This article is by Soledad House
It is one of the biggest questions anyone can ask: is my loved one struggling with depression? It pays to help someone who is depressed as this disease can lead to suicide if left untreated. In 2017, about 17 million adults in the US suffered at least one major depressive episode. Studies also discovered that the risk of a significant incident is higher among women than men. So, how will you know if your loved one is affected?
Symptoms of Depression
The people closest to you will offer backup in the fight against depression. As such, it’s critical to distinguish the warning signs early. Genuine concern can motivate someone suffering from depression to open up. However, if you continue to let matters lie, your loved one may think that no one notices or cares. Therefore, it is critical to know the symptoms of depression, so you can answer the question, “Is my loved one struggling with depression?”
There are some behaviors and other symptoms that may indicate that your loved one is struggling with depression. These behaviors may include symptoms such as:
- Not caring about anything anymore, especially losing interest in activities that were pleasurable before
- Expressing a negative (or bleak) outlook on life, for example, talking about feeling hopeless or helpless
- Frequent complaints of pains like stomach problems, headaches, and back pain
- Oversleeping or sleeping less than usual
- Eating less or more than usual
- Drinking more alcohol than usual or abusing (prescription and illicit) drugs
Is My Loved One Struggling With Depression? How to Get Someone to Open Up
At times, it’s hard to speak to people who are suffering from depression. You may not know how they’ll react if you intervene in their situation. Many people fail to help their loved ones because they don’t want them to get angry or feel insulted.
The best place to start is by being a compassionate listener, which can be more important than giving advice. Encourage the person to talk about their feelings, and then listen without being judgmental. Don’t expect the person to open up after a single conversation.
Those suffering from depression tend to withdraw from other people, so you must continuously check up on them to prevent isolation. Express your willingness to listen repeatedly; be persistent, yet gentle. It would help if you also offered encouragement, support, and hope.
Unconditional support will play a significant role in your loved one’s addiction recovery process. The person suffering from the illness needs immediate help, but everyone around them also needs group therapy.
Get Help for Depression Today
If you’re asking “is my loved one struggling with depression?” it can be very challenging to control a loved one’s recovery process. However, you can start by encouraging the person to seek medical assistance. Keep in mind that depression saps the energy out of a person, so the simple task of finding an addiction treatment program may seem daunting.
Due to such obstacles, be ready to find a doctor and attend the therapy sessions together with your loved one.