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If you know someone who’s depressed or is showing similar symptoms, the chances are that their mental condition affects yours as well. Whether it is a friend desperately seeking assignment help to deal with academic pressure or a loved one gradually withdrawing from social gatherings, watch out for the signs that call for action.
More than 300 million people worldwide suffer from depression. Studies show that caregivers or close ones can play a huge role in bringing some love and light to the depressed ones. This post explains how you can be that shining beacon of hope for those battling this dark disease. Read on to know what you can do to not let the darkness engulf.
Recognize the signs early on – how to detect depression
When you have a loved one affected with depression, helping them starts with recognizing that they are depressed in the first place. Taking care of them begins with identifying those early signs that give away the condition of their mental health. Depression has its own way of manifesting in people, and has a few symptoms that give away. Here are a few signs of depression:
- They are feeling sad, empty, or hopeless for a period of over two weeks straight
- They are experiencing insomnia or hypersomnia
- There are frequent emotional outbursts (often in the form of anger or irritability)
- They have lost or gained a remarkable amount of weight due to erratic eating habits
- They have lost interest in activities they used to enjoy (like sports, playing the clarinet or even romance)
- They keep saying they are always tired or exhausted
- There have been episodes of major indecisiveness about everything over a period of two weeks
- They have isolated themselves from social activities and have expressed desires of ending their lives
Not everyone shows the same kind of symptoms when they are depressed. If you really want to be there for your loved ones when they are depressed, then keep an eye out for the signs (or related ones) mentioned above, so that you can work on your plan early on.
Extending a helping hand – 10 ways to support someone battling depression
Learn as much as you can about depression
Be it journals, books or online blogs– read all that you can about depression, its symptoms, ways to care for people affected with it and the like. Learning about the ailment will unlock the doors to a more empathetic approach in your mind. That way, you will be able to handle things a lot better.
Be there for them (in any way you can)
Being there for people with depression can come in many forms. It can be a hug when all seems to fall apart to them. It may also be refraining from giving that hug if the time is not right. A simple text or a handwritten note showing you care can also go a long way to show that you are there for them.
Hone those listening skills
Supporting someone with depression starts with being interested enough to listen to them. Sit through the rants or outbursts patiently, and try to reason with them. However, do not push the limits too far with your reasoning. It is depression, after all, and that has a way of eating into the rationale of the affected people.
Offer to help with daily tasks
People with depression may just keep losing interest in going about their daily chores. Making them breakfast in bed or offering to pick up the groceries are a few ways that you can help them get a hold of their lives. Do the dishes or clean their dorms on days when they are too fatigued by the mental illness to even lift a finger. This one is sure to help them move towards healing.
NEVER trivialize their mental condition
No matter how frustrated you are with the situation, never call them out for being “too sensitive”. Never ask them to “snap out of it” for they won’t be able to. Depression is not a choice they have made, for no one wants to experience the darkness voluntarily. It is an illness, and can impair the judgement of the affected people in some cases.
Keep them on track (regarding going to therapy or taking medication)
Encourage them to take their meds regularly if they are on some. If therapy is the way they have chosen to heal, then make sure that they turn up for the appointments. Sometimes, depressed people might take a bit of coaxing. But if you are patient enough, you will see the positive results.
Do not isolate them with a negative approach
Cutting depressed people off with ultimatums or rudeness is the worst thing that you can do. This will make them feel even more isolated and alone. Isolation usually drives depressed people to drastic measures for they keep looking for ways to end the nagging pain. Do not say or do anything that makes them feel cornered, and that includes blaming them for their situations.
Keep an emergency depression kit handy
Fiona, a senior subject matter expert at MyAssignmenthelp, recounts her story of fighting the battle against depression. She says, “My best friend always kept my meds, a few candy bars, and emergency contacts (like my dad and therapist) handy when taking care of me.” Build your own emergency depression kit by throwing in necessities and a few snacks that your loved ones will enjoy.
Be patient with them at all times (even when you don’t want to)
There will be times when you feel at sea with the overwhelming frustration at dealing with a depressed person. Maintain a calm head in times like these. If it helps, go for a walk or vent out by screaming in a deserted space that helps you cool off. Never become impatient when your loved ones don’t pay heed to your kind words, for losing your temper will only make things take a worse turn.
Take care of yourself too
Finally, taking care of someone with depression is sure to take a toll on your mental and physical well-being. Take good care of yourself in times like these for you would need a good constitution, a positive mind and loads of zeal to support someone battling one of the most crippling of mental illnesses. Do this for the sake of your loved ones, and you would be doing them a huge favor.
Supporting a loved one in their dark times is no mean feat. If you have decided to stay by the ones you love and help them in their battle against depression, then kudos to you. However, we often tend to fall prey to our own demons. So, it is best to plan your approach to the whole issue. Read up as much as you can about the ailment and learn the best ways to help someone fight it.
Always remember, that the road ahead is an uphill journey, and there will be times when you would want to put an end to it all. Holding on to hope will help you to pull your loved one out of the chasm of depression. Here’s wishing you all the love and light in the journey that lies ahead!
Gracie Anderson, a student counselor at EssayAssignmenthelp.com.au, hails from Melbourne. She provides tailor-made assignment help and enjoys writing about mental health and anxiety. She also volunteers at animal shelters on weekends.
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