How can I save my depressed family

Dealing with Depression: Tips for Family Members

The social environment plays an important role in people with depression. Be it family, friends or work colleagues - social contacts are immensely important. Always. But especially when you're in a state of depression.

Get out of the snail shell with depression

Although people with depressions know that an active social life has a positive effect on them and their illness, they tend to withdraw, especially during a depressive phase.

The desire for rest and being alone is a characteristic symptom of the disease. Knowing how wrong it is to pursue this desire, those affected often hide themselves completely.

 
In such a situation you depend on the personal environment to react attentively and sensitively. Relatives can counteract the withdrawal with a lot of understanding and patience.

Relatives are not psychotherapists

It takes a lot of empathy and a high degree of sensitivity to properly deal with depressed people. Family members, partners and friends should always be aware that they are not supposed to fulfill the role and task of a psychotherapist. Purely therapeutic help belongs exclusively to a professional. It is of course a tightrope walk on the one hand to take care of a sick person and at the same time to keep enough distance so that the condition of a loved one does not get too close. But it is important for the depressed person's environment, not for them illness to feel responsible.

Create closeness

During depression, there is little or no self-esteem in those affected.

By withdrawing, the feeling of loneliness is intensified and depressed people often feel cut off from the world.

 
In addition, they often do not want to be a burden to those around them with their negative mood, their lack of drive, their pessimism. The environment can counteract this very positively: Establish closeness, show understanding, listen.

Understanding and patience are key when dealing with depressed people

Often it is enough to inquire about how they are feeling, to convey to those affected that they are thinking of them. An invitation to an excursion, a walk or a meal can often work wonders.

As soon as depressed people feel understood and accepted as they are, a relative has already achieved a lot. It's not primarily about fighting the symptoms. That is not the job of relatives. It's about providing security, understanding, paying attention and not losing patience.

 
Because of course it can happen that suggestions are rejected, the sick person continues to close himself off. But with patience and the effort to empathize with the depressed person, family and friends can be of great help in dealing with depression.

Photo credit: (c) iStock.com/jacoblund