Depression is a serious condition that can be fatal if left unchecked. For you to help someone to deal with depression, you first need to know the signs to look out for. The signs of depression differ from one person to another but some of the common ones are and not limited to:
- Being constantly sad and hopeless.
- Friends and hobbies no longer interest them.
- Easily irritated by small matters
- Sleeplessness or sleeping too much
- Always tired and can no longer perform simple tasks
- Suicidal thoughts and attempts
- Increased or decreased appetite
- Absent mindedness, forgetfulness and slow in decision making.
- Body aches and problems with digestion.
While these symptoms can be mild to others, they can also be very severe to some people to the point of negatively affecting their day to day performance at work or school. Rather than being sad, children and teenagers are usually cranky and petulant when they are depressed.
1. Encouraging them to get professional help
Most people with depression don’t even know that they are depressed or feel too ashamed to admit it. Getting them to seek professional help can be difficult because they wrongful assume that they will just snap out of it at their will.
Make your loved one understand why you are concerned about them and that depression is a medical condition and is not their fault that they have it. Talk to them about getting treatment which will make them better. It would also help to show them that you would be with them throughout the treatment process so that they don’t feel alone.
2. Showing support
Knowing that there is someone on their side is really good for a person dealing with depression. Whenever your loved one is feeling useless and hopeless, encourage them every day by reminding of their strengths and their accomplishment and tell them that how they are feeling is only temporary and that you have faith in their ability to overcome it.
Be there to listen to them when they are ready to share and only talk when necessary. Try not to make unnecessary or judgmental remarks that will only make them feel worse instead of helping them.
3. Be on the constant look out for signs of suicide
Sometimes people who are depressed end up committing suicide when they feel that it is the only solution to escape their pain. You need to be very careful and keen when you feel like there is a possibility of your loved one wanting to commit suicide. Some of the signs to look out for are:
- Constant talk of suicide or harming themselves
- Not caring about anything in their life and talking about not being around for long
- Giving away things that they used to care about and saying their farewell
- Buying pills or weapons
- Suddenly becoming calm or jovial after depression.
If your loved one starts displaying any of these signs, talk to them immediately about your concerns and seek professional help. Don’t leave them alone.
4. Look after Yourself
Dealing with a depressed person is not easy and it can at times be overwhelming. That is why you should not forget to take care of yourself so as you can be more effective in helping your loved one.
While you take care of your loved one, make sure you also set some time to do your own thing. You can use this time to read a book, listen to music, visit a friend or support group, take a walk etc. It is also advisable to set your limits by knowing what you can and cannot be able to do for them.
5. Distract them with fun activities.
It will also help to do fun activities together to brighten up their mood and distract them from their problems. You can invite them to go for a walk, a movie, swimming etc.
Someone who is depressed is usually very delicate so you have to be careful with what you do or say around them even as you try to help. You can help your loved one overcome depression by simply being there and showing them that you care about them.