Depression doesn’t only affect the person who’s suffering from it, but it also extends to include close family members and friends. As a loved one, you can feel overwhelmed and clueless about how to approach your family member. At times, it makes you withdraw completely, fearing you might trigger their anxiety. And even though depression causes your loved one to self-isolate, it’s treatable.
Here, recognizing the symptoms and then offering support can help treat the depression disorder in the long run.
So, if you’re someone looking for ways to play a supportive role in your loved one’s life, reading this blog can help.
We’ve listed a few dos and don’ts of living with a person undergoing mental stress.
1. Do Your Research
Depression is as much new for you as for your loved one. Start with reading research studies and treatment criteria for mental stress disorders. Allow yourself the time to analyze the signs and symptoms of depression before approaching your loved one.
For that, you can check out our blog 5 Initial Symptoms of Mental Health Disruption that Indicate You Need Help.
Doing thorough research helps in asking relevant questions about the condition your loved one is going through.
2. Ask Questions
Sometimes, people think asking questions can be too self-imposing or even triggering. But if you’ve done your research, you’ll have a better idea of approaching your loved one at appropriate times.
Ask about how they’re feeling and the troubling thoughts. And while they talk, make sure to be attentive in response.
While being available all the time is not feasible, knowing about their triggering situations can help shape a treatment plan. And if you feel like your loved one is having suicidal thoughts, get in touch with qualified mental health professionals at once.
3. Offer Reassurance
Individuals undergoing mental or social anxiety disorders tend to feel lonely. It gets to the point of them being reclusive and avoiding physical contact.
In such times, you need to make them realize they’re not alone. Keep reminding them that they’re not responsible for their depression.
And remember, offering support doesn’t mean you have to accompany your loved ones everywhere. Instead, be there for them when they need you the most. Amidst all this, keep reminding your loved one that there is hope, and all is not lost yet.
4. Create a Soothing Environment
Reassurance only works well if there’s a comforting environment to go along with. A tense home atmosphere or continuous belittling emotions can lead to worsening of the anxiety disorder symptoms.
What you can do is create an environment they find soothing. Make things as smooth as you can while keeping in mind the triggering factors.
Often, loud noises or uncertain situations trigger people dealing with generalized anxiety disorders. Ensure that’s not the case in your home setting. Or if such a situation becomes inevitable, take them out for a walk outside in fresh air to help them feel relaxed.
5. Help Your Loved One in Getting Treatment
Most of the time, people undergoing different types of depression disorders don’t even realize their condition. So, getting treatment is far from their minds. In some situations, they don’t even try to seek anxiety disorder treatment fearing shame and judgment.
As a close family member or friend, you can play a significant part here.
Help them realize treatment isn’t something to be ashamed of. Once you convince your loved one to see mental health counselors, offer to go with them in the initial visits.
This way, your loved ones will know that they have back support to lean on in their times of need. Eventually, it will help in getting them back on track with minimum consequences.
At Quality Psychiatric Health and Wellness, we have qualified health professionals with whom you can schedule appointments. We offer individual sessions as well as while you accompany your loved one for support. Contact Us today or make a virtual appointment.
Don’ts that You Need to Remember
Living with individuals who’re undergoing anxiety can be overwhelming. And even though you mean your best, there are a few don’ts while approaching your loved one.
- Don’t appear too concerned, as it can cause your loved one to withdraw even more.
- Don’t pass judgments or personal advice.
- Don’t minimize their sufferings.
- Don’t tell them to get over it.
- Don’t tell them depression is a phase – it’s an actual illness that needs proper treatment.
Before You Go
Being supportive doesn’t mean you should make your loved one feel dependent on you. Don’t lose sight of your own needs and goals, and allow yourself the time to feel human.
And remember, you can only support your loved one in their time of need when your mental health is stable.
So, if you or a loved one has been dealing with undue stress and anxiety, talking to licensed mental health counselors is the best option.
One final thing to keep in mind:
Support your loved ones without losing track of your wellbeing.