Depression: how do you discuss the problem with a concerned relative?

Between taboo and fear of awkwardness, many people opt for ostrich policy when faced with a loved one’s mental health issues. Faced with his ubiquitous sadness, his irritability or his lack of energy, how do you break the silence without rushing the person who seems to be sinking into depression? Because they are becoming more and more numerous. The results of a study published in “The Lancet” reveal that the year 2020 saw the number of cases of depressive and anxiety disorders rise by 28% and 26%.

To help you raise this issue with those you love, here’s our advice.

Dare to break the silence

Talking about depression with a loved one isn’t always easy. Whether he is in denial or aware of his situation, it is important that he knows that he has people around him that he can count on. Mental health has long been taboo. In some circles or families this is still the case. Remember, though, that depression doesn’t discriminate between gender, social background, age, or race… It can knock on anyone’s door at a difficult time in their lives. There’s no shame in that. And the sooner the problem is spotted, the more likely it will be addressed properly.

So if one of your loved ones is depressed, don’t hesitate to go and talk to them kindly about it and break the silence.

Offer concrete help

So if one of your family members is depressed, don’t hesitate to go and talk to them kindly about it. This will relieve him of the burden of having to tell you about his condition. Conversely, if you suspect that someone around you is depressed, but they go to great lengths to deny it, try opening their eyes gently by reassuring them of your presence and offering them a recovery plan, concrete action to which it could hold easily.

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For example, you can recommend the name of a psychologist you consulted or heard good things about. And if the path of therapy seems difficult to cross, why not start with an appointment with your GP to take stock of your physical and mental fitness? The latter, more objectively, may find it easier to find the impactful words she so desperately needs.

Please note that this is a disease

Of course, anyone can experience gloom, discouragement, or sadness. “However, sometimes the depression persists and develops into a more serious mental disorder, commonly referred to as clinical or major depression”says the Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Canada’s largest teaching hospital for mental health, in its guide to people with depression and their loved ones.

This mental illness has its origins in several factors: genetics, family history of depression, psychological vulnerability, biological factors, or, for example, life events and stress factors related to the environment.

Adopt a benevolent speech

Learn about depression before you bring it up with your friend, partner, or family member. The more you know about this disease, the more you can find the right words to reassure your loved one. As explained above, depression is a disease, not a mood. It is therefore useless to try to “shake up” a depressed person by telling him to take charge or advising him to see life on the bright side…

Instead of telling him what to do, instead choose benevolence by listening to him without judgment. Lost in the abyss of depression, a depressed person can make a mountain of everyday situations, keep from minimizing his feelings, and search with him for the keys to overcoming these obstacles.

Did you like this article? Also find out how you can help a loved one in depression while retaining yourself.

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