How can you help a family member with depression?

Depression is the most common psychological disorder in our society. Statistical data indicates that approximately 10% of the general population is or will become clinically depressed throughout their lifetime.

However, although this is such a common problem, it is often difficult for the person to spot this symptomatology and therefore it can take a long time to seek help. This is because depression is a very slow onset disorder, and those who suffer from it tend to underestimate this symptomatology at first, believing that it is a transient “bad sequence” and that she can get out of the situation on her own.

But depression is more than all of this; it’s really about an emotional disorder that involves major changes in the way we feel, think, and actAnd contrary to what a lot of people think, it has nothing to do with being more or less strong emotionally.

    How Does Depression Occur?

    When someone is depressed their way of thinking starts to change, he starts to think badly of himself and blame himself for everything that is going on around him.

    Self-esteem is greatly affected, which is why those who suffer from depression believe that others have no regard for it, that the world is a hostile place, and the future is uncertain and hopeless.


    The main symptoms in a person with depression are as follows:

    • Low mood, intense sadness, Feelings of hopelessness.
    • Loss of interest in activities that are enjoyed or having little pleasure in doing them most of the time.
    • Lack of energy or intense fatigue.
    • Eager to cry for no reason apparent.
    • Sound problems (insomnia or excessive sleep).
    • Difficulty concentrating or memory problems.
    • irritability (In adolescents, this symptom is much more common than sadness.
    • Significant changes in appetite, which may lead to weight gain or decrease.
    • Loss of sexual interest.
    • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt.
    • Negative thoughts, Excessive self-criticism.
    • Recurring thoughts of death.

    In addition, depression is a devastating problem for the couple or loved ones as well. usually people in the immediate area do not know how to helpThis usually causes great frustration, guilt, and feelings of anger. This in turn worsens the problem, reinforcing the idea that others reject him and that he is responsible for the suffering of those close to him.

    How can you help a depressed family member?

    Let’s take a look at several tips to help you in these cases.

    1. Don’t blame yourself

    The first is to understand that family support is very important in overcoming depression, but it is the person who must take the responsibility to come out of this situation. In other words, you are not to blame if your partner or a member of your family does not move forward, you are a helper, but in the end, the job of getting out of that pit is right up to you.

    2. Don’t take it as a personal thing

    Although it is complicated, try not to take your pessimism, irritability, apathy and sadness as personal, As they are not under their voluntary control.

    3. Reward improvements

    Every time you smile, take the initiative to do something, Be more affectionate, participate in conversations, feel like going out, etc. Express your gratitude verbally and non-verbally.

    4. Don’t talk about problems all the time

    The depressed person tends to be very preoccupied with all the issues around them. Even if at first it seems like it’s good to let off steam, the truth is that having problems as the only object of conversation causes the person to become more and more obsessed and focus only on the negative side of your life.

    If you stop these kinds of conversations, listen – without judging or blaming her – and change the conversations to something else you know you like.

    5. Don’t overprotect

    Make it clear that you are there no matter what, however without asking excessively or continually paying attention to their behavior. Also, try not to place too much emphasis on behaviors related to irritability or sadness.

    6. Don’t take responsibility

    Do not do tasks that correspond to him, because unintentionally It is an advantage that allows the person to adapt to this situation.

    7. The importance of leisure activities

    As we have seen, the depressed person loses interest in, and even the ability to enjoy, activities he enjoyed doing before. A good helper is encourage them to gradually resume their leisure activitiesStarting with those that cost him the least and those that have been the most rewarding in the past.

    8. Seek professional help

    It is important that this person be handed over to a professional as soon as possibleTo be able to start working on all those issues that reinforce the depressive disorder.

    Once treatment has started, the psychologist will begin to suggest weekly goals that you, as a family member, can help you achieve in order to gradually improve your mood.

    However, you will have to assume that recovery is a long road in which there are usually ups and downs and that it is important to encourage the person not to give up and to stop treatment.

    In our psychology center in Seville we have extensive experience in treating people with this type of problem. Contact us without obligation and we will guide you to find the most suitable way to help your partner or a member of your family.

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