Another aspect of treatment is the support from friends, families and
carers as they too play a massive role in the recovery from depression. It is
important that we remain patient and continue to persevere despite what is
happening as recovery takes time (recovery time could be anywhere from 6 months
to years). Avoid stressing the individual out as this can make the depression
worse. Make it clear to the individual that you want to help and try to listen
without judgment. Always keep in mind that your opinion is not always needed or
warranted as the individual may sometimes just want a listening ear or a shoulder
to cry on. Leave the problem solving aspect to qualified health care
professionals as they have years of experience in these matters.
You can offer your support by finding out more about depression, encouraging
them to seek professional help and accompanying them to appointments. If
medication is prescribed, encourage/remind them to take their medication. They
may also benefit from you helping with everyday tasks such as meal
Help the person to stay healthy as well as keeping their social life
alive. This can come in any shape or form from being their gym partner or
inviting them to events. It is also important that you make an emphasis on the
positive rather than the negative when you are around them.
If they are thinking about self-harm, or have already intentionally
harmed themselves, do not leave them alone. Seek further help from the
emergency services or a health-care professional. In the meantime, remove items
such as medications, sharp objects and firearms.
Most importantly remember as you look after others never forget to look
after yourself because your mental well being will determine the quality of
care you give to others. Do not forget to take out personal time for yourself where
you can reflect and relax.
For more information and advice on what to do call these hotlines to speak to trained professionals that help deal with depression