How to Help Your Loved One Deal With Depression

 (Photo courtesy: AFP Relaxnews/ Highwaystarz-Photography/ Istock.com)

(Photo courtesy: AFP Relaxnews/ Highwaystarz-Photography/ Istock.com)

Women are more vulnerable to depression than men.

Depression impacts your mood and interest in everyday activities, and women are more vulnerable to depression than men. As per WHO, depression is the most common illness across the world and a major cause of disability. Depression in India has not been completely accepted as an illness. People, often the most inner circle of the person dealing with depression are the ones who hurl remarks that make the fight with this condition even more difficult.

If anyone in your family looks disoriented, uninterested in activities that they once enjoyed, has gone through prolonged physical illness, or trauma – mental or physical, and says s/he wants to be left alone, then treat it like the early signs of depression and help your loved one get out of it unharmed.

Ask your family members to refrain from using the following phrases in front of the person showing the telltale signs of depression:

1. Don’t get into the habit of being sad all the time

2. Seems you love crying even for small things all the time

3. If I had been at your place, I had acted strong and you should too

4. You seem to be happy outside, but the moment you are back home, I don’t know what happens to you

5. Stop whining over past all the time, live in present, it’s as simple as that

All the above phrases may sound ok to a normal person; however, for the one already showing these symptoms we need to understand is not OK, emotionally. Family members and friends need to be supportive. Rather than saying things that hurt or make the other person feel weak of themselves, lend an ear, listen patiently what they have to say about how they feel, arrange a counselling session, take the person outdoors and let him/her vent the feelings that are bottled up deep inside.

Exercise is also something that immensely helps people with mild depression as it releases endorphins and stimulates norepinephrine – a neurotransmitter.

Seek medical help if recommended by the counsellor.

The key lies in helping your loved one with unconditional support, psychotherapy and drug treatment (if need be).

  • First Published: April 5, 2018, 11:50 IST
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