Mental health disorders do not just affect the individual with the diagnosis. They affect all those in the periphery—friends, partners, kids, and family members. Those friends and family members, in turn, can play a big role in the recovery process—providing support, encouragement, and love at every step of the way.
In fact, support from friends and family members is crucial for an effective recovery process. For those of you who are near and dear to someone with depression, we would offer the following tips and suggestions.
- Get Help. Encourage your loved one to be evaluated and treated by a mental health professional. Understand that depression is no small thing, and should not be left unattended. You cannot make anyone seek treatment, and you should not try to “fix” anyone, but you can certainly voice your concern.
- Education. Learn more about depression and how it affects the brain. Take time to educate yourself. Find some blogs or articles on the topic, or consult the recommended reading list on our website.
- Listen. Be there to listen whenever your friend or loved one wants to talk. You do not need to force the issue and you should give them some space, but do let them know they have someone to talk to whenever they need it.
- Compassion. Remember that depression is a true disease—not a choice. It may affect your loved one’s behavior in ways that are not particularly pleasant, but showing patience and compassion, though difficult, is essential.
- Commitment. Encourage your loved one to stick to the treatment plan, whether that means therapy, medication, or both. Do not enable your loved one to blow these things off or to view them as unimportant.
Be there for your friend or loved one who has depression—and see them through their recovery journey. It is hard work sometimes, but it is so important.
How do you show support for your loved one with depression?
Share your thoughts or comments below and visit us on Facebook!
Westbridge can help you stay in the race.
Call WestBridge Today 1.877.461.7711.