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HealthI think someone I care about has depression, what should I do?

I think someone I care about has depression, what should I do?

Ashley Agwuncha

 

If you haven’t done so already take a look at our article “what is Depression”. It takes you through the basics of depression and gives an insight into what the other person may be feeling.

 

As mentioned in our other article “I think I’m struggling with depression, I’m not sure what to do” we identify that depression is not a sign of weakness and that it can affect anybody. We learnt that it is very treatable with measures such as talking therapies, medication or a combination of both.

 

‍courtesy of World Health Organization

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 planning/cooking.

 

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.

Courtesy of World Health Organization

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

+2348062106493, or +2348092106493

 

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