How do you deal with your loved one who suffers from depression ?

It’s a major challenge for anyone wanting to help a person suffering from depression.

First and foremost, one must understand depression is not sadness as a result of current work, financial or personal situation.

People suffering from depression want to cut off from others. This has nothing to do with anyone in their family.

The negative thought process goes out of control – thoughts of worthlessness, hopelessness, darkness and they see no future and purpose in living – hence they have constant suicidal thoughts.

Though they cut off from people and often appear sad often (remember it is not sadness – it is lack of emotions), they actually want someone to reach out to them on their own.

A simple ‘Hello…Hope you are doing fine ? …Do you have a minute to talk ?’ will help.

People who suffer from depression love deep, meaningful conversation and not to be reminded they are in depression. They like to be treated as normal humans.

Avoid suggestions like ‘depression is in your mind..it’s just a phase’, ‘you need to come out of it’…’go and watch a movie’ ..’we have our problems too..what is your problem’.  If it was that easy to come out of it, they would have.

Any insensitive statement made out of anger will make them think of suicide, however one must understand that they are strong people too who will know how to cope in such situations. This is one of the reason they avoid people because many people in society just don’t know how to have a polite and a positive conversation.

People have also forgotten the old-fashioned courtesy of wishing others ‘Good morning’. Most of the times, even this kind gesture of wishing in the morning do great to keep them motivated during the day.

A few kind word of praise works wonders – there is a lot of healing power in kind words we speak to each other. Unfortunately, in the current electronic communication age, we have forgotten to talk to people in a face to face situation – where there is a lot of emotions on display.

People suffering from depression internally also feel horrible about themselves that they cause misery to their loved ones, who are confused about the sudden change in their behavior.

Be there for them. Listen to them. Once in a while just spend half hour to hear them out. Ensure that you are there when they need you. If your partner suffers from depression, remember, just holding hands or even a non-sexual touch is all that they need.

When they share how they feel, just give them comfort by saying ‘you will be fine…you did great there’

Just an assurance that they are not alone in this world – will set the path for recovery for this dreaded and misunderstood illness.

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