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Parents and peers play a very crucial role during the time of depression. Several young people feel that their parents didn’t take this disease to be an actual thing. They were often scolded at home and bullied at school for not being able to stay away from the blues. Some felt that they were being a burden to their family and their depression was an addition to the problems for their parents. Many people relished the fact that their parents had been great support whereas some felt that they would have preferred more space to deal with their issues. Some people were too scared to acknowledge their mental state to prevent the anger and upsetting of their parents. Different actions represent different results in these cases making the situation either worse or better.

Siblings also played a big part in the life of people experiencing depression. They said that their brothers and sisters had a different way of dealing with depression than their parents; a bit more distant, light-hearted, or jokey. Some said that the experience of the siblings was a great support, whereas others felt the fear of being considered weak and broken forced them to bury it. Some said their siblings had been young to process things. Whereas some said it was only their sibling’s support that helped them cross that bridge.

As you can see, such things are a major game-changer at this time and you as a person can be on either side of the boat. So here are some pro tips you can use to help those in need.

1) Encourage treatment

People with depression are often unaware of the fact that they’re depressed. They may not be able to acknowledge their feelings and may think their feelings are normal. They might also feel ashamed about their depression and may think that they should try to overcome it silently.

Hence in the above cases, you should rise with the right treatment approach to help the person you care about. Encourage them towards sticking with treatment. Keep a track of their appointments and medications and be willing to listen. Let your loved one know that you want to understand how he or she feels. Avoid giving advice or opinions or making judgments and try to understand their concerns. Try to make them involved with spiritual practice, if appropriate. For many people, faith is an important element in recovery from depression — whether it’s involvement in an organized religious community or personal spiritual beliefs and practices.

2) Identify warning signs of worsening depression

Not everyone in the world has the same signs of depression. Try to understand what concerns them and help them get over it. People with depression are at an increased risk of suicide. If your loved one is severely depressed, try to take all signs of suicidal behaviour seriously and act immediately. Ask if he or she has been thinking about attempting suicide or has a plan for how to do it. Having an actual plan indicates a higher likelihood of attempting suicide.

3) Take action if necessary:

Talk to the person about your concern. Seek help by contacting the person’s doctor, mental health provider, or other health care professional. Let other family members or close friends know what’s going on. Make sure the person is in a safe environment and try to eliminate things that could be used to attempt suicide. Make sure someone stays with that person at all times.

4) Give positive reinforcement.

People with depression often have low esteem and speak lowly of themselves. Try and keep reminding them about their positive qualities and how much they mean to everyone. Provide support.

5) Offer assistance.

For many people with depression, symptoms usually are very severe leading to problems in day-to-day activities. At such times you should stick around and help them. Help create a low-stress environment by creating a routine making them feel more in control. Offer to make a schedule for meals, medication, physical activity, and sleep, and help organize household chores. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you have depression. Everyday stuff can feel like too much and the key is for you to pitch in. Sometimes, a little help with day-to-day things can make a big difference.

6) Be reassuring. Depression distorts a person’s perception of the world, and they may feel hopeless. Keep telling them that with time and treatment, your friend or loved one will see you again.

7) Take care of yourself. This is one of the most important things you have to remember. Supporting someone with depression isn’t easy. You need to set aside time for yourself. Do things you enjoy and be patient. For some people, symptoms quickly improve after starting treatment. For others, it will take longer. During that time you have to take care of yourself as well. You might feel guilty for thinking about yourself. But if you don’t then this all won’t help either of you.

By DIVYA BAHL

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