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Ketamine Therapy

How Family Support Can Aid Depression Recovery

8 min read

Overcoming depression is no small task. Nevertheless, there are numerous ways you can help out a family member who is struggling. Family support is like a lifeline for someone who is battling depression. It’s a tough fight but having family there can make a huge difference.

Depression is a widespread but treatable mental health condition that impacts individuals of all ages and backgrounds, disrupting daily life and causing significant distress for both sufferers and their loved ones. If your family member is currently dealing with depression, it is common to experience a range of emotions, including helplessness, frustration, and sadness. Supporting a loved one through such challenges can feel overwhelming, but your presence and support are invaluable to their recovery journey.

7 Ways to Support Someone with Depression

Depression is a serious mental health condition that shouldn’t be taken lightly. It saps a person’s energy, optimism, and motivation, making it impossible for them to simply “snap out of it.” When you notice a loved one struggling with the symptoms of depression, its best to do your personal research on how you can help them. Remember, the symptoms of depression aren’t personal. Depressed individuals may struggle to connect emotionally and might say hurtful things to you whenever you attempt to talk to them about what they are going through. Try not to take it personally—it’s the depression speaking, not your loved one. Here are some steps you can take in order to support your loved one who has depression: 

Avoid Hiding The Problem

Pretending that everything is fine won’t make the depression disappear. In fact, covering it up might prevent your loved one from seeking the help they need. Make a safe space in your home so that they would be able to open up about the issue and you can then encourage them to seek treatment.

Understand Their Lack Of Motivation

It is very important to recognize that your loved one isn’t lazy or unmotivated. The thought of taking steps towards recovery can feel overwhelming for someone battling depression. Your best course of action is to offer patience and understanding as they move forward in their recovery.

Acknowledge Your Limitations

While you can provide love and support, you can’t single-handedly “fix” someone else’s depression. Recovery from depression ultimately lies in the hands of the individual. Be there to offer support in any way you can but respect their autonomy in the recovery process.

Be Present

One of the most meaningful things you can do is simply be there for them. You can make them feel like you are present by checking in regularly, offering them a listening ear without judgment, and taking their feelings seriously. Your presence can provide much-needed comfort and reassurance.

Offer Practical Support

Help out with daily tasks that may feel overwhelming for your loved one, such as cooking, cleaning, or attending appointments. Offering to accompany them to appointments or engaging in some activities together can also provide them with valuable support.

Encourage Seeking Professional Help

Recovery starts with proper treatment. It’s very important to encourage your loved one to talk to a doctor or mental health professional who can offer support, diagnosis, and treatment options. Offer to accompany them to appointments if they feel comfortable and provide encouragement along the way.

Support Their Recovery

Encourage your loved one to stick to their treatment plan, including taking medication as prescribed and attending therapy sessions. Promote healthy habits like regular exercise and a balanced diet and offer them with ongoing support and encouragement throughout their recovery journey.

Identifying Signs of Depression in a Loved One

As a close friend or family member, you are technically the first one who will be able to recognize the signs of depression in your loved one, especially if you spend time together with them often. Being aware of these indicators can enable you to offer support and encourage them to seek help when needed. Here are some signs of depression that you should watch out for:

Loss of Interest

Pay attention if your loved one seems to have lost interest in activities they once enjoyed. This could include work, hobbies, socializing, or intimacy. If they have, start talking to them about it, ask when or how they lost interest in that specific activity so you could get to the bottom of things.

Social Withdrawal

If you spend time with each other often, try to notice if they have withdrawn from social interactions, including spending time with friends, family, or participating in social activities they used to enjoy.

Negative Outlook

Take note if your loved one expresses a consistently bleak or pessimistic view of life. They may talk about feeling helpless, hopeless, or express irritability or moodiness out of character for them.

Physical Symptoms

Be concerned if your loved one frequently complains of physical ailments such as headaches, stomach problems, or back pain. Feeling constantly tired or drained can also be a sign of depression.

Changes in Their Sleeping Patterns

Pay attention to changes in their sleep patterns, such as sleeping more or less than usual. Insomnia or excessive sleeping can both be indicators of depression.

Cognitive Changes

Notice if they seem indecisive, forgetful, disorganized, or mentally “checked out.” These cognitive changes can be indicative of depression affecting their ability to focus and make decisions.

Changes in Their Eating Habits

Whenever you eat together at the same table, try to pick out if there have been any significant changes in their appetite or eating habits. This could involve eating more or less than usual, leading to noticeable weight gain or loss.

Substance Use

Watch for signs of increased alcohol or drug use, including prescription medications like sleeping pills or painkillers. Sometimes, individuals may turn to substances as a way to cope with their feelings of depression.

Making a Safe Space in Your Family

Having a safe space in your family where your loved one who is suffering from depression won’t feel suffocated will help them greatly in their journey to recovery. They need to feel loved, cared for, understood, and listened to. Making your home a sanctuary for them to express their emotions openly is vital for their well-being. Encourage an atmosphere of openness and acceptance, where they feel comfortable discussing their struggles without fear of judgment or criticism. Let them know that their feelings are valid and that you are there to support them unconditionally.

Navigating conversations about depression can be challenging, as you may worry about how your loved one will react or if you’re saying the right things. However, when you start conversations about their current condition, it will help create a safe space within your family for discussing mental health. If you are unsure on how to approach the topic, consider the following suggestions:

  • Express your concerns gently and compassionately. Let your loved one know that you’ve noticed changes and that you’re there to support them.
  • Offer them a listening ear. Remember that listening is more important than giving advice. Encourage your loved one to open up about their feelings and experiences and be willing to listen without judgment.
  • Understand that a single conversation may not resolve everything. Depressed individuals often withdraw and may need repeated expressions of concern and support. Be persistent in your efforts to show that you’re there for them. 

Support Your Loved One’s Depression Recovery
Visit Marpa Minds – Spravato® Ketamine Therapy Clinic in Westchester, NY 

Family support is very important when it comes to depression recovery, as it offers stability, safety, and motivation to individuals grappling with mental health issues. It also fosters self-esteem, confidence, and hope, which are vital components of recovery. Moreover, it also helps the individual combat feelings of isolation and helplessness which are commonly experienced by those with mental health challenges. 

If your loved one is experiencing symptoms of depression, now might be the right time to consider seeking professional help. However, if you’ve already exhausted traditional treatment options without success, there’s still hope. Marpa Minds offers ketamine therapy, including our specialized Spravato treatment, providing a new solution for individuals struggling with treatment-resistant depression. Tailored for cases where conventional therapies have fallen short, our treatment may offer the breakthrough you’ve been seeking. At Marpa Minds, your loved one’s well-being is our top priority.  We’re here to provide a safe, supportive environment where your loved one can feel comfortable and cared for. Support your loved one’s recovery today by contacting us here or dialing 1-877-88-MARPA.

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