According to the National Institute of Mental Health, almost 19 million adult Americans suffer from depression. Depression not only doubles the risk of heart disease, according to research in Psychosomatic Medicine, but it also takes the joy out of life. A person living with someone who is depressed must also cope with the personality changes and, maybe, loss of income if the depressed person is unable to work.
If your loved one suffers from depression, you may notice withdrawl from your family relationships, lack of participation in everyday activities, and even thoughts of suicide. All of this is can easily lead to relationship problems and family suffering. “Depression often divides families,” in Psychology Today, Julie Totten of Families for Depression Awareness says, “Some people don’t understand it and want to run far from it. Others do everything in their power to get a person well, including hunting out magic cures. Ultimately,” she continues, “they realize there’s no such thing. And they feel cheated. Depression has to be managed.”
How to Help Your Loved One Deal With Depression
The way you approach your loved one suffering from depression can make a huge difference in their recovery. Studies show that certain attitudes, such as hostility, criticism, and emotional over-involvement can actually worsen the depression, and increases the chance of relapse. The following suggestions can help your loved one beat depression:
Offer non-judgmental understanding.
Avoid disparaging and negative opinions.
Invite your loved one to engage in conversation, and go out for walks and other outings.
Listen to your loved one when they feel like talking.
Support your loved one. Offer them emotional support and encouragement without trying to force them out of their depression.
If your loved one talks about suicide, take it seriously and seek professional help.
Don’t diminish your loved one’s feelings, but remind them that the depression will eventually lift.
Avoid falling into a depression yourself. Depression tends to run in families, and it’s easy to begin feeling depressed if you’re surrounded by it.
Get your loved one a sound healing subliminal or self hypnosis program designed to alleviate depression. It’s a natural, affordable, and drug free way to ease depression.