Many individuals all over the world suffer from depression. Although it may not have easily and readily recognizable physical symptoms, it is not a condition to take lightly. The pains are real, though they may be of the emotional/mental/social variety. The condition stops one from being an effective fully- functioning individual.
Moreover, the effects of depression are not limited to the troubled individual alone. Anyone who lives, works, or even simply casually interacts with a depressed person will tell you about how difficult it is to do so. One with depression tendencies is likely to suffer from regular episodes of extreme mood swings. His feelings may be erratic. Even for no significant reason at all, he tends to feel unhappy, miserable even, imagining hurts or slights which may be totally baseless in fact.
This general emotional state is likely to make a person unable to perform work duties effectively, especially when he is beset by such deep emotions. He may be unable to carry on effective social interactions, his low sense of self-likely to hamper his efficiency in dealing with other people. If you have to deal with somebody with all these problems, you can become so drawn to his problems – imagined or otherwise, that you might go through a whole range of feelings. You are likely to become frustrated, angry, defiant, guilty, sad, and helpless. If you allow these emotions to get a stranglehold of you, you are inclined to feel overwhelmed.
Fortunately, you can do something concrete to help. Before you can do this, though, you have to learn some tips about how to help someone with depression.
Begin by finding out what depression is all about. Find out how you should approach your loved one with the goal in mind of constructively discussing with him what it is exactly that he is going through. As you go about this process, do not forget to pay attention to your personal feelings. You have to take care of your emotional well-being first so that you can go on giving emotional support to your troubled loved one. You have to be emotionally strong and healthy to provide a supportive shoulder. This is essential so that the helping relationship will work.
Family members and friends are typically the first persons able to help out in anyone’s battle with depression. It is crucial that you, as a friend, understand the initial signs pointing to a person’s state of mental/emotional well-being. He may not even recognize the symptoms himself. It may take another person – in this case, you – to notice the signs. Your loving concern may be needed to direct your loved one into seeking direction and guidance from a professional who is well-versed about the condition.
It is often tough to broach the subject of depression with one who is going through the pain and turmoil that the condition brings. You may not know how to approach your loved one—apprehensive lest he responds with anger, becoming indignant or indifferent, denying that there is any problem at all. You may not know what to speak or how to act to make him feel your sincere concern and desire to be of help.
Keep in mind that it is essential for the person to feel your compassion. This is more important than any solid advice you can give. Gently persuade him to verbalize his thoughts and feelings, showing him that you can hear him out without being judgmental.
A man who is depressed needs to be constantly reassured that you are there for him – regardless of how badly he feels about himself. If he feels your unconditional support, he is likely to feel less affected by his problems – usually blown out of proportion in his mind.
A depressed individual usually loses sight of his strengths. He feels so small, overwhelmed by his limitations. He is likely to appreciate your reaffirmation – you’re able to keep sight of his strong points, and to point these out to him in a loving manner.
If your loved one feels your sincerity, he may also allow himself to be persuaded by you to seek professional counsel if his situation calls for it.2016-08-25