Dealing with depression means struggling daily to enjoy even the simplest gifts that life has to offer. But watching someone you love deal with depression is an equal struggle—it’s common to feel powerless and frustrated. Knowing that someone you care about is suffering can weigh heavy on your heart and leave you wondering: how can I help? In order to best support your depressed loved ones, it’s imperative that you offer the right kind of help, at the right time—for your sake and theirs!
Mental health is hard to understand, and even harder to treat. What’s important to remember is that depression and anxiety are major roadblocks to living a rich and fulfilling life. When a loved one is suffering from one of these mood disorders, it’s critical to remember that they can’t just “look on the bright side,” or “get outside and enjoy some fresh air.” While they wish they could, it just isn’t that simple. For them, it’s a struggle to perform even the most mundane daily tasks—cleaning the house, showering, exercising, or going to work require extreme effort. Remembering that they are overwhelmed by negativity can help you understand how to help them more effectively.
In order to provide the most useful and compassionate help, keep these three things in mind:
- Encourage and support psychotherapy and pharmaceutical aids: Many patients get discouraged when their psychotherapy or antidepressants do not provide noticeable changes in a short period of time. Encourage your loved one to continue with their therapy sessions and medications, even if they haven’t yielded positive results thus far. “Don’t quit before the miracle happens,” is the mantra. Remind your loved one that the benefits of these treatments are often small and incremental, and the key to remission is patience and persistence.
- Listen without judgement: Oftentimes, having depression and anxiety means having a loud inner voice that dictates how a person thinks and feels. This voice usually makes a person feel impotent and vulnerable. In order to counteract this, provide a compassionate ear to your loved one, then provide them with constructive, positive, and non-judgemental feedback. You don’t need to solve their problems, or explain why their sadness is unnecessary—they already know that. You just need to be there for them. It’s that simple!
- Help to maintain their schedule: Usually, a loved one who has depression and anxiety will find it hard to maintain a schedule. Offering helpful reminders to take their medications, or driving them to their appointments could be just what they need to stay on track.
There are numerous ways that you can help a loved one with their depression and anxiety besides just these three suggestions. The most important thing to remember, regardless of the methods used, is to treat them with compassion and patience. By doing so, you increase the chances of your loved one finding a light at the end of their tunnel, and the reward—seeing them smile again—is so worth it.
However, there are severe cases of depression and anxiety that require more intervention than just compassion and patience. If your loved one has tried several antidepressants, and psychotherapy has failed to avail their symptoms, perhaps ketamine infusions are the next step in their treatment plan. Ketamine is effective in up to 70% of patients, and works rapidly—oftentimes bringing relief within 1-2 infusions. Ask us today about how ketamine works, and find out if your loved one is a candidate.
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To request a free consultation or to learn more about ketamine for depression and our other health and wellness services, contact our clinic today by completing the brief form below.