It is difficult to see depression affecting someone close to you. At times, you may feel like there is nothing you can do to help them. But by working alongside your loved one and, provided they agree, their healthcare professional, you can play a key role in supporting them in the management of their depression, and helping them reach their recovery goals.
For someone with depression, your friendship and support can be as important as that provided by their healthcare team. So make sure your loved one knows you are there for them, whether it is to simply listen, or to help them stick with their treatment plan.
There are different ways you can team up with your loved one and their doctor:1,2
Above all, when depression makes your loved one closed off or hurtful, try to remember that it is due to their illness, and not to take things to heart. It’s important to take care of yourself as well – supporting someone living with depression is not always easy and can affect your mental and physical wellbeing. Practice self-care wherever you can, and build a solid support system around yourself and your loved one, in order to work through this difficult time together. Most of all, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
For more advice on how to care for your loved one, as well as yourself, the European Federation of Associations of Families of People with Mental Illness (EUFAMI) have published the “Caring for Someone with Depression: Caring for two?” brochure. Click below to download it and learn more.
Do you have a relationship with your loved one’s healthcare professional?
At work, is depression affecting your ability to: