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The Eight Best Things You Can Do to Help a Loved One Deal With Depression

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  • The Eight Best Things You Can Do to Help a Loved One Deal With Depression

    Nearly 19 million American adults suffer from depression during any one-year period, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Depression not only doubles a person’s risk of coronary heart disease, according to new research in Psychosomatic Medicine, but it also takes much of the joy out of their life.

    As a result, people living with someone who is depressed and suffering emotionally must also cope with the personality changes and, perhaps, loss of support if the depressed person becomes unable to work.

    If your loved one is depressed, you may have noticed them withdraw from your family, stop participating in routine activities and even talk about death or suicide. All of this is taxing and can easily lead to relationship problems and family suffering.

    "Depression often divides families," says Julie Totten of Families for Depression Awareness in Psychology Today.

    “Some people don’t understand it and want to run far from it. Others do everything in their power to get a person well, including hunting out magic cures. Ultimately,” she continues, “they realize there's no such thing. And they feel cheated. Depression has to be managed."

    How to Help Your Loved One Deal With Depression

    The way you approach your loved one who is going through this difficult time can make a huge difference in their recovery. In fact, studies have shown that expressing certain attitudes -- such as criticism, hostility and emotional over-involvement -- to your loved one actually worsens the depression and increases the chances of relapse.

    The following suggestions, however, can help your loved one to overcome and beat depression:

    1. Offer non-judgmental understanding. 'The best way to support someone who is depressed is to neither join them in their depression nor fight with them about it,' says Hale Dwoskin, CEO and director of training of Sedona Training Associates. 'Most of us either go into agreement with someone who is depressed or try and force them to cheer up. But neither strategy helps the depressed person or the one trying to help.'
    2. Avoid offering disparaging opinions.
    3. Invite your loved one to go out for walks and other outings, and also try to engage them in conversation.
    4. Listen to your loved one when he or she feels like talking.
    5. Support your loved one. This means offering them emotional support and encouragement without trying to 'force' them out of their depression.
    'The best thing to do is simply be fully present with them to love and support them as they are,' Dwoskin says. 'You can also encourage them, if they are interested, to find out about letting go with The Sedona Method.'
    The scientifically proven Sedona Method is an elegant, easy-to-learn, do-it-yourself system that will show you how to tap your natural ability to let go of any unwanted feeling, including all forms of depression, on the spot. It can be used in life to get immediate relief of symptoms whenever the signs of depression arise. So if your relative is open to it, it is a simple, non-drug way to get relief.
    6. If your loved one talks about suicide, take it seriously and seek professional help.
    7. Do not belittle your loved one's feelings, but do remind him or her that the depression will eventually lift.
    8. Avoid falling into a depressive state yourself. Depression tends to run in families, and it's easy to begin feeling down if you're surrounded by it. Protect yourself from depression by learning to keep a positive frame of mind.
    Purchase Letting Go Movie on DVD
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    Purchase The Sedona Method Course
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