Depression is something which can everyone regardless of age. So those directly around them like you can often feel helpless. My Mum fell into quite severe depression last year and for the rest of the family it was a difficult time since she was normally the happiest one of the four of us. From this experience though, I learned how to help:
1)Talk to them. It may seem fruitless, and they might not even reply but they will appreciate it. Talk about anything,
o What you’ve done today,
o What just happened in your favourite TV show etc.
Having a voice talking around them helps them keep up to date with what’s happened, even if they don’t ask.
2)Try to do small things around the house to to help as this will make things easier.
o Tidy up that small pile of paper that always ends up lying around somewhere.
o Make them a cup of tea, or coffee without them asking.
o Perhaps prepare the meal.
o Hoover around a little.
As menial as it is these small things will help them so much, because it becomes one less thing which is weighing them down.
3) Understand this is absolutely no one’s fault. Not yours, nor theirs, nor anyone else in the family. These things just happens sometimes.
o Don’t blame anyone, or try to put guilt on to someone for this. Trying to find an output for anger will only worsen the situation.
o Help them see this too. One thing which might cause them to relapse is the thought that their illness is pulling those around them down.
o Be there to hold their hand, wipe their tears and hug them in their hardest moment.
As difficult as this time is for everyone, it will push people apart. What you need to see is that they need you more than ever.
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The articles here are written by guest writers or previous TWE members.