The Value of Support When Coping With Depression and Anxiety

The Value of Support When Coping With Depression and Anxiety

Depressive illnesses are psychological ailments of the brain. Sufferers of depression may feel that they have to go on with life out of duty to perform but feel little or no desire to participate in the activities that even once used to bring them joy. We see this in the example of Major League Baseball player Aubrey Huff, who battles with depression and anxiety.[1] He comments, “People ask me all the time, ‘It must be cool to walk away a champion.’ And I say ‘Yeah,’ but deep down I’m lying to myself.”

An overwhelming feeling of hopelessness or worthlessness may characterize a depressed person’s disposition, even if they strive not to dwell on this or to convey it to other people. They may become prone to overeating or loss of appetite, have suicidal thoughts or have pains that they are not sure of the source of, concentration difficulty and trouble regulating sleeping habits.

When It Gets Really Bad–Depression Coupled With Other Challenges

Depression is often combined with other mental health issues, especially anxiety disorders. These disorders may include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic attacks, constant feelings of anxiety or social phobias. Substance abuse is also more commonly seen with those suffering from these disorders. Also, if ailments of serious disease, such as cancer or other chronic health issues, are present, depression has a higher surface rate. Sometimes the treatment of one co-occurring illnesses will lessen the effects felt by depression.[2]

Professional Help Can Start in the Right Direction

Getting help for dealing with depression is critical although many sufferers do not choose to do so. It could be that they underestimate the value of professional and emotional support. However, as depression is an officially and clinically recognized disorder, there is a lot of understanding out there and a lot of help available that can greatly relieve suffering. The Mayo Clinic recommends a number of suggestions for getting support in dealing with this disease.[3]

First, it is wise to seek the presence of a mental health professional or perhaps of a doctor who can perform an analysis and decide whether to refer you to one. Such a trained professional will be able to understand how to support the sufferer when he freely expresses to him any feelings and symptoms as well as any details that he has pieced together regarding when symptoms began and when they seem to be most unbearable.

Seeking Support From Any Available Resources

Self-help books and websites can be a great help. There are numerous experiences available and success stories of people who have shared similar circumstances. What may have felt like nothing but a big gray cloud will start to develop into understanding as a depression patient hears their foggy symptoms clearly defined and expressed by others who have felt the same way.

Although not all material out there on this topic is to be trusted, a good mental health care professional should be able to recommend a few good places to start looking. This is one way to get at least a form of support. However, self-help books will not alone help one to break free from the grips of this illness. Stronger social support understanding will go a long ways and help symptoms dissipate more efficiently.

Help guides often recommend that sufferers try to keep a journal in which they can confide their feelings. The purpose of this, however, is not merely for self-reflection! Rather, they can use this as a base to open up to confidants, who should be able to lend a listening ear. At times, the depression will cause invalid feelings of low self-worth, and expressing these to a trusted companion will allow him the opportunity to acknowledge how the sufferer is feeling and to provide desperately needed reassurance.

Facts to Remember When Providing Support—Getting Help

When a person is depressed, the pain is real. It is not imagined, exaggerated and much less created as an excuse to get attention. Supporters can come from the family setting, from concerned friends or even every day acquaintances that are willing to lend a hearing ear. Family members of a depression victim ought not to point guilty fingers at each other, which may isolate the sufferer even further. Rather, they can be available with supportive statements and reasonable expectations.

Rather than making statements such as, “You shouldn’t feel that way,” good supporters will strive to demonstrate empathy and fellow feeling. It is ok to ask why a victim feels the way that he does. Patience should always be exercised in kindly explaining to a depression victim why his low view of his situation is not warranted. Supporters can also be an anchor in making sure that needs are met for rest, nutrition and exercise. It may be good to offer help to a depressed loved one, especially if the depression is coupled with another illness that may drain energy to perform day-to-day tasks. As depression increases greatly under isolation, support is so important!

“Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide,” states a recent report from UCLA.[4] Suffering from depression disorder is nothing for which one should feel shame. With the proper support and guidance, it is possible to make great improvements. Contact us at our 24 hour, toll-free helpline so that our staff can help you make sense of the clouds and give you the support that you need. Call us today!

[1]  “Aubrey Huff Mounts an MLB Comeback After Battling Depression and Injuries During 3 Years Away From the Game” Published: 10/29/15 Date found: 10/29/15

[2] National Institute of Mental health, Date found: 10/29/15

[3]  Mayo Clinic, Depression (Major depressive disorder) Date found: 10/29/15

[4]  Meg Sullivan, UCLA Newsroom; Published: October 28th 2015; Date found: 10/29/15