20 Sep 10 ways to support someone through depression
Here at The Happiness Institute we focus, not surprisingly, on happiness and positive emotions.
But life isn't always perfect and no one, not even me (Dr. Happy) is happy ALL the time.
Some people, at some times, experience depression…which is a normal part of life but a difficult challenge for many to overcome and/or deal with.
But the good news is that there are effective treatments available and we can support those who're going through dark times so check out these 10 tips from LIfeHack…
by Carmen Sakurai
Depression is a very serious, isolating, but treatable disorder that affects millions of people of all ages from all walks of life. Depression causes tremendous emotional and physical pain, hurting not only those suffering from it, but affecting the people around them as well.
If your loved one is struggling with depression, you yourself, may also be experiencing a variety of difficult emotions including frustration, guilt, helplessness, anger, fear, and sadness. This is completely normal. It’s not easy dealing with a family or friend’s depression, and many times, you will be left feeling helpless and confused. But as pointless as it may seem at times, please know your support IS significant.
Here are 10 ways you can compassionately and effectively support your loved one who is struggling with depression.
1. Acknowledge that depression is a serious illness and should not be underestimated.
Depression is a medical condition. Do not confuse this with the emotion of “feeling sad & depressed.” Most people still believe that depression is due to personal weakness, laziness, and even lack of religion, and as such, minimize the sufferer’s pain and struggles; adding more feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and shame to the depressed.
It’s important to understand that depression is not a choice and sufferers cannot simply “snap out of it.” By understanding that depression is a real illness, you will be able to better support your loved one with compassion, patience, and an open mind.
2. Be there.
Simply sitting with your loved one while they cry, or quietly holding their hand as they struggle through their thoughts and emotions can be more helpful than trying to give advice or encouraging them to be physically active. Be aware that they could be feeling exhausted or irritable and may not be very pleasant company. It’s important you do not to take this personally because these are just byproducts of the illness.
Offering to accompany them to therapy sessions and doctor’s appointments can be an incredible act of support as well. By doing this, you’re showing your loved one that you believe that what they’re struggling with is very real, and will not brush it off as something unimportant.
3. Release judgment.
Depression is not a weakness or personality flaw; it is a medical illness. Most people suffering from depression already feel ashamed, weakened, and worthless, so judging and criticizing them will do nothing other than make a painful situation even worse, and possibly isolate you from your loved one.
It’s critical that you open yourself to accept the seriousness of the illness, in order to offer genuine support and compassion for your loved one who is struggling with this most painful, exhausting, and lonely condition…
…keep reading the full article HERE