It is truly said: “Some days I can conquer the world, other days it takes me three hours to convince myself to bathe.”
Depressive disorders affect millions of people in the US, and millions more who are relatives or close friends. Many people struggle to find a way towards a stable, healthy relationship with their affected loved one.
There are steps you can take to help improve communication and maintain a healthy relationship. Below I compiled a list of three ways that could help stabilize your relationship with someone in spite of any type of depression.
1. Know The Signs
Recognizing the signs of depression is crucial to recovery. An individual suffering from a depressive episode exhibit a pattern of persistent sad and sometimes suicidal behavior.
During mood swings, in clinical depression, or bipolar depression, for example, some individuals might feel abnormally euphoric or uplifting; this is called hypomania. However, when the anchor drops, a mood swing can quickly turn into a depressive episode, with symptoms like loss of motivation to complete everyday tasks, loss of pleasure, sleep or appetite.
It’s crucial to learn and remember these signs, as it will be easier to understand and predict the thinking and behavioral patterns of the affected individual.
Is someone close to you feeling down or reluctant to go outside? If so, remember this: never force someone to do anything they are not ready for yet. Do, however, encourage them to go out for sunshine, even if it’s a minimal amount, as it can help alleviate depressive symptoms.
If they are taking medication, make sure you encourage to take them every day as instructed by their physician because a missed dose can drastically impact their road to recovery.
Furthermore, saying the wrong words may also alter their recovery. When speaking to them, especially during a depressive phase, keep in mind that their self-esteem is extremely low.
Below are words of encouragement with strong potential to help ease symptoms.
1. “I love you!”
2. “I care about you.”
3. “Do you want a hug?”
4. “You are not in this alone.”
5. “I’m not going to abandon you.”
6. “We’ll ride through this. We’re in this together.”
7. “When this is all over, I will still be here with you.”
8. “All I want to do now is give you a hug and a shoulder to cry on.”
9. “Hey, you’re not crazy!”
10. “I understand what you’re going through and I’m here for you.”
11. “Don’t worry, I will take care of you.”
12. “You mean a lot to me.”
13. “If you need someone to talk to, I’m here.”
14. “After rain comes the sunshine.”
15. “No matter how many times you fall on your face, you are still moving forward.”
Be there for them no matter what. Whether they’re feeling melancholic or anxious, recognize that they are suffering. Prevent them from isolating themselves. Include them in social events, or even a simple walk outdoors would work.
And lastly, spend time with them. Anything to make them feel upbeat — because, at the end of the day, everyone suffering from depression just wants to feel accepted.