Supporting A Loved One: How To Help Someone With Depression

Depression can be a difficult and emotionally draining experience for both the person who is suffering and their loved ones. While it can be hard to know what to do and how to help, it’s …

Depression can be a difficult and emotionally draining experience for both the person who is suffering and their loved ones. While it can be hard to know what to do and how to help, it’s important to know that support and understanding can go a long way in assisting someone who is suffering from depression. This article seeks to provide guidance on how to support a loved one who is battling depression and provide advice on how to help them cope.

I. Understanding Depression

Physical Symptoms: Depression can cause a variety of physical symptoms, such as:

  • Lack of energy
  • Insomnia or excessive sleeping
  • Significant weight gain or loss
  • Body aches and pains

The physical symptoms of depression can be debilitating and can seriously impact an individual’s ability to function.

Psychological Symptoms: Depression can also cause psychological symptoms such as:

  • Ongoing feelings of sadness and hopelessness
  • Feelings of worthlessness, guilt and shame
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Diminished interest in everyday activities

These psychological symptoms can profoundly affect an individual’s emotional wellbeing and drastically reduce quality of life.

Behavioural Symptoms: Sufferers of depression may also exhibit certain behavioural changes, such as:

  • Difficulty completing routine daily tasks or activities
  • Increased irritability
  • Social withdrawal or isolation from peers or family
  • Excessive or inappropriate risk-taking behaviour

Depression can lead to significant lifestyle changes and can interfere with an individual’s ability to build meaningful relationships.

II. Identifying Symptoms of Depression

Depression is a serious and debilitating mental disorder that can include symptoms that vary from person to person. It is important to understand the signs and symptoms of depression in order to recognize the illness and seek professional help if necessary. Depression is a treatable mental illness and, with the help of a trained professional and various treatments, can be successfully managed.

Common symptoms of depression include:

  • Loss of interest in activities that were previously enjoyed
  • Feelings of sadness, emptiness and/or worthlessness
  • Lack of motivation and/or energy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Uncontrollable feelings of guilt and/or hopelessness
  • Changes in appetite and sleeping habits
  • Trouble with memory and decision making
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

For some individuals, depression can adversely affect their daily functioning and take a significant toll on their quality of life. It is important to contact a medical professional if any of the above symptoms last for more than two weeks or become more intense as time goes on.

III. Establishing a Support System

Now that you have identified possible areas of need in terms of emotional, physical, dietary, and lifestyle support, it is time to create a support system to help accomplish these needs. A strong foundation of support from friends, family, and professionals can help make these more easily achievable.

  • Start by consulting with your primary care physician about any health and lifestyle issues you identified. They can provide advice, resources, and referrals to reputable professionals in the area.
  • Reach out to friends and family for emotional support. Talk openly and honestly about what your needs are. You will be surprised to find individuals who are able and willing to help.
  • Look into virtual or in-person support groups in the community. These offer a safe environment to explore different aspects of life with like-minded individuals.

Finally, ensure to practice self-care. Take time to rest, relax, and practice calming techniques like yoga, deep breathing, and meditation. Speak to a counselor or therapist if you feel overwhelmed and need an extra listening ear.

IV. Developing Healthy Coping Strategies

Effective coping strategies are essential for mental wellbeing. Unhealthy coping mechanisms may serve as a temporary antidote for stress, but over time can lead to detrimental physical and psychological effects. By developing healthy coping strategies, individuals can learn to deal more effectively with stress, creating a better balance between life challenges and joyous experiences.

While particular coping strategies may differ from one individual to another, some principles remain the same. Generally, developing powerful coping skills requires a person to focus on self-care and self-awareness. This process involves thinking through challenging situations, gaining knowledge about how to deal with stress, and carving out time for enjoyable activities.

Some healthy ways to cope with stress include:

  • Finding Support: connecting with friends, family, professionals, and support groups in order to talk through issues and get perspectives from others
  • Relaxation Techniques: trying activities such as meditation, deep breathing meditation, muscle relaxation, and progressive muscle relaxation
  • Physical Exercise: engaging in physical exercise, as it is found to be a powerful tool for reducing stress and boosting physical and emotional wellbeing

When faced with stressful situations, engaging in such healthy coping strategies can be of great help. These strategies are also conducive to emotional stability, establishing a better control of behaviors, and creating a more positive outlook on life.

V. Seeking Professional Help

Although it is not always required, seeking professional help may be necessary when planning a party. Hiring a professional has many benefits and can simplify the process.

Time Saving: Professional party planners already have a network of people they can use for catering and decorations. They know how to find the right people for different tasks and can often get them to work within the timeline. This saves you the effort of contacting people one by one, or searching for providers.

Stress Relief: You do not have to take care of every task associated with the party. The professional planner is responsible for setting up and coordinating with vendors, handling decorations and attending to details you may not have known about. This relief can let you focus on other important matters for the party. Here are more benefits of hiring a professional planner:

  • Ordering supplies can be easier with help
  • Professional advice for theme, menu and other ideas
  • Better budget control
  • On-site assistance for a smooth process

When selecting a professional, research their reputation in the market and find out how they plan, prepare and manage our gatherings. It is important to trust them, as this will make the entire process easier.

Depression is an incredibly isolating experience, but it’s important to remember that you are not alone. Offering support and understanding is essential in helping someone suffering from depression. Speak with a mental health professional for more specific advice on more effective ways to support a loved one struggling with depression and provide them with the necessary resources to seek effective treatment.