Depression can be a serious disorder if it is not treated. The condition does not discriminate on who it affects and why. Anyone of any age, socioecological background, race, religion, and sex can develop depression. Unfortunately, not everyone will seek help.
As a family member or close friend of someone with depression, you can have a sense of helplessness because you cannot do anything for them. You can experience a range of emotions, feelings, guilt, anger, and sadness. This is normal. Trying to help someone when they do not want help is not easy.
The main thing to remember is you need to make sure to take care of yourself and maintain your health and well-being. You will not be able to help them if you neglect yourself. Your support and compassion can be beneficial to their recovery once they are ready to get help.
The best thing you can do is to learn as much as you can about depression. The most effective way to do this is by speaking to a counsellor qualified in treating depression. Not only can they help you learn more about how depression is affecting your loved one, but also help you with your feelings and emotions.
Your counsellor can even help you develop the best methods for approaching and talking about depression with your family member or friend. You can learn what not to say to someone who is depressed. There are several phrases some people use that does not help the situation and can make it worse including:
- You are being ungrateful towards your family and friends.
- You just need to snap out of it.
- Just deal with it – life happens.
- Man up.
- Just change your attitude.
- You do not look sick.
- You are being so dramatic.
- You are being mental.
- You are just imaging the problem.
- You have no reason to be depressed.
Contrary to what you might believe, depression is not just a matter of someone feeling sorry for themselves. It is a clinical disorder that causes someone to experience an extended “low” for a prolonged period.
The most important thing to remember is it is not your responsibility to “fix” your family member or friend. Instead, you need to support them, be compassionate about their condition, and be a good listener when they are willing to open up and share their feelings.
Furthermore, a single conversation with a depressed person does not “fix” their problem miraculously. It will take several conversations and the willingness to be supportive and listen when they need it.
Additionally, you cannot force someone who is depressed to talk to you or seek help. Forcing them to do something they are not ready to do can make the situation far worse.
For more advice and support on how to help someone with depression, please feel free to contact Toronto depression counsellor, Ellen Starr at (416) 488-3102 to schedule a consultation appointment today.