Although one of the most common mental health concerns experienced by people of all ages, depression is a serious mental illness that can negatively affect one’s quality of life. If one of your loved ones is struggling with depression, you likely are wondering what you can do to help them. While depression is a complicated disease that often requires therapy and sometimes medication to cure, there are several ways you can reach out to your friend or family member in need.
When a person has depression, they may act differently than they often do, and others may even get frustrated at the way they are acting if they aren’t familiar with the illness. Understanding common symptoms of depression can help you understand how your loved one’s condition will affect the way they act:
- Increased anxiety
- Mood swings
- Loss of interest in activities
- Insomnia or excessive sleeping
- Lack of appetite or excessive eating
- Problems concentrating
- Suicidal thoughts
While depression manifests itself differently depending on the individual, your loved one might not want to get out of bed or participate in activities he or she normally loves. You can expect possible angry outbursts and scary suicidal thoughts. It is important you don’t make your loved one feel guilty for the way they are feeling and to instead just let them know you care.
Encourage Them To Seek Help
If your loved one is struggling with depression and thoughts of suicide but is not seeing a mental health professional, encourage them to make an appointment and get some help. Many people choose not to get the treatment they need because of the stigma surrounding mental health, so remind them that they are not weak for trying to move forward in the healing process. It can be very difficult for people to find resource information about depression, so assist your loved one in finding useful information on the condition and finding a mental health professional in their area.