When an individual is suffering from depression, family and friends feel the impact as well. Some studies have shown that nearly one in every three amputees suffer from depression, while one in 10 Americans in the general population does. Helping our friends, family and coworkers with depression is no easy task. But your help is vital to their treatment and recovery.
Some tips for helping a depressed love one are:
- Research – Get the facts about depression. Learn more about the causes and treatments.
- Get others involved – It isn’t healthy to keep your loved one’s depression a secret, even if they want you to. That puts too much pressure on you and you can’t handle it on your own. Try to get a small group of trusted family and friends to help.
- Ask about their needs – You won’t know what your loved one wants or needs from you unless you ask. Be direct with them so there is no confusion or emotional stress. Offering to help with practical everyday tasks can make a big difference. Depressed individuals are easily overwhelmed and helping with something simple could go a long ways.
- Don’t take it personally – Recognize that hostility, rejection and irritability are often ways to express depression. Be patient and supportive.
- Ask for help – You can’t solve a problem like depression on your own. Depression is a real illness and your loved one needs professional medical help. There is only so much you can do and your loved one needs to want to get better too.
- Take threats seriously – Suicide is a very real and scary risk for those who are depressed. If your loved one is threatening to commit suicide, don’t hesitate. Take action. Remove all weapons and large amounts of medications. There are suicide hotlines available or emergency services in a crisis.
November is recognized as Family Caregivers Month. Don’t forget to take care of yourself – do things you enjoy, exercise and relax to keep yourself in the best shape to help your loved one. Creative Technology is dedicated to helping those who have suffered from limb loss to not only adjust to life physically with their prosthetic, but emotionally as well. We also have a resource center with advice on caring for your loved ones suffering from depression or other serious mental and physical conditions.