How would you help a loved one with depression?

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stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 8/30/2009 7:13 AM (GMT -7)   
Good Morning Everyone,
 
What would you do to help a loved one with depression?  I would like to see people share the many ways you can help and support a person with depression.

Helping a loved one

Support is an important part of the recovery process for someone with depression. Family members can help a loved one diagnosed with depression in the following ways:

  • Learn about the disorders.
  • Recognize and praise small accomplishments.
  • Modify expectations during stressful periods.
  • Measure progress on the basis of individual improvement, not against some absolute standard.
  • Be flexible and try to maintain a normal routine.

It is important for family members to keep in mind that the recovery process is stressful for them, too. It's helpful for them to build a support network of relatives, friends, and therapists for themselves, if necessary. With proper treatment from a mental health professional, depression can be overcome.

Please take the time to share the ways you have or would do to help a person with depression.

Thanks All,

Kitt


 

Kitt,
Moderator: Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn
Anxiety/Panic, & Depression
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"When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others."
Not a mental health professional of any kind


manyembers
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 424
   Posted 8/30/2009 7:23 PM (GMT -7)   

  Hi Kitt,

  That is an excellent post.  Practical and to the point.  I found it helpful.

  I also think what Cowboyup shared in one of his posts is helpful here, which is that love is something that will continue to give even if it does not get in return.  I know for myself sometimes it is hard to love like this...well usually!  But when I try to respond with love, even if my h isn't always acting the most loving, I gain compassion for his hurt, rather than building up anger over his behaviors.

  I find it helpful to consciously separate the condition from the person, and to look beyond the person's performance to the intention of the heart which is that they are doing the best they can and to honor that. 

  Also like you shared, even the smallest of accomplishments need to be acknowledged and celebrated.

  Oftentimes art can be a really good therapy for depression, anxiety and other similar things.  So encouraging the person to write or journal, to paint, to create music, draw etc..   Art allows deeper emotions and thoughts - things that we can't always find words for - to find expression and release. 

  manyembers

 

 



THE HAPPY TURTLE
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 18743
   Posted 8/30/2009 7:56 PM (GMT -7)   
thx kitt.
 
1. to accept that the person is depressed, and that it is a medical condition.
 
2. to not be scared to talk with the person.
 
3. ask how you can be of help.
 
4. to research ideas regarding helping tools and ways of providing supportive care.
 
5. know what to do in a crisis.
 
6. to not judge, to hear, via listening, and to engage the person to be fully engaged in their owm development and recovery.
 
7. to help with support and professional services options.
 
8, to remember that the person is a human being and not their dx.
 
cheers. jamie.

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 9/1/2009 7:08 AM (GMT -7)   

Manyembers and Jamie,

Thank you so much for your input.  I would love to hear from other members re this topic.

As the depressed person it is always good to know how I may help others going through the very same thing as I am.

You are both awesome members of this great forum.

Gentle Hugs,

Kitt


getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40568
   Posted 9/1/2009 7:20 AM (GMT -7)   
Kitt,

I guess I would say that I would be there for my friend, and encourage counseling.

I know that I can't fix somebody elses depression, but I can point them in the right direction to get help for themselves.

I think the other person has to go through the healing process themselves to learn from the experience.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


THE HAPPY TURTLE
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 18743
   Posted 9/2/2009 5:35 AM (GMT -7)   
kitt......don't forget about how wonderful YOU ARE TOO!!!
with absolute and total compassion. jamie. scool scool scool

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 9/2/2009 6:59 AM (GMT -7)   

Karen,

Great answer and I do agree with you re the person with depression has to work through their own healing process.  Just being there for them  even if your not talking is often a huge comfort.

Jamie,

Thanks for the sweet words......... :-)

Hugs

Kitt


polarsmom
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 9/2/2009 7:52 AM (GMT -7)   
I've been dealing with depression/anxiety/ocd for many years. The last year has been really tough. And there are some days that are worse than others. And sometimes a handful of days where I can't seem to get out of this dark place, this funk, or whatever you want to call it. So speaking as a person who needs help, and what I think would be helpful from those in my life.......

Sometimes I honestly don't know what you could do to 'help'. It's not like someone can do something and POOF everything is all better. But there are times when I could just use company. Just be there. But don't ask a bunch of questions. That doesn't help me. I'd rather get out of my head and quit thinking so much about stuff. I'd like to be able to lighten up, relax and just enjoy the moment. Watch TV with me, go for a walk. Talk about music or something that has nothing to do with work, bills, kids, chores or whatever.

Be patient with me. I need a little extra TLC when I'm having a rough time. Just like you'd do for someone who has a nasty cold or something. I'm sure that people around me can see I'm not quite myself. Just be a little nicer, patient or helpful. Those things do make the day a bit easier.

And then there are times when I just need a hug. My husband seems to know when I need a really good hug. And sometimes I end up just having a little cry. Over nothing in particular. Just releasing some emotions. But I feel better afterwards.

I also try to do extra reading. I get into bed with a good book and lose myself for a little bit.

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40568
   Posted 9/2/2009 9:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Polarsmom,

Thanks for the insight. And (((((hugs))))). I know it is hard for you right now. And I hope that we can help you get into a better place.

Depression is hard, I know, I was there for years. I have dealt with depression for over 30 years and it is a hard road to travel.

Sometimes we want contact with others and sometimes we just want to be left alone. Though I know that the contact is healthy, but sometimes we just have to be alone and reflect on things.

With that being said, I hope that we can provide the support that you need.

Best wishes to you.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


Cowboy up
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 52
   Posted 9/5/2009 4:27 AM (GMT -7)   
The only thing I would like to add is do not take what the loved one says or their actions personally. It is the depression talking and not the person.

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 9/5/2009 7:52 AM (GMT -7)   

Cowboy,

Great answer and advice.  Thank you so much for sharing.

Kitt :-)


THE HAPPY TURTLE
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 18743
   Posted 9/6/2009 12:06 AM (GMT -7)   
ditto to cowboy up, kitt, polarsmom, karen and all who have posted on this thread. good insightful stuff on helping. jamie smurf
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