By Isabel Rovira Salvador
Depression is a disease that affects 5% of the Spanish population , according to studies conducted this year. Therefore, most people know, or even live with someone who suffers depression to a greater or lesser degree.
In view of these statistics and the difficulties that this condition entails, it is convenient to know how we can accompany these people, making their day to day a little easier. Therefore, in this article we will review several tips to help a person with depression .
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How does a person with depression feel?
In the first place it is necessary to clarify that, despite talking about depression in general terms, this can be presented in different ways and many degrees depending on the person. However, there are a number of common feelings or thoughts that usually prevail in all people affected by depression.
Also, in order to help a depressed person, or at least make things easier for them while they are in the process of recovery, it is necessary to first know how they feel and what they think . Knowing what are those feelings and beliefs that flood the mind of a person with depression will be easier for family and friends to accompany.
Some of the thoughts and feelings of a person with depression are the following.
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1. Devaluation of oneself, despair and affliction
The mood of depression is characterized by being accompanied by feelings of hopelessness and guilt , feelings that cause great distress in the person experiencing them.
Habitually, the depressed person thinks that there is nothing that can be done to improve or fix the situation, as well as experiencing a great disregard or contempt towards herself.
Since the person is perfectly aware of both their suffering and the anguish this causes in the people around them, feelings of guilt for causing a suffering in others are also very common.
All these reflections end up causing in the person a symptomatology of anxious character that is externalized by palpitations, tremors, suffocation sensation and a very disabling general discomfort.
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2. Need for social isolation
Due to previous thoughts and beliefs, it is common for the person suffering from depression to end up rejecting a large part of their social life and their relationships .This need for solitude or isolation can end up degenerating into an almost total lack of communication and personal abandonment.
At the same time, this isolation aggravates feelings of hopelessness and contempt for what becomes a vicious circle for the person.
3. Feeling of lack of energy
The lack of strength or energy to perform any type of activity, however simple or elementary, is one of the main symptoms or regrets that the person refers to.
4. Fluctuations and changes in symptoms
It is common for people suffering from depression to experience a series of fluctuations in their mood throughout the day . As the intensity of the symptoms does not have to be stable during the development of the disease.
Most patients report that their symptoms are milder during the afternoon and that the discomfort is almost always accentuated in the mornings. These cyclical swings generate great anxiety in the person, which anticipates and tries to predict when he will feel bad.
Tips to help the person with depression
Although the above points are only a small part of the wide range of symptoms, feelings and thoughts that can circulate in the mind of a person with depression, knowing them can be a great help when trying to help and accompany them during recovery .
It is necessary to point out that this does not constitute a therapy and that for a person with depression to overcome it, psychological intervention by a professional is necessary.Below are a series of suggestions to help anyone who suffers this type of affliction.
1. Suggest the help of a professional
As mentioned above, no matter how good the intentions of someone who wants to help a depressed person, accompaniment and non-professional advice can not cure a person with depression.
The first thing that must be taken into account is that depression is a disease that can become very serious , and that therefore therapeutic intervention is necessary at the hands of a professional.
In this case, something that can be done is to persuade the person and convince them to seek help or psychological assistance. Although this task will not be easy, it is extremely necessary. Through quiet conversations and with great tact and subtlety , the family should insist on the idea of visiting a professional and, if necessary, offering to accompany him.
2. Avoid advice about life
Although the willingness to help is always positive, suggestions to encourage the person through advice to make them feel better, to reflect on what they have, or through continuous invitations to go out and carry out activities are absolutely ineffective, even reaching be counterproductive and causing more discomfort in the person .
3. Stay by your side
That said, what a person with depression really needs is that the people around them show empathy , that they express their understanding and that they can be by their side when they need it.
4. Strengthen your strengths
Due to diminished self-esteem and undervaluation, the depressed person tends to reject and not admit the advances made during the treatment process. These people tend to highlight their deficiencies or shortcomings and to ignore their potential and their successes.
To help you, it is vital that your closest circles are able to emphasize those skills, abilities or successes that the person possesses.
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5. Respect your silence
It does not make any sense to force or force a person with depression to speak or transmit what they feel, as well as to be sociable, since it is not something that is under their control . This type of approach attempts tend to cause more tension and feelings of incomprehension in the person.
6. Transmit hope
The feelings of hopelessness associated with depression confine the person in a tunnel from which he is not able to see the exit. Therefore, it is advisable that family members or people around him transmit, through a coherent speech and without being overly optimistic , that although he is not able to see it now, there is a way out.
It is necessary to convince him that depression is a disease with treatment and cure and that if he follows the guidelines of the intervention he will get better.
7. Do not ask for explanations
On many occasions, and with the intention of trying to understand what is happening in order to help, the person is pressured to try to tell what causes this suffering. However, depression is not a disease caused by a single factor, and in most cases not even the person himself knows what has taken him to such an extreme.
Therefore, asking rational explanations when the person is not in a rational situation does not make any sense, and will only trigger feelings of frustration and irritation .
8. Take care of one’s emotional health
Finally, it is necessary that those who accompany the depressed person through their recovery are able to avoid the possible psychological effects that this may cause.
Depressive moods can become contagious if the person is not aware of it. Seeing suffering someone dear can trigger a great emotional discomfort so the person must be protected against this possible risk.