Seeing a family member face depression and continue to lose in life because it is undoubtedly difficult for anyone. It is already alarming to notice that they no longer leave the house to hang out with friends or rarely go to work. Their eating and sleeping habits have become extreme too, to the point that they sometimes either starve and stay awake in some days or binge on food and sleep during other days. But you know that things have gone south too far once the family member starts being aggressive to people or self-harms.
If you worry about your loved one who’s still struggling with depression, here are seven ways to help them turn their life around.
1. Realize The Symptoms Of The Disorder
The first thing you should do as soon as you find out that a close family member is dealing with this mental illness is to gain extensive information about its symptoms. Many of them are searchable online, and the explanations they come with are reliable too. In case you want more in-depth details about the relative’s condition, you may talk to a psychiatrist. These are extra steps you can take to understand what your loved one is going through due to depression.
2. Find Out What Caused The Depression
Once you have an idea of what symptoms a depressed person has to live with, you may have a direct chat with them about the root cause of their condition. You can start with easy topics, in the beginning, considering it is common for people with depression to avoid opening up about their issues. As they get comfortable with you, you can then assure your family member that they can tell you whatever’s bothering them. Don’t give up if you manage to receive no real facts on your initial attempt, though. Repeat the same process or try other tactics to get to the bottom of the problem.
3. Coax Them To Get Professional Help
Although the cause of depression is different for every individual who has this disorder, it seems hard to meet a patient who went to a clinic to obtain a diagnosis in their own accord. Some get dragged by parents or siblings who are afraid that they’ll do something drastic. Others, meanwhile, have been rescued by the authorities after a failed suicide attempt. Before things become worse for your troubled loved one, therefore, you should coax them every single day to set an appointment with a psychiatrist.
4. Have A Positive Attitude Often
Pessimistic words have no place in your world, especially if you are around a family member with depression. You can’t be mad, use profanities, or even look crestfallen regardless of how bothered you are by something. The reason is that a depressed person can quickly pick up your bad mood through your anger or frustration is directed to another individual or incident. Instead of helping them feel better, your negative attitude might push them further down the depression lane. Hence, it will be best to have a positive attitude often.
5. Try To Make Them Laugh
Keep in mind that one of the significant things that lack a depressed person is the ability to laugh and be happy. They always seem sad or as if their head is floating elsewhere. There may be times when you are chatting away, but then you realize that your loved one’s not even listening. Your only resolve at this point is to try to bring laughter in their hearts once more by cracking jokes or acting goofy whenever they are around.
6. Go To Therapy With Them
Assuming your family member agrees to meet a psychotherapist, it is ideal to have at least one of you to accompany them during every session. You may merely stay in the waiting room while the therapy goes on or be able to come to the clinic as well, depending on what type of treatment the patient wants to do. However, the fact that they are not doing it alone may encourage your loved one to take the doctor’s advice more seriously.
7. Remain On Their Side No Matter What
Lastly, whether they are ready to fight depression or not, you should remain on their side no matter what. Some people, after all, need a few tries before they find a therapy that works for them. Others spend years not wanting to accept that something’s wrong with them. Despite the frustration that you might feel towards their behavior, you can’t leave your troubled family member behind since they need your understanding the most now.
The healing of a person with depression cannot ever start with a mental health professional or even a concerned family member like you. The depressed individual has to want to overcome the disorder for any coping mechanism or treatment to work. Nevertheless, knowing that you will always be their #1 support system may stir their thoughts and cause them to strive to get better.