Mental health problems are real. It is important to spread awareness about this issue because it can gravely affect one’s quality of life. To help people struggling with depression, everyone needs to be more sensitive and compassionate. Especially if the people afflicted with it are from our own family.
It is indeed painful to watch your loved one succumb to hopelessness. Yet, it is definitely not a time to show weakness or apathy. Instead, it is the right time to remain resilient as you need strength to pull your loved ones out of despair. Here are some tips that can be helpful to a family member struggling with depression:
Mental health issues only started gaining attention recently, so you can expect them to be laden with many misconceptions. You are probably confused about it too, so it is best to gain thorough knowledge about what it really means. It will be easier to help a depressed person if you have a good understanding of what they are going through. Reading books and talking to an expert are some of the things you can do to educate yourself about it. With the right information, you can develop a strong support system for your loved one and the discernment to determine if a medical professional needs to intervene.
Be a good listener.
Every depression has a root cause and you may be very curious to know what it is. Yet, remember that not all depressed people are willing to divulge what is on their minds. This means you have to keenly observe their actions and read between the lines to somehow understand what they are going through. Once they decide to open up, make sure you listen with open ears. This means not uttering any judgment, reacting negatively, or pressing for an explanation. Sometimes, all they need is to let it all out and have someone listen to them.
Offer unconditional love.
Depression can be frustrating and annoying because those suffering from it can show unpleasant behavior. But if you have always been understanding; this is a time to be extra patient and caring. Remind a family member that he or she has your support no matter what. Ideally, the whole family should be united in showing utmost concern and tolerance for their depressed loved one. The unconditional love available at home will give anyone the courage to rise above depression.
Create a positive home environment.
Combat the gloomy feeling that a depressed person feels by maintaining a blissful home. Avoid situations or discussions that can trigger fights or sadness. You would like to create an environment that encourages smiles and laughter from everyone. A happy home may help someone realize that things are not so bad and believe that things will soon get better.
The pain caused by depression can crush someone’s spirits to the ground. However, it is very possible to rise above it, especially with the full love and support of a family member.