Out of all of my mental struggles, I am lucky enough to have never suffered from depression…but I know loved ones who have. It’s something that I wish I could blog about, but how can I when I have no clue what life with depression is really like?
The one thing I do know though is I think depression is still misunderstood in areas of society. It’s not just a ‘phase’, its not just a result of trauma and its not just a mental disorder…its a DISEASE. It draws those suffering away from family, friends, life and takes away all rational ways of thinking.
Depression is a pandemic in its own form, its scary, fast spreading and takes away the lives of too many suffering.
So what can we do as those who aren’t suffering but have loved ones who do?
1). Do your research– No one’s expecting you to be a psychologist but the first step to helping someone is to understand what the problem is. Do some research so you have just a little idea of what the person may be facing. This will help you as well as your loved one.🤗
2). Don’t change your personality- they don’t need a therapist at home, they need a sister, a mother, a friend, a boyfriend. Just be you…listen and be a shoulder to cry on.
3). Encourage talking- there’s a reason “talking” is encouraged so much when it comes to mental disorders…because it works. When was the last time someone said “Hi you alright?” Probably yesterday. But when was the last time someone said “So how are you, really?” Probably not as recent. All it takes is a 5 minute conversation to change someone’s day. Let them know you care.
4). Don’t stereotype– Like I’ve mentioned before, we often assume those who are loud and outgoing have it all together…it doesn’t mean they do. Depression strips away confidence and personality on the inside yet creates a mask on the outside to disguise this. Don’t be fooled, be there and listen.
5). Leave some things to the therapists– As much as we should help our loved ones with depression, we can’t fix it just us alone. Don’t try to diagnose, medicate or offer therapy. You don’t need to do all those things. We don’t want you suffering too! Don’t put pressure on yourself to be the professional.
6). Know the signs- It’s important to know the symptoms of depression in order to know how to help. The more aware we are of the symptoms, the quicker we can help those who are in the early stages. Don’t be afraid to raise the question if you have any concerns, you could be saving someone. Depression isn’t always easy to spot, those suffering are good at hiding it. Just be aware if their behaviour seems different.
I am also not a professional but I hope these steps give you some comfort in how to support your loves ones experiencing depression. Whatever you’re going through right now, I promise you things will get better, these battles will seem easier and you will BE stronger. If you or a loved one feels they need to seek professional help then don’t hesitate too, the ”Mind” website is always available for advice. Please know you are not alone.
Thanks so much for reading guys…keep happy, keep safe and keep looking after yourselves. See you all very soon!