Helping someone struggling with depression, anxiety, material abuse or some other kind of mental illness can be quite overwhelming, especially if the patient is someone close. Moreover, seeing someone you love going through pain or having a tough time can be a painful experience in itself. This is why most centers for psychiatry in Dubai give caregivers proper instructions on how they can look after the patients.
There are many ways to educate yourself to become helpful to your loved one struggling with mental health issues. In this article, we’re going to talk about some practical ways in which you can help your loved ones.
The most vital step for helping a loved one suffering from depression is to understand the symptoms clearly. Although the symptoms of depressive disorders vary from patient to patient, the major ones are similar in almost everyone. Some of these are:
Clear Symptoms of Depression to Watch Out For
The most important symptom of depressive disorder is having episodes of depressive mood or loss of interest or pleasure in all activities. But in adolescents and children, the mood is more irritable than sad. Other symptoms include:
- Constant feelings of hopelessness, sadness or emptiness.
- Insomnia and hypersomnia.
- Irritability and anger outbursts.
- Visible weight loss or weight gain because of changes in eating patterns.
- Lack of interest in day-to-day activities.
- Restlessness or psychomotor agitation.
- Fatigue and loss of energy.
- Having difficulty in thinking and concentrating.
- Constant thoughts of self-harm, death, or trying to attempt suicide
- Impairment of social and occupational functioning
If you observe that you or a loved one is showing these symptoms, immediately seek medical aid. It would be best if you took them to a reputable center of psychiatry at your earliest.
Caring for Someone with Depression
People suffering from depression don’t acknowledge that they are going through it or struggling with everyday routine. Their lack of awareness about depression makes it quite challenging to care for them and support them to get better.
Moreover, the stigmas attached with seeking treatment for depression also keep a lot of patients away from therapy. So, we have jotted down some effective tips that will definitely help you in caring for them.
Let’s take a look at them:
Care For Yourself
Taking proper care of yourself is essential if you want to be able to look after someone else. You have to be healthy to look after the patient because it needs a lot of energy to do it. And if you, yourself, have depleted energy, how can you look after someone else. This is the main reason therapists recommend that the caregivers of the patients should focus on their own health too.
Take into Account Your Own Feelings
Not just care about the patient, consider your own feelings too. Remember that depression can be really demanding both for the patient as well as the caregivers. So, it’s important to check your feelings from time to time because your feelings can serve as a valid response to certain challenges you might be facing.
Because of the stressful nature and fatigue that a caregiver has to go through, it is always good to join some caretaker support group. These groups can come in quite handy, especially when you feel stuck at a dead end. In addition, talking with some other caretaker or a therapist can help you inventing out your frustrations as well as come up with a better plan.
Get Insight on Depression
One should also have some deep knowledge and know-how about the issue they’re going through. Therefore, before you start caring for a person with depression or anxiety, you must know exactly what depression is, its symptoms, and how you can treat it. Gaining knowledge about it can really make it easy for you to understand the patient.
Moreover, when you know how depression works, you’ll be able to help the patient in a better way. So, it’s always good to do some research on depression and gather some facts about it. But remember that you must get the information from a reputable source.
Likewise, it would help if you also researched how a depressed person behaves as it will give you a proper understanding of what the patient’s going through.
Don’t Be Personal
When you’re dealing with someone with depression, you have to keep your personal feelings at bay. You should remember that depression can significantly impair a person’s thinking capabilities and social skills. And they may act like someone that you don’t know. They can even withdraw from you completely or become really shy, sullen or even angry. But you should keep in mind that this isn’t the person doing it, instead what the depression is making them do.
We are well aware that being a caretaker can be really hard for the one always receiving outbursts of anger, sadness, depression, anxiety, etc. Still, you’ve to keep in mind that these outbursts aren’t even directed at you most of the time. You’re just at the wrong place at the wrong time so, you shouldn’t take it personally. Rather try to understand them because they’ve no one else other than you they can turn around to.
We know it’s really difficult not to feel anything when your loved ones pull away from you, especially when you’re in a romantic relationship. In situations such as these, you might even feel that the other person doesn’t love you anymore. However, you have to understand that this behaviour is only because of the depression that the other person is going through.
Its important that you must learn to support the patient in every situation if you want to be a caregiver. Sometimes the most helpful thing you can do for anyone struggling with depression or any other mental health issue is to lend your support. Making the patient believe that they are not alone and you are in that with them is the best thing you can do for them.
In all, even though caring for someone with depression can be pretty overwhelming, we hope that the ways we have mentioned earlier will definitely help you in doing so. Having said that, always remember that you can help them the most by taking them to the best psychologist in Dubai. So, book an appointment at the earliest and get their treatment started. The sooner you do it, the better it is for them.