Written by: Nino Fincher
We all know how pervasive depression and anxiety have become, particularly over the last three years. According to Dr. Pillay, research cited in Forbes magazine shows that the depression rate in company leaders is twice the rate of the general population. It's an issue with new mothers, military service people, teens, accomplished men and women in their 30's, 40's, 50's, 60’s.
The number continues to grow. Of course, in a business, everything tends to trickle down from the board room to the mail room. I know, because I have helped so many professionals successfully walk through that valley in my counseling career in rapid transformational therapy, specializing in anxiety and other symptoms contributing to depression. However, what makes me even more qualified to help, is having actually personally walked through that nightmare and I am here to tell you, that you can overcome it!
In this article, I wanted to share with those of you who are helping someone struggling with depression, the top 7 tips that truly made a difference when I needed help.
People struggling with depression perceive no hope. They cannot feel it, they do not see it and it literally feels like the end of all good. No matter how repetitive it feels to you, keep reminding them there is hope. This state of being is temporary, and the human mind, heart, and body are designed with the capacity to heal and restore. Encourage them to envision a positive outcome beyond their temporary current struggles.
Your mere presence holds immense value. Your physical presence or connecting through calls or messages, any engagement interrupts the destructive cycle of their thoughts. Even a brief note conveying sentiments such as "I love you," "I’m thinking of you," or "I'm looking forward to seeing you soon,” “So grateful for your friendship, “Love that you’re my dad, teammate,”etc), provides reassurance, countering feelings of isolation and negativity. In moments of physical absence, it's crucial to highlight that they are not alone in their struggles. Sharing stories of well-known figures who triumphed over depression, such as Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Martin Luther, Martin Luther King, Jr, J.K. Rowling, Michael Phelps, underscores that many have walked through the dark valley and emerged stronger.
Shift Focus Outward
Depression can arise from a lack of clarity about one’s purpose: sharing the best of what we have with others. Encourage them to look beyond themselves. My clients find a renewed sense of fulfillment through finding their purpose. Motivation may be at it’s lowest, but the sense of duty is still there. Even caring for pets or engaging in helping others can provide a sense of purpose and connection. Being preoccupied with someone or something else, even if it is for a brief period of time, is still quite useful in moving them out of the mindset of despair.
Share Uplifting Content
For many in a state of despair, reading may be difficult, but listening requires seemingly less of an effort. You can help by finding an interesting or humorous podcast, film, or play; something unrelated to their state of being, and engage with them about it. Encourage memorizing simple, briefly stated truths, the ones that point them in the right, hopeful, encouraging direction. Do not underestimate the power of music. Songs with repetitive, encouraging, victorious messages can help rewire the mind.
Often depression sets in from people's inability to pursue their passion or deep desires of the heart. Find out what those are, perhaps they can be picked up initially in the form of a hobby. Try to help move them into the environment that helps with that pursuit.
Remind and Reflect on Past Triumphs
They will probably resist, still, remind them of their past victories and strengths. Present evidence, whether through anecdotes or photographs, that affirm their resilience and ability to bear the temporary weight and that these character qualities are already present in them and will assist them in getting well. Again reassure them that this difficult phase will ultimately transition into a better one.
Celebrate Small Achievements
Celebrate little victories. Because they probably won’t. Accomplishing anything is a victory for someone who is barely motivated to do anything at all. Help them see, that they are progressing. Hope and the right, factual perspective on success is what is needed in order to keep moving forward.
Finally, please remember to be patient and kind with yourself. Make sure you get the support and encouragement you need to not get drained. Be mindful not to let any feelings of guilt seep in when you find yourself in a better place than they are during this period.
I wish you success in supporting and nurturing your loved ones throughout their challenges.
For further guidance on overcoming depression and enhancing mental well-being, consider exploring the resources available at Nino Fincher's website.
About the author:
Nino Fincher is an expert at getting emotionally paralyzed people to freedom from anxiety, insomnia and PTS through Rapid therapy. She regularly works with the veterans and splits her time between USA (where she lives and UAE working with individuals and teams within businesses. She is a TEDx speaker and is available for workshops and retreats on whole person health: body, heart, mind and spirit.