Depression: How to deal with it on your own

Sep 7, 2015 by     No Comments    Posted under: Healthy Living

In Pakistan, the field relating to mental illnesses needs more spotlight. It has afflicted 10-16 percent of the general population. According to the WHO, only 400 specialized psychiatrists and 5 psychiatric hospitals exist within the entire country for a population exceeding 180 million. This roughly translates to an alarming psychiatrist-to-person ratio of 1 to half a million people.

Most mental illnesses need professional help, but in the case of depression and anxiety, we can, to some extent, take the matter in our own hands and help our dear ones to recover. There is no greater medicine than love. In the words of Dalai Lama, “Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.”

Here are a few steps you can take on your own to understand and cure depression.

  • Educate yourself:
    Learn about the symptoms and signs of depression. Knowing about the condition would provide a better base to understand and influence the patient in an effective way.
  • Be a listener – Not a speaker:
    Understand that sometimes people need just someone to listen and a shoulder to cry on. It is necessary for them to let out what is built up inside of them and not to be told what to do instead. This can be an enormous help for a depressed individual. However you will have to be patient. Depression often causes a person to be withdrawn and so they will find it difficult to speak up and express their selves.
  • Create a positive and supportive environment:
    This can provide a huge help to the person suffering. Providing such an environment makes the individual realize that there is much more to look forward to and many opportunities out there.
  • Stage a distraction:
    A vacation, a weekend of camping or a night out with close friends can be very helpful. Breaking the daily routine and having a change of scenery provides a good distraction for the patient. Getting them involved in something new is the main theme behind this technique.
  • Seek professional help:
    Sometimes no matter how much effort you put in, you need professional help. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for help from a medical expert or a counselor and ensure the sessions are carried out at a regular interval. The taboo of psychiatrists in Pakistan has to finish and we need to realize that not every person is “crazy” if they visit a psychiatrist!
  • Understand that everyone is different:
    What worked on your niece’s son won’t necessarily be the cure to your loved ones depression. Each and every human is unique and thus the cure of depression in each individual has to be varied.
  • Be patient and be there:
    One of the best things you can do is to be patient and let the depressed individual know that you are there no matter what happens. In some cases, the patients prefer isolation and demands to be left alone, however, do not do so. Let them know that you are here to help and no matter what, your support is consistent. It maybe a frustrating task but remember, your loved one needs you more than ever right now.

Reviewed by Sundas Sajid, Junior Editor – Youth Correspondent Magazine

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