Helping a Loved One With Depression

Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center provides care for women and girls who are struggling with depression. If you are trying to help a loved one who is struggling with depression, Timberline Knolls delivers compassionate, comprehensive treatment that promotes lifelong healing.

Learn More About Depression

Learn how to help a loved one suffering from depression

If a friend or family member is struggling with depression, you may be worried about their well-being but unsure of what to do to help. Often, girls and women who face depression pull away from loved ones as their symptoms worsen, which can make it difficult to truly know the severity of their condition. Your loved one’s depression might also be causing you to feel frustrated and confused, especially if their symptoms have negatively impacted your life or required you to take on additional responsibilities.

Know that all of these feelings are valid, and at Timberline Knolls, we believe that families can be a critical component of the depression treatment process. Even if you’re feeling helpless or overwhelmed in this moment, rest assured that there are things you can do to encourage your loved one to seek professional help.

One of the most important things you can begin doing is educating yourself on the signs, symptoms, and effects of depression. The more you know about this disease, the better you’ll understand what your loved one is going through.

In getting a firmer grasp on how depression is impacting your loved one’s life, you’ll be better equipped to offer heartfelt empathy and understanding. Begin gathering information from reputable mental health websites, or consult with a mental health or medical professional you trust.

If you happen to be in therapy yourself, ask your counselor for resources and information that you can use to educate yourself. In increasing your knowledge of depression, you’ll eliminate some of the unknown, which can give you confidence as you prepare to discuss the idea of entering treatment with your loved one.

Talk to Your Loved One

Prepare for the conversation about getting treatment for depression

As you prepare to talk to your loved one about entering treatment for depression, keep in mind that this is rarely a simple process.

You can expect some initial reluctance to the idea of seeking professional help, or even an outright refusal at first, because making the decision to enter a depression treatment program is no small feat. It requires your loved one to confront the reality of their situation and the severity of their symptoms head-on, and to admit that they can’t heal on their own.

If your loved one has no prior experience with residential care, they might be worried about what they can expect while in treatment. Sharing what you learned in your research can do wonders to allay their fears.

Should You Stage an Intervention?

Consider an intervention for a loved one who is suffering from depression

As the saying goes, there’s strength in numbers. And if a loved one is suffering from depression, you might be feeling ill-equipped to confront them about it on your own. But know that the interventions often portrayed on TV and in movies don’t necessarily demonstrate best practices, and an intervention might not be the best approach for your loved one. Keep in mind that a group of individuals rallying together might be an intimidating presence for your loved one, and it might undermine your good intentions by putting them on the defensive.

If you’re still considering staging an intervention aimed at encouraging your loved one to enter treatment for depression, please be thoughtful in your approach. Consult a mental health professional ahead of time who can give you suggestions that will increase the odds of a successful outcome. Carefully consider who you decide to involve in the intervention, and be mindful of each person’s relationship with your loved one.

This is not the time to involve anyone who might have a strained relationship with your friend or family member. Rather, select participants whom your loved one will view as supportive and caring. Throughout the course of this conversation (and you will likely have more than one), be mindful of your tone. Remember to maintain an open, supportive demeanor so that your loved one feels heard and accepted.

With Help & Planning, You Can Succeed

Encourage your loved one to seek depression treatment

Keep in mind that successfully encouraging a loved one to seek depression treatment is a major milestone, and it demonstrates your deep care and concern for this person. Your support can mean a world of difference in your loved one’s decision to enter what could be lifesaving treatment. Also, know that you can continue to play an important role in your loved one’s recovery process during and after treatment.

Your loved one’s journey to recovery will continue long after completing a residential treatment program, and you can continue to be a source of strength and support throughout your loved one’s life.

TK saved my life, and I am forever grateful for that. I now have been months free from my eating disorder... They really make sure you know your skills before you leave!

– A former resident
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