A Depressed Person Isn’t CRAZY, He/She Needs Helpby: Phil Holleman
When you live with or know someone who is suffering from major depression, you may think you don’t know how to help him or her. Because of the lack of knowledge of the illness, the depressed person may encounter a lack of support.
As with any illness, there are things that you can do to help the sufferer:
Help get rid of the stigma of major depression . The better depression is understood, the sooner people will not be afraid to say they have the illness and seek help.
Offer help to the depressed person. At its worst, major depression will keep him or her from taking care of daily responsibilities. Ask if you can do the laundry, cook some meals and leave them in the refrigerator, do some grocery shopping. When I was at my worst, those things would have helped immensely.
Get the depressed person out of the house, even if he or she doesn’t want to go. I know that when my friend, Stephen, came to visit and got me out of the house, it helped a good bit. It may have only been for a short time, but it gave me a sense of belonging.
Take care of yourself. Since you are dealing with someone who has an illness, there is strain on you. Take time for yourself. Don’t let your entire existence revolve around the depressed person. That opens up the possibility of you becoming depressed.
Join a support group, if necessary. If you are the primary caregiver of a depressed person, anger or frustration may occur. Find someplace to talk about that. A word of caution: Find a group that deals in the positive. It doesn’t help and may make things worse when all the talk is negative. You need constructive advice, not constant whining or moaning and groaning.
If the depressed person is using medication or natural supplements , help him or her to keep in the routine of taking their meds/supplements.
Encourage the depressed person to talk about how he or she is feeling. I can’t say enough positive things about talk therapy . I know cost can be an issue; the church or temple may offer assistance. Organizations such as NAMI may suggest options that are available in the depressed person’s area.
Continue to impress upon the depressed person that he or she isn’t crazy. Let him or her know you will be there to support him or her, no matter what. Having one person who believes in him or her may help more than you will ever realize.
Yours in good health,
Phil Holleman spent 10 years struggling with major depression. After realizing he had the knowledge and strength to rise above the illness and stigma associated with it, he created ABoldNewLife.com to help others who are recovering or desperately want to recover from depression. He hopes you will join him on the journey and use the inner strength to free yourself from the bondage.
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