Family matters

Jerk Brain is a master at leaving me feeling hopeless, exhausted, and disconnected from the world around me. Recovery is a challenging process, but the love and support of family and loved ones has made all the difference.

For many people, support from their family of origin may not be available. Instead, close friends (i.e., chosen family) may fill the gap. Family support can take many forms, including emotional support, practical help with daily tasks, and encouragement to seek professional treatment. Emotional support involves being present and available to listen to the someone’s thoughts and feelings, offering empathy and understanding, and providing a safe and non-judgmental space to express themselves.

Practical help can include assistance with household chores, grocery shopping, and meal preparation, which can be difficult for someone experiencing a major depressive episode. These tasks may seem small, but they can make a big difference in helping someone feel supported and cared for.

Encouragement to seek professional treatment is also crucial. Help the person struggling with depression find a qualified therapist or psychiatrist, schedule appointments, and provide transportation to appointments. Even these simple tasks can feel overwhelming in the midst of severe depression. Encouragement and support throughout the treatment process, which can be a long and challenging journey, can mean everything. We know it can often be frustrating or difficult to be around those of us living through major depression. The fact that you stick with us when we are at our worst means more than most of us will ever be able to express.

Research has shown that social support, including family support, can significantly improve recovery outcomes for individuals with major depressive disorder. A study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders found that social support was associated with improved symptom severity, quality of life, and functional impairment in individuals with major depressive disorder.

You can make a difference. Family matters.

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