That depression is treatable offers reprieve in tackling this serious mental disorder. Many people if not everyone can relate with depression. Maybe you were the one depressed or you experienced it through a loved one. It affects life by causing mental breakdown as evident in loss of interest that characterizes major depression.
Depression does not only affect those suffering from it, but also everyone close to them. It has strong grips that hold tight never to let go. Your support is important in helping a loved one overcome depression. The journey to recovery can be overwhelming, as the caregiver you should remain cognizant of the following:
As the caregiver, you are equally important
Put on your own oxygen mask before you assist anyone else. For the obvious reason, you risk losing your sense of self when caring for a depressed loved one. It is wrong to neglect your wants and needs for the depressed loved one. Your mental well being is as important as the treatment for the depressed loved one. Besides, you will only have the energy to support when you are in the right mental state. Remember, you cannot control someone else’s depression.
The language of depression
The depressed only understands and responds to supportive language. The conversation must be objectively supportive. Responses like; I know how you feel, we all go through times like this, etcetera only shift the focus away from the depressed. Avoid shift responses because they make the depressed hide their feelings. Face to face conversation is of significant importance in helping a loved one overcome depression. The language of depression is compassionate listening, encouragement, and love. Allow them to tell their story while compassionately listening without judgment.
It is normal for them to withdraw and isolate themselves from others hence the need to persistently engage them in gentle conversations. A long the way encourage the depressed loved one to seek help. However, this may prove difficult because mental breakdown make it easy to see treatment as pointless. Seeing the condition as treatable is important in overcoming depression. It is right to make your loved one accept that depression is treatable even if it means doing so through a professional advice. For example; suggest a general check up with a doctor and when depression is diagnosed, your loved one will be referred to a psychiatrist. He/she will have no option but to oblige to doctor’s recommendation.
Always offer unconditional love and support throughout the treatment process. Provide necessary assistance like helping maintain prescribed treatment. Help the depressed engage in uplifting activities like physical exercise to get him/her going. Dealing with a depressed person can be a difficult task but maintain compassion and patience because recovery has never happened overnight. The caregiver must lead by example. Enable the depressed loved one to learn healthier and mood boosting lifestyle from you.
It is easier said than done. When you decide to take up the wheel in helping your loved one on the road to recovery, do it wholeheartedly. Seeking professional advice does not betray your loved one. Remember to set boundaries to stay on track with your own life.