“People often think that if someone suffers from anxiety or depression that they may be weak. In fact, they’re a lot stronger than people think.”
We all feel sad or down from time to time; it's a normal response to life events, and part of what makes us human. Depression is constant and persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness. These feelings can make you lose interest in the important things in your life. They can also make activities that you used to enjoy seem like too much effort. You may become irritable, and spend less time with friends and family.
By spending less time doing the things that bring purpose and fun to your life, your depression can lead to other problems. You may find yourself relying on alcohol or drugs to help manage your moods. This in turn can increase your depressive symptoms and make positive action seem more difficult.
There are different types of depressive disorders. While they all affect your physical and mental health, they differ by how long you remain affected, when they occur, and possible causes – which can vary greatly from person to person.
You can help tackle your symptoms by re-engaging with the meaningful things in your life. Finding out more about depression, and the actions you can take to manage it, is a positive step in your recovery.
Living with a mental health condition can be challenging, but you are never alone. It’s important to take the first steps in getting support.
Helping someone with depression
A person with a depressive disorder will become increasingly inactive and socially withdrawn. One of the most useful things you can do is support them in rebuilding their engagement with the things that they enjoy and find satisfying. Help them to develop a realistic activity schedule, and encourage them to stick to it.
Rebuilding engagement is likely to be a gradual process, and will require your patience and understanding. Try not to blame them for their inactivity and understand that you may need to do more at this time to maintain the relationship.
Looking after yourself
While caring for someone is rewarding, it can be physically and emotionally challenging. Don’t forget to take some time to look after your own mental health and wellbeing.