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Living With Someone Experiencing Depression
By Arthur Buchanan
Living with someone who experiences depression is not easy at times. When they are struggling it can often be hard to know what to do and say. It is not uncommon to have feelings of anger, guilt or fear and feel overwhelmed from time to time.
As a family member or friend of someone who is experiencing depression it is important that you look after yourself.
Learn about depression - Having an idea about how someone is affected by depression may help you to understand why they behave the way they do. This may help you separate the illness from the person and realise that the person's mood or behaviour may not be directed at you personally.
Put yourself first occasionally - This can be hard and you may find that you feel guilty when you do something for yourself. This is important however. Making time to do things that you enjoy is important part of looking after yourself and your family member.
Take time out - Having time away from your family member can also be important and allow you to relax. Try to spend some time doing what you enjoy. You may want to play sport, hang out with friends, listen to music or go for a walk.
Talk about what they find helpful - Make conversations about depression easy and open. Try asking about what helps them when they are feeling depressed. By talking openly, you are letting the person know about your love and support for them. You may like to talk about what you have read and ask how they feel about it.
Support activities - If you are living or caring for someone who is experiencing depression you may sometimes feel you are different or alone. Friends may not understand what it is like for you. Talking to people who are in a similar situation may be helpful. The Association for the Relatives and Friends of the Mentally Ill (ARAFMI) may be a good place to find some support.
You can get some more information and contact details from
Talk to someone - It may be helpful to talk to someone you trust about how you are feeling. Friends and family are people who might be helpful to speak with. If you feel like you are having trouble doing day to day things it may be helpful to see someone like a psychologist or counsellor.
About The Author
Listen to Arthur Buchanan on the Mike Litman Show!