How Does Depression Affect Those We Love?
A diagnosis of depression can feel daunting, and you may be concerned about the affect it will have on your family, friends, colleagues and others you share your life with. However, with the right advice and resources, you can help others learn how they can support you.
Depression changes the way you feel about yourself and can put huge strains on relationships. It’s important to be honest from the outset; share how you are feeling with those close to you, reassuring them you are seeking help, and manage any potential workplace impact by talking to your manager about any diagnosis you may have, and how this may affect your work.
Parental depression may have an affect on children and it’s important to manage this carefully. Being honest with your children about mental health issues can help to open conversation and give them an understanding of your diagnosis. Discussions around what depression may look like within your family unit may also help avoid the upset of the unknown, for example, explain that on a bad day you may not feel like taking them outside, but you would welcome watching a film or playing a board game with them.
Your family may feel guilt that they are unable to help you feel ‘happy’. By providing resources that explain that depression is influenced by many factors, not all environmental, you can help ease this burden of guilt. Explaining how they can support you will help them understand how important their presence is to you; for example, you might worry that you won’t feel like attending a therapy appointment and it may help to put in place a system in which they can help you get to the session.
Depression is an invisible illness and is often misunderstood. By maintaining open communication and being as honest as possible, those around you will learn how they can support you while also looking after their own mental wellbeing.