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By ll_medspa | 10/09/2016
When you confide in your loved ones that you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, they will hopefully respond by asking what they can do to help you. This can seem like a simple question but in reality, it’s difficult to say what you need from loved ones. Here are a few ways your family members can support you as you recover from suicidal thoughts.
Keeping You Honest
One of the most challenging aspects of depression for many sufferers is the tendency to neglect self-care. Things like remembering your medication, getting out of the house, avoiding any addictive substances, and maintaining your physical health become daily hardships. However if you involve friends and family to keep you on track, it becomes much harder to slack off on personal care and recovery processes.
Lending an Ear
Having a nonreactive person to listen to you when you need to talk can be a huge help in the recovery process. Simply instructing your family members to be available when you need to talk is a simple yet beneficial task for them to do their part.
It is also helpful to let them know it is okay to be open about suicide. The less it is treated like a taboo, the better off you will be.
Spending Time with You
Depression causes feelings of worthlessness, leaving sufferers believing that others don’t want to spend time with them or that they’re bringing the people around them down. These thoughts can be the cause of social isolation, exacerbating symptoms of depression and increasing the risk of suicide. Tell your loved ones that even if you seem down, simply taking the time to invite you to activities and spend time with you means a lot and can help prevent the negative effects of isolation.
Sharing Their Pets
Some quality time with a loving animal can greatly improve mood. Even if you volunteer to babysit the animal while your family member goes away for the weekend, you will notice diminished anxiety, stress, and depression as a result of spending time with pets.
Dogs, in particular, can provide a nurturing presence for people suffering from severe depression, as they can sense human emotion and will work to make you feel better. Dogs also prompt you to get out of the house for walks and trips to the park. Keeping active is key, and dogs are willing to help.
Helping with Daily Chores
When you are suffering from depression, things that were once manageable can seem impossible. Keeping your house clean, for example, is something most people need to feel good. A cluttered home can cause stress or further symptoms of depression. If your family members are willing to come by and help you pick up once in a while, they can greatly reduce your stress and prevent your depression from overwhelming you.
This might also be a good time to get your family’s help in sweeping the home for potential weapons. Ask your loved ones to remove anything you might use to harm yourself. The process of removing dangerous items from the home can be a very difficult task for your loved ones to face, but keep in mind they would rather be a little upset facing the reality of the situation in this manner than to have you taken away in an ambulance.
Your family wants to help. Your depression might tell you that you’re nothing but a burden but somewhere in your rational mind, you know that all your loved ones want is to see you happy again. They would be willing to do just about anything to get you there. Let them help.
Jennifer McGregor is a pre-med student, who loves providing reliable health and medical resources for PublicHealthLibrary.org users. She knows how difficult it can be to sift through the mountains of health-related information on the web. She co-created the site with a friend as a way to push reputable information on health topics to the forefront, making them easier and quicker to find.