Helping a Loved one Through Depression

Helping a Loved one Through Depression

Mia knew the signs of depression all too well. As a child, her mother suffered from frequent bouts, and growing up in a house with a loved one who was affected by this condition made her acutely aware of the forms that depression could take. When her husband fell into a state of lethargy after losing his job, she knew that what he was going through was more than just a bad few weeks, and she was determined to use all of the resources at their disposal to help him through this tough time.

What Mia had witnessed from her mother was that depression has a unique way of draining one’s energy and ability to make necessary steps towards feeling better. She also knew that the best way to work towards stability was by taking things one small step at a time, and with a lot of support. Isolation would lead to stagnation.

Even when it was difficult for her, or sometimes seemed like a one-way street, she would keep communication lines open with her partner. She also encouraged him to set up lunch dates with close friends as a way of getting out of the house and connecting with the world outside. While he often resisted beforehand, afterwards he was happy that he had made the choice to spend time in a different setting, with people he cared about.

Mia also encouraged her husband to do little things that would make him feel good, whether he believed that the outcome would be positive or not. They made a concerted effort to watch movies that they loved, play games, get the right amount of sleep and be active. While exercise was the last thing that he wanted to do, occasionally he could be encouraged to take a walk around the block with her. Eventually, the walks became more frequent and turned into short jogs. Physical activity, plus a much-needed dose of vitamin D, consistently left him feeling more motivated and energized than before.

While it was easy to binge on unhealthy treats and difficult to muster the energy to cook, Mia tried her best to encourage her husband to eat as many fresh, nutritious foods as possible. She replaced snacks in the house with healthier options, such as switching out potato chips for lightly salted popcorn and would often set out plates of fruit and veggies for the two of them.

Most importantly, Mia knew that it was imperative that her husband find a way to challenge negative thought patterns and move forward with positivity. After a few weeks of helping him take small steps toward building up his energy and positivity, her husband agreed to try out counselling. Through research, he had discovered betterhelp.com. It was easy to make a profile and find a therapist that would suit his needs. He also liked that it gave him the ability to start off by chatting online and through text – which was far less daunting to him than meeting face-to-face.

While it took many months, Mia’s husband was able to find ways of coping with his depression and work towards finding a new job and increasing his self-esteem. Every case is unique, and if you or a loved one is suffering, we encourage you to find help in the ways that will work best for you.

 

*All client names and identifying details have been changed to protect the confidentiality of all involved.

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