How to Help Your Helper Fight Depression?
While we all feel sad, moody, or low from time to time, some people experience these feelings intensely for long periods of time and sometimes without any apparent reason. Depression is more than just a low mood. It is a serious mood disorder that negatively affects how you feel, think and act. If your helper struggles with depression, you know how hard it can be and you might even wonder what you can do in order to help her. Your support and encouragement can play an important role in her recovery.
You are already a great person if you want to be there for your depressed helper. But even when you have a really good intention, it can be really hard to know exactly what help you can give to her. Every individual is different on how they handle depression, but here are a few guidelines that can help you support your helper in their recovery while maintaining your own emotional equilibrium.
- Be informed about what depression really is. There are countless articles on the internet today where you can learn about depression and its symptoms. You may not be able to cure your helper but you can understand her condition by educating yourself and what kind of mood disorder she has.
- Be there for your helper. Always remember that being compassionate listener is much more important than giving an advice. If she feels like talking, ask her how she was going. Encourage your helper to talk about her feelings and be willing to listen without judgment. Being supportive as her employer involves encouragement and hope.
- Put yourself in your helper’s shoes. It is impossible for a depressed person to just “forget about it” or “cheer up”. Stress is a significant contributor to depression. You need to identify the sources of stress in her life and help her brainstorm about ways to reduce it.
- You need to remind your helper that they’re incredibly strong and worthy to love. Let them know that it’s their illness you’re frustrated with, not them. If you feel like you can’t control your helper’s recovery, you can encourage them to seek help by suggesting a doctor or therapist that can help them through the process.
- Depression is contagious. It can be incredibly frustrating and upsetting to deal with someone who is experiencing it. You can only support your helper if you know how to look after yourself first. To avoid resentment, learn how to set limits on what you are willing and able to do. You are not your helper’s therapist, so don’t take that as your responsibility.
If you think that your helper might be considering suicide, talk to them about your concerns as soon as possible. Often people feel uncomfortable bringing up the topic but it is one of the best things you can do for someone who is thinking about killing themselves. Talking openly about it can save your helper’s life. Attention is the most important thing we ever give to each other, especially if it’s given from the bottom of our heart. Caring is more important than understanding.