Helping a family member deal with depression can be difficult for everyone. It can make family members feel helpless and lost with even broaching the subject, let alone providing guidance or help. Often times, depression can signal or worsen the negative aspects and dynamics within a family. This can cause further emotional, mental, and physical turmoil and push family members farther away. We have created a short guide to help provide assistance in handling and managing a family member who is suffering from depression. Here’s how you can help.
Learn the Symptoms
Depression isn’t just a “bad mood”. You can’t just “snap out of it”. Therefore it’s important to remember that depression is a physical but treatable illness. Depression symptoms manifest differently in individuals, however, they often become so severe the adversly impact day-to-day activities, social life, and relationships. If you notice a family member who has lost interest in activities they once enjoyed, are sleeping frequently or not enough, or have trouble thinking it might be time to sit down and have an open, honest discussion with them.
Stop the Blame Game
It’s no one’s fault that someone is suffering from depression. Therefore, playing the blame game isn’t going to make a situation better. When blaming stops, recovery begins. Cultivating a “we’re all in this together” attitude can relieve a depressed person from that cold, isolating feeling that frequently comes with depression. Fostering this teamworks attitude helps confirm that you are also willing to do whatever it takes to help them feel better.
Set Realistic and Expectations
When starting treatment and adjusting to new medications, there can be some interesting changes happening in the daily routine. Ultimately, this can impact all members of the family. While it’s important to remember to give your loved one some leeway, it’s also crucial to not let them totally fall off. Setting a schedule or small expectations can help families and its members retain some sense of normalcy and purpose. Patience, understanding, and compassion are most important keys to remember here.
We Can Help
These tips help to recognize the importance of self-care for both the family member and the person dealing with depression. It’s important to remember that the health of all family members involved are interconnected. At times, their distress may become yours and vice versa. Fortunately, we have compassionate and knowledgable specialists who can assist struggling care givers and those dealing with depression get the help they need. Call us today to find out more information on assisting a family member who is suffering from depression. Nobody has to be alone in this journey.