It is really difficult to watch someone you love suffering from depression. They cry a lot or seem irritable, are less active and don’t want to socialise or see anyone. They may retreat to their bed and have difficulty doing anything at all, even get up for a shower. They might stop eating much or eat more than usual and they may sleep most of the time or have disturbed sleep, awake much of the night.
It is hard to see our loved one in such psychological pain and can be hard to understand why they don’t seem to be helping themselves to get better. Basically depression works against them doing the things that will help. Exercise is one the best things to do when depressed however a lack of motivation and reduced energy are symptoms of depression. Getting active in general and getting things done, achieving even the smaller task can also be helpful.
Gently encourage them to come with you for a walk or even for a drive to get out of the house.
These are things you can support your loved one with. Gently encourage them to come with you for a walk or even for a drive to get out of the house. Drawing their attention to your immediate surroundings can help, like noticing the clouds, or the sun on your back, for example. This assists them direct their attention and give them a moments break from their own thoughts which are generally bleak. Planning their day and maintaining a routine is also beneficial – scheduling tasks, exercise, relaxation, and sleep and waking times is also something you can help your loved one with. Generally many people with depression feel a bit better later in the day, rather than in the mornings, so planning the next day in the evenings can be easier for them.
Once they have a plan, it reduces the need to decide what they should do as this is difficult as their decision making abilities are affected by depression. They have a plan which they can follow and you can support them to stick to the plan and if possible do tasks with them.