Does your loved one suffer from severe depression or anxiety?
We all go through many ups and downs in our lives and during these times we struggle with our emotions. But to recognize a family member or a friend going through this emotional struggle is important to help your loved one know that he/she is not alone in this struggle and has your support.
Terming the problem
Mental breakdown or a nervous breakdown is the term generally used by people who are suffering from severe depression or anxiety. But these terms are not labeled as a clinical diagnosis by a medical professional.
Contrary to this, a mental health issue is the result of a mood disorder like an anxiety disorder due to overwhelming feeling caused by the stress of life or depression.
Don’t miss the following warning signals
There are remarkable changes in the behaviour of the person suffering from an anxiety or severe depression. Look out for the following symptoms of depression or anxiety:
- Sudden withdrawal from loved ones
- Constant feeling of hopelessness or helplessness
- Least interest in their own hobbies or activities which they liked the most
- Inconsolable crying or feeling lost
- Sudden panic attacks
- Easily irritable or angered
- Suicidal thoughts or preoccupied with thoughts and ways to end life
- Poor work performance
- Poor personal hygiene
- Overwhelmed feeling
- Extreme fear of some misfortune
- Sleep disturbances… either sleeps a lot or does not sleep at all or wakes up at slightest disturbance
- Remarkable weightloss or weight gain
How can you help your loved one deal with this situation?
Offer patient listening: Listening is very important. Offering patient listening and empathizing with your loved one can help come out of the lonely feeling. Don’t rush in your suggestions for trying to meditate or visiting a counsellor at this moment as this can make them angrier. You can instead empathize with them and say that “You can see that they are going through a lot and it is definitely not easy to deal with this kind of situation”, or “You do not understand the depth of damage he/she is feeling but what could you offer them to help them deal with situation?”.
Advice help of a counsellor: When your loved one is in a state of listening, then approach to them and advise them gently to seek professional help. It is a very sensitive topic which needs to be handles with utmost care and them not to feel that they are suffering from a mental disorder to take help of a psychiatrist. Your approach and words should be put forward to show that you are truly concerned about them. You can say, “I am concerned about you. Could I get an appointment with your doctor to help us know what you are going through?” or “It’s not to scare you but can we go visit a professional who can help you deal with your anxiety?”.
If your loved one does not agree or like the idea of visiting a professional, then do not get upset or force them to do so. Instead wait and after some days if you feel that they are a little settled and will understand the concern then gently suggest once more.
What do you do in a crisis state?
If your loved one is constantly thinking or talking about suicide then seeking professional help becomes very important. You do not panic as the person suffering from depression or anxiety is already in a panic state. If they have attempted suicide then call on the emergency help number in your area. Be around your loved one and encourage then to share their feelings with you even if seems to be very difficult to hear them. Try to gently convince them to seek professional help.
Helping your loved one suffering from severe depression or anxiety is a big challenge but your valuable support can help them pave way to recovery.