Depression can hit everybody. Its deadly power millions of people, from young to old and from all walks of life.
Depression symptoms include helplessness, frustration, anger, fear, guilt, and sadness. These feelings are all normal. And true enough, it’s not easy to combat with depression. And if you neglect your own health, it can become overwhelming and destructive. Depression makes it difficult for a person to connect on a deep emotional level with anyone, even the people they love the most. It’s also common for depressed people to say hurtful things and lash out in anger. Remember that this is the depression talking, not your loved one, so try not to take it personally.
It’s really important to talk with someone that can understand your feelings and sentiments. Hiding the problem won’t make it go away. When someone is suffering from depression, the daily routine or hobbies that may help you to feel better can seem exhausting or impossible to put into action. This is a hard job though but with patience as you encourage the person who suffers from depression is they needed the most.
People tend to underestimate the symptoms of depression and it’s a serious mental health problem. Depression drains a person’s energy, optimism, and motivation. Your depressed loved one can’t just “snap out of it” because depression eats us alive.
Family and friends are often the first line of defense in the fight against depression. That’s why it’s important to understand the signs and symptoms of depression. You may notice the problem in a depressed loved one before they do, and your influence and concern can motivate them to seek help.
- Have he lost interest in work, sex, hobbies, and other pleasurable activities. Have he withdrawn from friends, family, and other social activities?
- Their mood is irritable, short-tempered, critical, or moody; talks about feeling “helpless” or “hopeless.”
- Frequently complains of aches and pains such as headaches, stomach problems, and back pain. Or complains of feeling tired and drained all the time.
- Sleeps less than usual or oversleeps.
- Eats more or less than usual, and has recently gained or lost weight.
- Tends drinks more or abuses drugs, including prescription sleeping pills and painkillers.
How to talk to someone about depression
Depressed people will have a hard time to express their feelings, that is why patience and understanding is really important Don’t expect a single conversation to be the end of it. Depressed people tend to withdraw from others and isolate themselves. You may need to express your concern and willingness to listen over and over again. Be gentle, yet persistent. Let them feel that you are open and willing to listen.
Ways to start the conversation:
“I have been feeling concerned about you lately.”
“Recently, I have noticed some differences in you and wondered how you are doing.”
“I wanted to check in with you because you have seemed pretty down lately.”
Questions you can ask:
“When did you begin feeling like this?”
“Did something happen that made you start feeling this way?”
“How can I best support you right now?”
“Have you thought about getting help?”
Always bear in mind that being supportive involves offering encouragement and hope. Very often, this is a matter of talking to the person in language that they will understand and can respond to while in a depressed state of mind. Depressed people can be hard-headed and numb but don’t let them feel worse or unloved. Be mindful and delicate with your words and advices. More importantly, open your ears.
Tips for Talking about Depression
What you CAN say that helps:
“You’re not alone. I’m here for you during this tough time.”
“It may be hard to believe right now, but the way you’re feeling will change.”
“Please tell me what I can do now to help you.”
“Even if I’m not able to understand exactly how you feel, I care about you and want to help.”
“You’re important to me. Your life is important to me.”
“When you want to give up, tell yourself you will hold on for just one more day, hour, or minute—whatever you can manage.”
What you should AVOID saying:
“This is all in your head”
“Everyone goes through tough times.”
“Try to look on the bright side.”
“Why do you want to die when you have so much to live for?”
“I can’t do anything about your situation.”
“Just snap out of it.”
“You should be feeling better by now.”
Seek support. You are NOT betraying your depressed relative or friend by turning to others for support. Joining a support group, talking to a counselor or clergyman, or confiding in a trusted friend will help you get through this tough time. You don’t need to go into detail about your loved one’s depression or betray confidences; instead focus on your emotions and what you are feeling. Make sure you can be totally honest with the person you turn to—choose someone who will listen without interruption and without judging you.