An individual battling mental health issues can suffer on a daily basis, but it also affects the people around them, too. It’s very difficult to be on the sidelines when you are watching somebody you love and care about suffer through mental health, without exactly knowing how to help them. Mental health is extremely difficult because there is no set solution or cure you can give to somebody you see suffering.
If you’re struggling to know how to support someone close to you who has depression, here are a few ideas which may help.
Research Different Treatments
Perhaps the individual with depression does not have the motivation to research into treatment, or maybe they have dismissed it altogether. They may not be in the right frame of mind to have the energy and outlook in regards to seeking treatment. Your help can be invaluable in this if you make the effort to research different options and present them to the individual in need.
The most obvious treatment options are either medication such as anti-depressants or therapy treatment. The person in question will need to be the one to go to these appointments, but there’s no reason you can’t gather information and perhaps make the appointment for them if they are struggling to do it themselves.
Alternative therapy methods are a good idea, as it can help the depressed person talk about their feelings in safe environments. Companies like C2Care work to treat mental health issues through the use of virtual reality software, using technology as a therapeutic tool in changing the way someone with a mental illness thinks and behaves.
Don’t Get Angry at Them
For someone not suffering from depression, and who never has, it can be difficult to understand why your loved one is being so irritable, withdrawn, or negative. It can take a toll on you as a person, understandably, but the key thing to remember is that it’s not their fault.
The worst thing you can say to a depressed person is that they are being selfish, and they need to stop. This will only cause them to spiral more into negative feelings which they can’t control.
They need your unconditional support, not your anger. It may seem hard to give sometimes, but you can’t take anything they say or do personally. Be patient and try to stay calm.
A depressed person may be lacking in a fitness routine or healthy diet due to their lack of motivation and negative thoughts. It’s vital to encourage and prompt them where you can, perhaps offering to go out on a walk in the fresh air with them, or offering to cook a healthy meal.
They may still say no, but that doesn’t mean you should stop asking. It’s important to not consistently pressure them into leaving the house or exercising, as this can have the opposite effect and make them more likely to withdraw, but gentle words of encouragement can help them significantly.