When a spouse, family member, or friend is suffering from depression, your support and encouragement play an essential role in their recovery and how they manage the illness moving forward. Our GP home doctor service for depression never underestimate the impact a supportive network can have on depression sufferers and are keen for everyone to understand how they can better support those suffering from depression.
Some of the main ways you can help support a depression sufferer are to:
However, supporting a loved one with depression can also wear you down if you're not careful as it may cause you to neglect your own needs. This advice from our GP home doctor service for depression can help you support a depressed person in their recovery without making yourself ill in the process.
Depression is a serious but manageable mental illness that affects millions of people across the world. It can affect anyone, young or old and from all walks of life. For many sufferers, it gets in the way of everyday life and causes tremendous pain, not just for those suffering from it, but also impacting the people around them.
If someone you love is battling depression, you may be experiencing any number of difficult emotions, including
These feelings are normal as it’s not easy to cope with a friend or family member’s depression. If you don’t take care of yourself as well as trying to support them, it can become overwhelming.
That said, there are things our GP home doctor service for depression suggests you can do to help your loved one deal with their depression.
Start by learning about depression and how to talk about it. As you reach out, don’t forget to look after your emotional health. Thinking about your own needs is not selfish—it’s essential. Your emotional strength allows you to provide the ongoing support your friend or loved one needs.
It's vital that you don’t underestimate the seriousness of depression. The condition drains a person’s energy, optimism, and motivation just as much as any physical illness. Your depressed loved one can’t just “snap out of it” by sheer force of will.
Depression makes it difficult for the sufferer to connect on a deep emotional level with anyone, even the people he or she loves most. The condition can also cause people to say hurtful things and lash out in anger. Remember, that's the depression talking, not your loved one.
Hiding the problem won’t make it better. It doesn’t help the sufferer if you make excuses to cover up the issue. Instead of helping, this could prevent them from seeking the treatment they need.
It's important to remember that you can’t “fix” someone else’s depression. You’re not to blame for your loved one’s depression or responsible for their happiness (or lack thereof). Ultimately, recovery is in the hands of the sufferer and no one else.
In some cases, you may notice the problem in a depressed loved one before they do. Your influence and concern can motivate them to seek help. Some of the noticeable symptoms include:
If you’re concerned about a friend or loved one, talk to them about seeking the help they need from our GP home doctor service for depression.