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5 things to know about living with someone who suffers from depression

It is difficult to understand and relate to a person who is suffering from depression. The lack of understanding can either cause you to distance yourself from the person or become frustrated with that person. There are certain things to know and understand before you decide to end your relationship with that person.

Living with someone that has been diagnosed with depression can often impact on a relationship. Better understanding what the person is going through, as well as what your role is in supporting them, can not only help the person, but improve on your relationship with them. Haley from Meaningful Minds Psychologists mentions a few ways to better cope in such a relationship.

  1. The person is NOT feeling sorry for themself; they are suffering from a neuro-chemical imbalance. So ultimately this feeling is out of their control.

  2. Try not to get frustrated with their state of depression. Rather let them know that you are there for them and that they are not alone. This is a difficult time for them, not just you. People often get frustrated and tell the person to ‘Snap out of it”. This can often make things worse.

  3. Do NOT let your lack of understanding of this condition distance yourself from the person as they need to know that they are still loved/ cared for. It often helps to read up on the condition on internet sites such as the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG).

  4. Even on medication, the person may still feel depressed, depending on the severity of the depression. It is important to remember that the medication is not a “happy pill” but rather that it helps make the depression feel less severe and less debilitating(so that the person is able to cope better with their environment). Often the best treatment for depression is a a combonation of psychotherapy and medication.

  5. Try getting the person the appropriate help. Refer him/her to a psychologist (such as here at Meaningful Minds Psychologists), psychiatrist or either to SADAG (011) 234 4837 or LifeLine (011) 728 1347.

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