It is heartbreaking to see a loved one wither each day because of anxiety and depression. This disorder kills them and yet, they don’t know that it does – how it slowly destroys the once happy person within. It could be your child, spouse, sibling, parent, close relative or friend. Anxiety and depression can overcome anyone at any time without warning, to the point of sinking into vicious habits.
As someone who has to deal with a loved one who has anxiety and depression, it is very difficult. At times, you may feel like giving up because the anxious or depressed individual is way beyond consoling. You lift your arms up and say “I quit. I don’t think I can help you.” But that’s not true. There are so many ways that you can help your loved one feel better and assist him in coping with his disorder, whether by yourself or, in dire cases that your loved one got into alcohol or substance abuse, in getting help with addiction.
You do not give up on our loved one. Even if he is at his worst, you have to accept him and lift him up so that he will be in a good place. How to do that, even if you are not a certified therapist, is the ultimate question.
What to do when your loved one is anxious and depressed?
- You have to spend time with your loved one and talk about whatever he feels like talking. If he is lying on the bed, then lie with him and let him speak about his experiences, opinions, views and all. This can be his unloading tool to release his problems and worries. After the talk, he will have a lightened mood and that’s because of you.
- Since the two of you are talking, you can express to him that you have noticed a change in his behavior – the lighter word that you could use is “feelings”. For example, “You have been feeling down lately. Is there anything I can do to make you feel better? Do you need a listening ear? A helping hand?”
Tell him that you are worried because his physical health might be affected and that you will always be by his side no matter what. You also have to tell him that there will be no judgments on your part as he opens up to you. As you say this, you have to mean it too. You have to accept his feelings and you cannot just go around saying that everything is going to be okay while you pressure him to get better. That’s not going to help. It will be a slow process, so you have to be very patient.
- This is a very sensitive issue, but it needs to be addressed. Tell your loved one that if the burden is too much, there is a therapist who can help him with his anxiety and depression. Suggest to your loved one a quick appointment to the doctor or if he doesn’t like to go out of the house, there are certified online therapists who are easily available through the internet. In that way, your loved one will have the professional help that he really needs.
- Help your loved one find information about anxiety and depression. You must also provide details on how it can be treated and that there is always hope for this kind of disorder.
- If the mind is “weak”, the body is sacrificed as well. Encourage your loved one to sleep at night. If it is difficult for him to do, be by his side until he relaxes and sleeps. Also, you can recommend to your loved one to eat healthy food (fruits, vegetables, and whole grains) while he does some light physical exercises. Be his exercise partner, if you can do it. If his body can cope with the anxiety and depression, his mental health will eventually follow.
These five to-do things are easier said than done, true. When you are in the situation, other factors may arise and make everything seem hopeless. The point here is DON’T LOSE HOPE. If you love this person, you have to make sure that his anxiety and depression disorder is treated and contained. Everything will be all worth it when he is functioning normally once again.