support and treatment and can often lead to more severe problems or, ultimately, suicide, which is the worst-case scenario. Nevertheless, with the right treatment, a person with depression can cope with the illness and they can overcome it with time.
To convince someone to have the proper treatment, you need to talk to them first. First, talk about the things you noticed and why you’re concerned. Next is to acknowledge their feelings and explain that depression is a treatable mental illness instead of a flaw or a weakness. And then, after that, you can guide them and be with them all the way, especially during their medications.
However, if they have other underlying conditions, you should also talk to their doctors about them. Depression medication can interact with other drugs and substances, so you should ensure their safety by knowing which ones to avoid.
For example, say they take antihistamines or enjoy drinking alcohol. Certain antidepressants, such as lofepramine and amitriptyline, can interact with antihistamines and alcohol—the combination of these two itself is dangerous. Moreover, alcohol is also known to make depression worse, even increasing the side effects that antidepressants have.
If they’re not quite ready for treatment yet, there are a lot of more accessible alternatives out there. One of the most popular ones is getting a therapy dog. Therapy dogs are trained to offer their owners love and care. They are even trained to offer you support when you have episodes and will soothe you whenever you need it.
Offering therapy dogs are just some of the things you can do to help someone with depression but remember, going for treatment is still the best option out there. Of course, you can still go for a therapy dog and their treatment. If you’re worried that the patient is living alone, a therapy dog might erase your worries.
Be a Good Listener
When people get depressed, they isolate themselves from their loved ones. They may feel that they have no one to talk to about their problems and are alone. When they feel that something is wrong with them, they can easily talk about it with their friends and family but for a person with depression, simply talking to others is a challenge in itself.
As a support person, you need to let the person know that you are always there and willing to listen at any time. Let them talk independently and not force them to talk about their problems.
Encourage them to talk about their feelings, what they’re thinking about recently, etc. Make them feel comfortable and not feel like they are someone pitiful. Talk to them like a normal friend would but with more sympathy and understanding. This way, you can make them feel loved and supported. Above all, this way, they will feel like they are not battling depression alone.
Remember That It’s Not Personal
Depression can make people frustrated, angry, and emotional. Also, they often have outbursts and will lash out at anyone. It’s not a pleasant experience when you’re on the receiving end of that outburst, and it can make us feel very bad and angry at times. However, when you feel upset because of being on the receiving end, you need to remember that it’s not a personal thing.
The reason for the outburst is most likely not even related to you at all, and most often, you’re just someone who’s in the wrong place and at the wrong time. Instead, this is the perfect time to be understanding and acknowledge your feelings. As mentioned earlier, depression can also be impactful on the surrounding people.
This is a good time to probably take back a few steps but still be reachable at the same time. Your feelings matter, too, and it’s not healthy to take everything at once. Remember to take a step back once in a while and relax and when you’re ready, be there for them again to offer your support.
Depression is a serious mental illness, and if you notice that one of your loved ones is experiencing a few symptoms, then it’s best to have treatment right away. A depressed person needs all the love and support they can get, so as a loved one, you need to be with them at all times and have some time for yourself as depression can also be passed on to another person but not in the way you think.
This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes