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    Things People With Depression Want You To Know

     

     

    If you haven’t experienced depression first hand, noticing changes in your loved one’s behaviour (not to mention offering some practical advice) can be extremely difficult. Depression is an isolating experience for many, and the unfair stigma associated with talking about it can also inhibit them from seeking the support and treatment they need.

     

    Keep in mind that it’s important to also look after yourself when helping your loved one through those darker days – because you can’t pour from an empty cup.

     

    But with a little insight and advice to help you better understand, the journey for you and the people you love most will not have to be so hard.

     

    Sometimes we don’t know why we feel depressed

    “...it’s not about “getting over it” but rather, getting through it.”

     

    More often than not, depression is a whole lot deeper than life’s problems – and in truth, there may not be any specific reason other than a chemical imbalance. It’s a misconception that’s all too common; but unlike sadness, clinical depression doesn't stem from an external stimulus like a relationship breakdown or job loss, or even the loss of a loved one.

     

    Oftentimes those closest to us will put all their time and energy into finding the root cause of the condition, which can leave them feeling disappointed by their failing efforts to “fix us”. If you’re still trying to understand how to offer your support, just remember it’s not about “getting over it” but rather, getting through it.

     

    Small gestures can go a long way

    “There are a number of small, manageable things you can do to help those with depression feel less alone…”

    While the little things may not be sufficient in overcoming depression, support and kindness from your loved ones can be a source of light in and amongst the darkness. There are a number of small, manageable things you can do to help those with depression feel less alone, like preparing a home cooked meal, inviting them out, or simply by spending time with them.

     

    Feeling like a burden on our friends and family

    “...by reassuring loved ones that they are not a burden, the experience is a lot less daunting.”

    Feeling alienated is a big part of depression, and it can make people feel like an inconvenience to friends and family – or that by talking about it, it’s only bringing them down too. But opening up about mental illness is an essential step towards recovery – so by reassuring loved ones that they are not a burden, the experience will feel a lot less daunting.

     

    Even getting out of bed feels impossible

    “...it can take a great deal of courage and inner strength.”

     

    Everyday tasks like going to work, or even having a conversation can be exhausting – and some days are better or worse than others. Sufferers of depressions are not ignoring you – even when they don’t return your calls. From the outside it may look like laziness, but depression can infiltrate almost every aspect of a person’s life, including motivation levels and the emotional capacity to socialise.

     

    Recovery is a long process that isn’t just a matter of “snapping out of it”, being positive or exercising – so it’s imperative to get the help and support we need. While getting out and about or answering a text may seem unremarkable for some, for others it can take a great deal of courage and inner strength. But don’t give up, just be patient.


     

    Tough love is not the answer

    “...because knowledge of other people’s anguish doesn’t make it disappear.”

     

    It’s likely that someone with depression is already beating themselves up over this – so we need to take the opposite approach. Ask yourself, how would you treat someone with a physical illness? The same level of patience and support should apply to how you treat a loved one living with depression. It also doesn’t matter whether or not things “could be worse” – because knowledge of other people’s anguish doesn’t make it disappear. But with a little patience and understanding, and not to mention the right treatment, those with depression will feel comfortable opening up about their condition, thus aiding recovery.

     

    Just hearing people out can make them feel less alone

    “...don’t put too much pressure on them through this difficult time…”

    Advice isn’t what someone with depression needs the most – it’s understanding. Listening to their pain makes them feel supported without the burden of taking on too much. Encouragement is good, just don’t put too much pressure on them through this difficult time, because patience is a pivotal part of the recovery process. Remember, depression is a constant and exhausting battle, which is why frustration can sometimes be directed towards those closest – but just know that they do appreciate your kind words and that you’re trying to help.
     

     


    Currumbin Clinic offers a number of treatments and support programs, and our clinicians are equipped with the knowledge and experience to treat clinical depression, depressive disorders and related conditions.

     

    If you’re coming to terms with depression or someone you know is struggling with depression, we’re here to listen. Call 1800 119 118 to speak to one of our qualified and compassionate staff members about treatment options today.

     

    This information is provided as an educational service and is not intended to serve as medical advice. Anyone seeking specific mental healthcare or support should consult a clinical psychiatrist.

     

    If you are in distress call Lifeline on 13 11 14 for 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention.

     

    If you need emergency support, please dial 000 for the police or an ambulance

    02 MAR 2018
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