You Could Save a Life
When a family member or friend suffers from depression your support, encouragement, and love can make all the difference. Remember that you also need to maintain your own emotional equilibrium. Depression is a life threatening but treatable disease that affects millions of people of all ages and walks of life. It not only hurts the individual suffering from depression but impacts everyone around them. If someone you love is depressed, you may be experiencing any number of difficult emotions, including helplessness, frustration, anger, fear, guilt, and sadness. These feelings are all normal. It’s not easy dealing with a friend or family member’s depression. And if you don’t take care of yourself, it can become overwhelming. So what are some things you can do to help someone you love who is experiencing depression?
Here are some tips from www.helpguide.org
Learn about depression in order to understand the symptoms and what someone with depression might be experiencing.
Talk about the depression with your loved one. Often the simple act of talking to someone face to face can be a great relief to someone experiencing depression. But don’t expect that a single conversation will take care of it. You may need to express your love and concern over and over again. Be gentle, yet persistent.
Here are a few starters:
“I wanted to check in with you because you have seemed pretty down lately.”
“I have noticed some differences in you and wondered how you were doing.”
Or here are a few questions you can ask:
When did you begin feeling like this?
How can I best support you now?
Have you thought about talking to someone?
Here are a few helpful things to say:
“You are not alone in this. I am here to help you.”
“You are important to me. Your life is important to me."
Avoid saying things like this:
“It’s all in your head.”
“We all go through times like this.”
“Look on the bright side.”
“Just snap out of it.”
“What’s wrong with you?”
If your loved one is in a crisis – DO NOT LEAVE THEM ALONE. Dial 911 or call the Hope Line 1-800-567-4673 (H-O-P-E) There’s a lot more information at: http://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/helping-a-depressed-person.htm#talk Mental Health First Aid training is available for adults and youth in Allen, Auglaize and Hardin Counties and in many other parts of the state as well. Go to www.mhfa.care to find out more or to register for upcoming trainings. While you can’t control someone else’s recovery from depression, you can start by encouraging the depressed person to seek help. Depression saps energy and motivation so even the simple act of making an appointment can seem overwhelming. Be gentle. Be encouraging. Be persistent.
The simple act of reaching out can save a life.