A person living with a depressed individual might feel neglected and deprived and subsequently, adopt an indifferent approach. At times, he or she may feel like walking on the eggshells due to the attitude and reaction of the depressed person. However, it is important to understand that with a little care and some effort, the relationship can be salvaged. Here are some measures that can be taken to extend support to a depressed person:
Attempting to be there for them: Depression can get painful for the depressed individuals and their nearest and dearest. Nonetheless, an individual can still offer support by holding hands, providing reassurance that everything will be alright through the eyes by providing a gentle back rub. An individual may also say comforting words like,”You are not alone in this,””We will find out a way together” or”You’re so important to me.”
Trying small loving gestures: Some people aren’t too comfortable with emotional expressions. They could still extend their service by trying gestures such as packing a lunch for the person who is depressed, leaving a care or a love note in the lunch box, sending them a text after regular periods, helping them with the laundry, doing grocery shopping with or for them, accompanying them for a walk, etc..
Avoid judging or criticizing: It can be very tempting to tell a depressed person he or she’s overreacting or lacking a perspective; however, these words may puncture a person’s self-esteem. Thus, these must be avoided Depression is a serious mental disorder that can’t be won over with a change in outlook or by creating strong willpower. It’s important that a friend or a loved one validates the feelings and emotions of the depressed person so that the latter can think about moving forward.
Paying attention to their self-care: Oftentimes, depressed people find it hard to pay attention to their self-care. They might not get out of bed the entire day, might skip meals, may not take shower for days, etc..
Rewarding them rather than punishing: Threatening a depressed person by saying things like,”If you do not care for yourself, eat dinner, sleep on time, I will end this relationship,” is a merciless way of telling them that they’re awful. Instead, one needs to use statements that are rewarding and encouraging at the same time like”Oh! You are up early, will we go for a run?”
Encouraging them to challenge their negative thought processes: Depressed people have serious negative thinking patterns. It is important for a friend or a loved one to help them question these thoughts empirically. For example, if they say,”I am worthless,” or”I am dreadful,” one must ask them softly what makes them think like this and that discussion ought to be helpful in breaking the negative patterns.
Depression is treatable and you must never challenge the power of treatment. Despite the fact that the self-help and support systems can help in the symptom alleviation, none can be as helpful as therapy like cognitive behavioral therapy and medication. Therefore, an individual has to help the gloomy to seek treatment.