Chances are you know someone with depression. It may be a family member, friend or coworker. It’s unfortunate that depression is so common in today’s world, and our loved ones are being affected.
If you haven’t dealt with depression or you’ve never lent support to someone who is dealing with it, here are a few ways you can show you care and and give support.
Start With A Walk
Someone with depression can benefit greatly from physical activity. Invite them for a simple 5-10 minute walk, nothing too extensive. Not only do you benefit from the physical activity, but you are providing a natural medication for depression by being outdoors.
Invite Them To Share A Meal
Often times, the effects of depression will translate into an unhealthy diet. However, a healthy diet can really help with mood disorders. Avoid eating fast food and invite them to share a healthy meal with you.
Avoid Tough Love
Someone who has depression doesn’t possess the ability, like most, to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and carry on. The last thing they need is tough love. The more you tell them to be stronger, the weaker it makes them feel and the further they pull away. As an alternative to tough love, display understanding and take on the role of encourager.
Ask How They Are Feeling
When a patient who is diagnosed with depression starts a new medication, be sure to ask them how they are feeling. While suicide is the extreme end of the spectrum, the risk for suicide and other abnormal emotions and feelings is highest within the first two weeks of beginning a new medication. Use those first two weeks to ask how they are feeling and how the medication is working.
You have felt helpless in the past when trying to support or comfort someone struggling with this, these are suggestions that anyone can apply today. Small gestures make a big difference and many patients appreciate you caring enough to take the journey with them.
If someone from your family is under your care and dealing with depression, it is a good idea to consult with their doctor or provider regarding their specific situation. Our providers at Warner Family Practice are equipped to provide real feedback and advice on how you can best support those in your life who suffer with depression and other mental illnesses.
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