This week is Depression Awareness Week, so we spoke to Stephen Buckley, Head Of Information at mental health charity Mind, to get advice on living with someone with depression.
Depression can affect everyone in a household, so sensitivity and honesty are important in dealing with the symptoms. Here are 7 tips to keep in mind if someone you live with is suffering from depression.
1. Talk to each other
Depression can be a difficult subject to broach, but being honest with each other is really important. Gently telling them they don’t seem themselves and that you are there for them can be a good place to start.
2. Be open and honest
If they have been acting differently, ask them how they’re feeling – they might not realise their behaviour has changed so it will help them to take a step back and really think about it.
3. Don’t blame them
It’s easy to get frustrated with family members when things go wrong or you feel they aren’t pulling their weight at home, but getting upset with them will only make them feel worse – chances are they are already blaming themselves for the way they are feeling.
4. Encourage them to get help
Encourage them to visit their GP and assure them that you are there for them; there are lots of different options when it comes to treating depression, from talking therapy to cognitive behavioural therapy and more.
5. A healthy diet and exercise are important
Eating healthily and exercising are important factors in your overall wellbeing. Encourage them to keep busy and look after themselves – it can make a big difference to their mental health.
6. Be patient
Change won’t happen overnight, so try to be patient and supportive as they treat their depression.
7. Look after yourself too
Living with someone with depression can be tough at times, so it’s important to take care of yourself. Talk about your own feelings too, either with friends and family or with a support group.
If you would like more information on getting treatment and support, visit mind.org.uk.
Mind is a partner in Time to Change, England’s most ambitious campaign to end the stigma and discrimination faced by people who experience mental health problems.