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Patients’ relatives depression: Preventive advice

Probable negative experiences or depression that a relative of the patient might go through, can partially obstruct the treatment process of the patient. You are advised to overcome such a possibility by keeping yourself healthy and continue to focus on taking care of the patient. Being the relative of a patient is most of the time physically and emotionally stressful. The effort of trying the best for the patient’s treatment and care could sometimes overshadow your own needs and lives. Despite all those efforts, you might still develop various sensational changes ranging from anger to guilt and those changes might lead to depression.

What are the symptoms of patient-relative depression?

A patient’s relative could possibly have the following symptoms of depression;

  • A state of hopelessness,
  • Unwillingness for socialising,
  • Nervousness and intolerance towards even the smallest issues,
  • A constant feeling of frustration ,
  • Lack of sleep or oversleeping,
  • Changes in the appetite– Depression frequently causes appetite disorders which often lead to weight loss. However sometimes it occurs contrarywise and lead gaining weight.
  • Feeling uneasy– People might develop certain obsessions or they keep themselves busy with tiring tasks.
  • Exhaustion and loss of energy– Feeling extremeley tired even after the slightest tasks and being really lazy to do anything
  • Feeling guilty or unworthy– Rethinking the mistakes made in the past and making oneself believe that things all went wrong in the past,
  • Frequent thinking over death– This can often lead to suicidal thoughts
  • Undiagnosed physical problems– Feeling continous and repetitive pain in the arms or back for no reason.

What should I do if I experience a depression as a relative of the patient?

If you believe that you are having  “patient relative depression” symptoms, you should definitely consult to an expert. See either a physician or a psychologist. Depression is not a simple problem that you can get rid of anytime you want to. Depression can lead to further disorders physically and psychologically when not treated. And this, of course results in the quality diminishment of the care your relative gets from you. However, with the help of an expert, depression can be easily eliminated through therapy or medication.

What kind of precautions can I take in order to aviod this depression?

You can take the following precautions to avoid the depression:

  • Do not hesitate to ask for help– It is highly recommended that you should not wait until you are totally worn out. You are advised to spare some time for yourself as well. Involve other family members and/or professional institutions that might be of help. Do not undergo more effort than you can handle.
  • Make a clear plan for yourself– Try to predict things you will/will not be able to do for your relative. Predicting the issues that you will not be able to overcome protects you from feling guilty and helpless when those moments come.
  • Do not ignore your other relationships– Spending most of your time with the patient might loosen your connections with your circle of friends and other connections. Please do not forget that you have a social circle, friends as well. Being aware of the fact that people who love you are all around, will make you feel stronger and more hopeful.
  • Dedicate some time for yourself – Try to get involved in those activities where you will have a rest or fun. Watch a movie of your favourite genre, join a friend’s birthday party, organise routine meeting nights with friends. Physical activities like sports or yoga are also helpful for diminshing the stress.
  • Stay positive– Helping and caring for someone you love, causing positive changes in their lives will add a great deal of maturity to your existence. Making a lot of effort to avoid depression is a great favour you have made for them; you need to be proud of yourself!

Please do not hesitate to ask for hep if you are feeling depressed. This will help you feel much better than before.