According to a recent study, suicide is in the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States, and the number one factor that drives a seemingly average person to take their life is depression.
Death in the family caused by suicide is a tragedy of catastrophic proportions—something that no one ever really bounces back from easily. But it’s something that can be prevented.
It’s not a simple task to treat depression, but it’s good to know that as family members, we can help someone struggling with it. For anyone suffering from depression, it helps to know that their family is their first line of support before anyone else.
If someone in your family is going through depression, here are five tips you can do to support them:
- Be Willing To Listen
Willingness to listen means giving your 100% attention, having no phone in your hand, making eye contact, and, most importantly, not interrupting the person speaking. Also, remember to take the conversation somewhere private. Ensure that everything you’ll talk about is confidential and whatever’s discussed in the room stays in the room.
If you want to say something while they’re speaking, especially if you hear something you don’t like, try your best to just bite your tongue and listen until they finish. Listening compassionately will give your depressed family member the loving notion that you are behind them completely.
Giving them your 100% attention will help make them feel important and that they matter. It is important to have an open ear and not judge what they’re feeling. Respect boundaries and if they don’t want to talk don’t force them, instead, ask how you could make things better for them.
- Learn The Symptoms Of Depression
More often than not, we mistake depression as a case of simple sadness, especially in teenagers. However, when it persists and it starts to affect their productivity and daily routine, it can be a potential case of serious depression When you’re not keen enough, it may become worse and out of control by the time you notice it. This is why it also pays to educate yourself about the symptoms of depression before it leads to suicide attempts. There’s a lot of depression treatment options available but identifying the symptoms at home is a crucial first step.
- Lack of sleep or too much sleep
- Changes in appetite
- Frequent mention of death or suicide in conversations
- Lack of interest in their usual activities
- Irritability and crankiness
- Feelings of hopelessness and pessimism
- Create A Happy Low-Stress Home Life
Stressors can be found everywhere, but they should be limited to outside of your home. Your home should be a happy, low-stress environment as much as possible. They should be like a sanctuary where you can feel relaxed, be comfortable, and at peace. It should be a place you’d want to be at the end of the day. Depressed family members will feel better if they’re in a clean, organized, and peaceful home.
To make your home as low stress as possible you need to keep it tidy and clutter-free. A home that’s pleasing to the eye creates a positive vibe and a more welcoming aura. A clean and well-kept home invites positivity and can be a magnet for good energy. All these can help create a pleasant environment that can make a depressed person feel relaxed and more settled.
Promote the importance of adequate sleep among family members, especially kids and teens. A good, eight-hour sleep is essential for their age. This may mean imposing stricter rules on gadget use.
- Understand Suicide Risk And Take Action
If your family member continues to show symptoms of depression, you will have to take action. Make your home a safe environment. If you have prescription medicines at home, keep them in any secure storage that’s only accessible to you. Put all sharp, dangerous objects in locked cabinets. Lastly, make sure to save the suicide hotline number on your phone for easy access just in case.
- Take Care Of Yourself
You can’t take care of other people when you’re unwell. Staying healthy can be as simple as doing regular exercises, eating a healthy and balanced meal, taking vitamins, and maintaining a healthy relationship with people around you. Role-modeling these behaviors can rub off on everyone in the family. Your positive influence may help a depressed family member to feel more motivated. Lead them to a healthier lifestyle that can benefit their mental state.
Everyone’s facing a battle every single day. But what’s important is to remember that these battles are not something a family member has to face alone. As a family, members who need support should be able to reach out to their loved ones, especially during their darkest times. It can be just a simple conversation, a pat on the back, or words of encouragement. To someone who feels they’re all alone in their battle, it could mean the world.