Depression Support Family and Friends
Support is essential to recovery. One of the most helpful things one person can say to (or hear from) another is “I’ve been there.”
Depression Family Support - Knowing some tips before starting
- One cannot overcome an illness like major depression (or any dark night of the soul experience) by oneself.
- All depressed people need to talk. In order to talk someone has to listen, but a listener is a very rare commodity.
- A good listener is what depressed people need most: someone who will listen, who will not judge or persuade them to come to conclusions they do not want.
Cultivate supportive relationships
Getting the support you need plays a big role in lifting the fog of depression and keeping it away.
- Depression Support Group - The support group is a place which can give you help and support from people with similar kind of experiences. Here you will come to know that you are not alone in this world and there are many people like you in the world having the same sufferings. These people are the one who can understand your true pain and sufferings.
- Turn to trusted friends and family members - Remember that the relations and friends we have are of great help and only thing we need is to call out for help. The people you trust and love can help you to great extent if you share what you are going through in your life. You might have refrained or cut yourself from your friends and relations, but believe me, they can help you sail through the troubled water.
- Join a support group for depression. The sense of isolation can be reduced by sharing the feelings of solitude and loneliness with people of similar experiences. Both of you can learn from each other and give/recieve advice on coping techniques.
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Some of the To Do's for the Family and Close Friends:
- The first way you can be of support is to help the person to recognize that there is a problem.
- Encourage your loved one or friend to make a list of daily self-care activities , and them put them into practice.
- Establish communication with other people in the person's support network - e.g. family members, friends, physicians, therapists, social workers, clergy, etc.
- Be empathic and understanding.
- Challenge expressions of hopelessness.
- Empathize with feelings of sadness, grief, anger and frustration.
- Advocate for their recovery from depression.
- Emphasize that depression is treatable.
- In more complicated cases it is generally better to see professional support, otherwise the problem may escalate to other members of the family.
Some of the Dont's for the Family and Close Friends:
Don't try to "cheer up" a depressed person.
Don't argue about how bad things are.
Don't become angry even though your efforts may be resisted or rejected.
Don't expect the depressed person to recover and overcome his or her depression all on his or her own. Under depression a person cannot "pull himself or herself up by his or her boot straps."
Avoid critical or shaming statements.
Don't try to talk the depressed person out of his feelings , even if they are irrational.
Don't pressure your depressed relative or loved one to do what you think they need to do. You may feel that he or she needs to go to the doctor, take medication, get counseling, go back to work, etc. And you may be right. If you put pressure on the depressed person, you may cause the depressed person to respond by not wanting to do what you are suggesting.
While helping your depressed loved one, don't just ignore the symptoms. Your help can be critical in making a difference in how successfully your friend or family member copes with his or her depression.
|10 tips for reaching out and building relationships
- Talk to one person about your feelings.
- Help someone else by volunteering.
- Have lunch or coffee with a friend.
- Ask a loved one to check in with you regularly.
- Accompany someone to the movies, a concert, or a small get-together.
- Call or email an old friend.
- Go for a walk with a workout buddy.
- Schedule a weekly dinner date
- Meet new people by taking a class or joining a club.
- Confide in a counselor, therapist, or clergy member.
Depression Family Support: Does Depressed Family Member or friend be forced for Treatment?
Helping someone who do not want to get help or do not want to change is a challenging task, specially for a person who's loved one is suffering from depression episodes. Generally, forcing someone to do something against his or her will is not helpful. Sometimes depressed person do not want to change and he or she may resist the help. He or she may become angry at you which makes it more difficult for you to have a positive influence on him or her in the future.
There are some exception to this.
- One exception is if you believe your depressed friend or family member is going to hurt himself or herself. If the depressed person has become suicidal or if he or she is actively hurting himself or herself, you need to take action immediately.
- Another exception is when you think, the depressed person may hurt someone else. If your depressed friend or family member is threatening another person or if he or she is neglecting his or her children, you need to take action.
It will be a real tragedy if you do nothing and your loved one actually does commit suicide or does hurt someone else. Even if the depressed person is very upset with you later, you may have saved his or her life.
Putting lifestyle changes into practice
It’s easy to talk about lifestyle changes, but it’s more of a challenge to make them part of your daily life—especially if your depression is severe.
To make these changes going inside yourself effectively, start following the self help tips, see Depression Self Help.
If you believe you need to have your depressed loved one hospitalized involuntarily, seek professional help immediately. Try talking to the depressed person's doctor. Another source of help may be a local mental health center or psychiatric hospital.
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