how to help someone with depression and anxiety
What is Depression
Depression can pounce on you at any age and the older you get; the more prone you are to this condition. Depression in the elderly usually stems from other illnesses which makes them dependent on others. It is either the loss of independence, chronic pain or other debilitating health conditions which makes them depressed. A lot of times what is depression in senior citizens is just the side effect of commonly prescribed drugs for treatment of their various age or health related issues.
Make sure, that if you or a loved one has started to feel depressed after starting a new medication, consult the attending doctor and get it looked into before the depressive condition worsens.
How to Help a Person with Depression and Anxiety?
Contrary to common belief depression is a very serious mental illness that affects all aspects of a person’s life from their lifestyle to their mood and can even affect their physical health. Depression affects people of all ages from all walks of life and there is no way of anticipating who, where or when it might strike.
Depression doesn’t just affect the person suffering with the illness but it also affects those around them. If one of your loved ones is suffering with depression you may be experiencing any number of emotions from frustration, helplessness, anger, fear, sadness or even guilt. Sometimes it is hard to know what to do when someone you love is battling something that can’t be seen by the naked eye. It’s important to remember that all these emotions are 100% normal.
Even if you are feeling these emotions there are still things you can do to help a person with depression.
The best first step is to learn about depression as a whole. The more knowledge you have the easier it will be to understand what is going on in the mind of the person you are trying to help. One of the biggest things you need to know is how to talk to your friend or family member about depression and how they are feeling. (how to help someone with depression and anxiety.)
Things You Need to Remember about Depression and Anxiety:
Depression is a serious illness – it’s important to remember that even though most of the symptoms aren’t physical and cannot be seen by the naked eye depression is still a very serious illness that has extreme impacts on a person’s life and well-being.
Depression isn’t personal – Depression can make it hard for a sufferer to connect emotionally with anyone, even those they love the most. Depression can lead the sufferer to lash out and get angry at the people they are closest to and this can lead to them saying hurtful things. It’s important to remember it’s the depression talking, not your loved one, try not to take it personally or let it get you down.
It’s not possible for you to ‘fix’ someone else’s depression – remember that the only person who can fix their depression is the person who is suffering with it. Don’t try to rescue your loved one. The only person who can rescue them is themselves. You are just there to support and care for them while they are on their way to recovery.
How Do I Tell If My Friend Has Depression?
There are a few simple signs and symptoms that you can look out for if you suspect someone you know suffers with depression.
When should you be concerned?
- If your friend seems like they don’t care about anything anymore
- they have lost interest in work, sex, hobbies and other activities
- express a negative outlook on life
- uncharacteristically short-tempered, sad, irritable or moody
- regularly complain about aches and pains like headaches, stomach aches, back pain or joint problems
- drinking more alcohol than usual or abusing drugs including sleeping pills and painkillers
- have withdrawn from friends and family
- less sociable than usual
- talk about feeling helpless or worthless
- forgetful, disorganized or indecisive
- complain about feeling tired all the time
- sleep less than usual or are sleeping too much
- eating more or less than usual and have gained or lost a significant amount of weight (how to help someone with depression and anxiety.)
How do you cheer up a depressed person?
There are a few things you must remember when talking to someone with depression about how they are feeling.
What You Can Say That Will Help:
- You aren’t alone in this
- Might not see it right now but what you are experiencing is going to change
- Tell me what I can do that will help
- When you feel like you want to give in just tell yourself that you can hang in there for one more second, minute, hour. It’s all about baby steps
- Your life is important to me. You are important to me
- I probably don’t know exactly how you feel but I care about you and I want to help you
Things You Shouldn’t Say To Someone With Depression:
- Look on the bright side
- It’s all in your head
- Just snap out of it
- Get over it
- What’s wrong with you?
- We all go through situations like this
- You have such a good life, why do you want to die?
Taking Care of Yourself Can Help a Loved One with Depression
It might sound odd to think that taking care of yourself can do anything to help a loved one with depression but the truth is it really does help. Knowing that you are alright can be a big weight of your loved one’s shoulders, especially when they aren’t feeling great themselves. Always remember this: How can you take care of someone else if you can’t even take care of yourself? You won’t do yourself or your loved one any good if you aren’t up to scratch and you will most likely crack under the pressure and only make things worse.
Tips to Take Care of Yourself
- Talk about how your feeling – don’t withdraw yourself from other people. You can’t support anyone if you don’t have support yourself
- Keep your own life on track – suspending your own life isn’t going to do you or your loved one any good. It will only encourage them to do the same
- Set some boundaries – you want to help but you can only do so much. Don’t overdo it
How do you manage depression and anxiety?
Living with someone with depression is one of the most painful and frustrating things in the world. This is because those suffering from depression are almost on a self-hating and self-destructive road, and trying to rescue someone bent upon harming themselves can be difficult. As the one trying to offer depression helping, you are bound to feel helpless and at your wits end and in some cases might end up suffering from depression yourself as well. But the fact of the matter is that, even thou the depressed person may reject all your efforts, they are silently screaming for mental illness help. Depressed people often try to kill themselves, and in doing so they are actually trying to gain someone’s attention and begging for help.
This is why it is important that the one offering help for depression, be resilient, patient and genuine in their commitment towards helping. The only way of doing it is by recognizing the signs of depression. This can be vital since majority of times, the patient themselves don’t realize the situation they are in. Mostly they believe they are just grieving or feeling blue.
So, here are a few ways for anyone to help out their loved one or friend who believes they are simply feeling blue and not desperately in need of depression helping:
- Identify the symptoms of depression
- Once you are sure they have depression, try to convince them to seek help. In case the person is a child or a teenager, help them get treatment.
- Show the person who is depressed that in spite of their condition; they are loved, needed and cared for. Let them know that their becoming normal is important to you and that’s why they need to get better.
- Research and recommend resources for frustration help.
- the patient is disabled for some reason, accompany them for treatment even if they insist, they can manage. They will eventually appreciate your presence for moral support if nothing else.
- patient is too young to give their medical history or discuss their initial history with the doctor, be resent to act as a go between for the patient and the doctor.
- the depression has gotten so severe that you fear suicide, intervene immediately and have the patient institutionalized.
- patient is uncooperative and refuses to be treated, rally friends and family to help you convince the patient to seek depression help.
- Trouble with those helping depressed people is that they will eventually get frustrated and give up -Don’t! Keep pressing the patient to seek help and keep telling them that you care and will not abandon them no matter what.
- If all your efforts to offer help for depression are going to waste, take drastic measures. Contact people who can put social or emotional pressure on the patient to seek frustration help, like an employer threatening to fire them if they don’t get treatment or a spouse threatening divorce.
Remember, it is a tough road to travel but, in the end, if you are successful, it will be worth it. Always remember not to push too hard. It’s easy to push someone over the edge when they already feel like they are standing so close. Allow a depressed person to admit they are depressed but don’t allow them to wallow in it for too long. Encourage them to get out and about and seek treatment. (how to help someone with depression and anxiety.)