How to Show Love to Someone Who Suffers Depression
A loved one suffering from depression must know that he or she can count on our unconditional support and that we we'll be there no matter what
Depression is an exhausting and dangerous disorder that can diminish the quality of life of those who suffer it.
It has physical and emotional repercussions that can be severe enough to be considered a disability.
The most distressing is that the depressed person feels that no one can understand what is going on and tends to become isolated to not feel judged.
And even though this has been shown to be an illness that requires treatment, there are those who still consider it to be a character flaw in certain situations.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): “to be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks.”
What’s certain is that it is not easy to get through and requires the support of loved ones to get over it completely.
We’ve provided some recommendations to show love and support for those who are suffering this painful disorder.
We are not alone
When a person is depressed, it’s often like he or she is in a dark tunnel filled with obstacles.
As loved ones, it’s important to make it clear that they are not alone and can count on a helping hand to get through each difficulty.
In the beginning it may seem useless and discouraging because nothing we do makes them feel better. However, constant effort and actions will let them know they are not alone in the battle.
Challenge destructive thoughts that depression creates
The sadness that this illnesses is known for usually comes with a large amount of painful and treacherous destructive thoughts.
They cause regret for living, self-blame and bring to mind all of the defects one may think of for oneself.
A way to challenge this is to point out all of the qualities and achievements that led the person to who he or she is.
Help with errands
During a period of depression, household tasks like cleaning and other errands go undone.
Over time, dust builds up, dirty plates go unwashed and the fridge becomes a mess.
These things, together with sadness and feeling helpless, makes someone feel like they’ve hit rock bottom.
So one way to help is to keep the chaos under control, helping maintain a clean and harmonious environment.
Prepare a healthy meal
When going through an episode of this disorder, two things may happen regarding diet: not eating enough or eating to excess.
It’s dangerous in both cases, because as time goes by there are impacts on physical health that only make the problem worse.
The person suffering from depression may find that fast food is a simple solution, or skipping meals.
However, both actions generate nutritional deficiencies and negative consequences for both health and state of mind.
Make sure you provide support by cooking a healthy meal, preferably with ingredients that stimulate serotonin production.
Discover more: Diet for Depression: Foods that Cheer you Up
Give a hug
According to Dr Grewen, the benefits of hugs are scientifically proven, and in fact are recommended by many as therapy to increase energy, improve state of mind and mental health.
Even though many who are depressed do not like to be touched, a sincere hug may comfort them and make them feel they have support.
Don’t ask for explanations for depression
One of the mistakes people make is to ask for explanations about what is going on or pressure them to talk about their problems.
What they don’t realize is that the person doesn’t want to explain and would prefer to distance him or herself before trying to.
Unconditional support and encouragement can be offered without the need to know all the details. Unless the person wants to say something, it’s best to respect his or her silence.
Seek professional help to deal with depression
As we’ve pointed out from the start, depression is a serious illness and at some point can require professional intervention.
Even though support and advice of loved ones can help in some cases, it’s not always enough to get over it completely.
Psychiatrists and psychologists can get to the bottom of the situation without damaging the person who is suffering.
Discover more: Fighting Depression with Yoga
So one way to both support and demonstrate love is by accompanying the loved one whenever necessary to doctor’s appointments.
To conclude, it’s good to remember that helping someone with depression is not easy and requires personal strength. Moods and states of mind can be contagious and difficult to manage.
It’s important to prepare as much strength as you have at your disposal in order to help.
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