How To Behave Towards A Depressed Person
In our lifetime, we have either been the victims of depression or we happen to know someone who has suffered through it. But what is depression? It is a chronic illness, but most people don’t take it seriously enough. In fact, depression can affect every aspect of your life.
It is normal to feel useless when you see someone you love struggling with something you don’t know how to handle. If you’ve personally never been depressed, you may not know how to act around such people because you’ve never been in their shoes.
Here are some things you can do to help out a loved one.
Let them know you’re there for them
Depressed people often feel alone and that they have nobody to talk to. Be a shoulder to cry on, always try to make time for them, and never make them feel like they’re bothering you. Let them know that there’s nothing you’d rather do than be there for them.
It’s not easy to be there for someone suffering from depression. They are moody and grumpy; sometimes, they will refuse your help and try to push you away when they need your love and support the most. You will need all of your compassion, love, and patience.
Realize they need a doctor just as much as any other sick person
If someone broke their leg or had a high fever, of course, you would take them to a doctor. Depression is in no way different; they need professional help and psychosocial support.
Understand that sadness and depression aren’t the same
Depression is a condition that has various symptoms. People who are depressed often have problems concentrating or remembering details. They have a decrease in energy, and often say they’re tired; they also feel hopeless and pessimistic. It is important to see all of these symptoms early on and offer help as soon as you notice them.
Depression’s best friend is Anxiety
These two very often go hand in hand. Anxiety is like an out of town cousin whom depression feels obligated to bring to the party. Anxiety causes a lot more than just nervousness and worrying. It can cause terrifying fears about things that most people don’t even think about. What’s worse, anxious people know their fears and worries are often irrational, but they don’t know how to stop them.
[su_quote class=”cust-pagination”] “When you get anxious, you tend to have this pervasive thinking about some worry or some problem, and you feel bad about it. Then you feel like you’ve failed, and you move to depression” — Sally Connoly [/su_quote]
Anxiety often comes before depression, though this is not a rule. Therefore, it is definitely something you should be aware of.
The most dangerous and serious consequence of depression is suicide. Always take it seriously when someone talks about death and taking their own life. Sentences such as “Nobody would miss me if I were gone” are always a red flag. These are the symptoms that often show a person is thinking about suicide:
- — They give away prized possessions, often with sentences such as “Something to remember me by.”
- Getting their affairs in order.
- Increased drug and alcohol use.
- Changes in their eating or sleeping patterns.
And the psychological symptoms that follow are
- — Feeling helpless and tired
- — Having moods swings
- — Sudden changes in personality
- — Paranoia
- — Self – loathing
What to do then?
Talking to a friend or a family member about their suicidal thoughts is difficult for everyone. Sometimes, you may even think that you’re just paranoid and that the person would never do something like that. If you have even the slightest doubt that someone might be suicidal, don’t be afraid to ask. Don’t worry; they won’t be mad at you—they might even be happy just because you showed that you cared for them.
Suicidal people often feel alone in this world, so you should give them the opportunity to express all of their pent up sadness and the reasons why they feel worthless. That way, you can show them they matter to you, that they are loved, and there is so much to live for.
Never make them feel like they’re being attacked or judged for their feelings. Always start your conversations with “I’ve been concerned about you lately” and “Maybe I don’t understand how you feel but I still love you, and I want to help.”
Don’t hesitate; you might be saving someone’s life this way. Act before it’s too late!
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