All of strategies outlined in this section recognize the importance of self-care for the caregivers as well as the person struggling with depression. As a caregiver, it’s important to recognize that your health and the health of the person who is depressed are interconnected. His/her distress can become your distress. One recent research study indicated that as many as 40% of people who live with someone who is depressed may be sufficiently distressed themselves to meet the standard for needing psychological intervention. If you are concerned that you, too may be experiencing depression, or if you are having sleep problems or experiencing pain, click on the link to find self-administered questionnaires that may help you identify a need to seek professional help for yourself.
Family and friends are very much affected by depression. In helping a depressed person, they take on additional responsibilities at home and work. Depression symptoms, including withdrawal, irritability, and hopelessness, strain relationships. Those living with someone who is depressed are much more likely to become depressed themselves.
Friends and family members can find themselves dealing with a whole range of uncomfortable emotions of their own when living with someone who is depressed. Rest assured – you’re not alone.
It can be difficult to live with someone who is depressed. The person might seem angry, upset or even abusive, and you may have no idea what has caused the change. Some men, as mentioned, may lash out at those they love in response to depressive symptoms, and those outbursts can be emotionally and physically dangerous. Teens who are experiencing depression may be difficult to separate from teens who are not depressed. After all, most teens are secretive, emotional and heavy sleepers. Teens with depression may seem sullen or hopeless, however, and they may vacillate between wanting your help and pushing you away. Again, this can be incredibly difficult to deal with as a parent.