Depression is the most common mental illness that affects over 350 million people worldwide and in England it affects 4-10% of the population. It is a problem that is staggering especially amongst the younger generation. There can be several causes for the illness however common symptoms include:
- Continuous sadness or low mood
- Withdrawal from social activity
- Neglect towards self care
- Losing interest and not enjoying things
- Finding simple things that used to be easy, a lot hard to do
- Constantly feeling exhausted
- Finding it difficult to be decisive
- Thoughts of self harm or even suicide
So it is vital that if you know someone who suffers from depression, you also should know how to be able to support them.
The most important part is to encourage them to get help. People with depression are often scared, vulnerable and in denial so can refuse getting the treatment they need. Therefore, if you can, tell a professional (like a school teacher, the counsellor or even a doctor). At the beginning, they might be angry for it but later they will be thankful. Getting help is the most supportive and best thing you can do for someone and once they start to get better and see the results, they will soon start to see that for themselves.
Although sending positive and uplifting texts to someone is a really nice thing to do, when someone is depressed, often it can be the case that unfortunately, anything you say isn’t really taken in by them. They might seem distant from what you’re saying and therefore they’re not fully engaged in the conversation.
When an individual suffers from depression, the smallest chores, for example, tidying their room can seem really hard. So, something you can do is offer to go to their house and help them clean up or do anything which to someone else might seem really straightforward. A depressed individual becomes introverted so they’re less likely to get out of their bed or leave their house so ask your friends and go to their house instead. You could try doing some therapeutic activities like watching a film, do some baking, drinking tea, dancing and singing to your favourite songs,or even do some art. Remember it is crucial that they get some fresh air so encourage them to go for walks or maybe even play some sport! Be patient, be creative and be proactive. Encourage them to keep doing their regular activities and maybe doing it with them will help them do it as well.
If you’re looking after with someone who suffers from depression then you also need to be looking after yourself as well. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, self- care and are eating right but most importantly ensure you’re taking care of yourself mentally. If you can’t take of yourself properly, then you won’t be taking care of someone else at your best.
I was browsing the Internet for some further suggestions and found a video titled 7 ways to help someone with depression which I thought was extremely insightful so I have linked that here .
If you suffer depression yourself or know someone else who does then please don’t fight this alone. There is plenty of information and guidance available online. It can be an extremely difficult time but there are many people out there who would love to support you and show you how much they care. If you live in the UK or the USA, then PsychCentral provides all the numbers you need and can contact you get the help you desire. Click on the link here. Please get the help that you need because it will be all worth it in the end!