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Helping a Depressed Friend or Loved One

Clinical depression is the most misunderstood mood disorder. Most people associate it with sadness and pessimism and that it can be avoided with a healthy state of mind. That’s where the problem begins however. It is not a disease that can be treated by choice, but is a serious medical condition that can be addressed with psychotherapy, medications or a combination of the two.

So what do you do if you think your friend or a family member is a victim?

Look for Signs

These can be physical, emotional, behavioral and cognitive symptoms. Clinically depressed people feel hopeless, sad and don’t enjoy activities like other people do. They are also unable to concentrate and find it difficult to make decisions. They may also be forgetful, feel worthless, and express excessive guilt. They don’t feel motivated to do or care about anything. They also tend to complain about different pains, weight gain or loss, and insomnia. If these symptoms are present for days at a time, it might be clinical depression.

History and Triggers

Family history can play a role in determining if the person has a high risk for developing clinical depression. Traumatic events like neglect, abuse and violence are common factors as well as death of a loved one. Alcohol and drug dependency may also result in depression.

Other factors like stress at work or school can also trigger. Depression can also be caused by chemical imbalance in the brain. There is also a study that women are more likely to develop depression than men especially when entering the menopause stage. People with chronic diseases may also develop depression.

How You Can Help

Most people who are depressed however don’t talk about the things that they feel. That is why depression is sometimes called “suffering in silence.” If you know someone who fulfils most of the symptoms above, convince him or her to see a doctor. Sometimes, only a doctor can determine of the person is clinically depressed.

Educate yourself and the people around you so that everyone can contribute. The symptoms of depression can’t be stopped by force of will alone, so telling your depressed friend or relative to cheer up and expect him/ her to be okay is insensitive. Practice patience and show sympathy. Some people think being depressed is like being stubborn.

Being More Understanding

Depressed people often have ideas about self-importance, love and support that are distorted from ours. Telling them to toughen up will not get through to them. If you show them you’re frustrated and exhausted, that will only lead them to withdraw further. Listen and play close attention to conversations.

They usually talk not because they need advice but they need someone who will listen. Do not shame them for being sad because that can cause more guilt. Encourage him/her to do activities that are relaxing and promote positive thinking. Depressed people sometimes think about death as a release from their suffering. If you see signs, take it seriously.

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6 Ideas to Enjoy Stay-Home Date Night  

 

Whether it’s cold or raining outside, or you just want to stay cosy inside, we have a couple of ideas for you and your spouse to enjoy an indoor date night.

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  1. Dinner and Movie

In the mood to re-watch your favourite series? Go for it! But trade the takeout for a home-made meal. Cook Oyster Sauce Chicken or your favourite pasta dish and pick up a bottle of wine. For the dessert, make your own version of the Mango Sago and Pomelo for a refreshing treat to end your meal.

  1. Game Night

Invite your friends and their partners for a friendly competition. Prepare finger foods, snacks, and drinks for everyone to enjoy. Play cards or your favourite board game and throw in a friendly bet to see who gets the most wins.

  1. Relive the Memories

Enjoy a bottle of the same champagne you had on your wedding while watching your wedding video together. Talk about the new things you discovered about your partner since you exchanged “I dos”. Keep the talks nice and sweet—no gripping about your spouse’s annoying traits.

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  1. Catch a Sunset Together

If you haven’t done this during your early dating days, why not do this today? While this idea may be cliché, it can be a very romantic experience for the both of you. Get a blanket and a bottle of wine, and snuggle each other while waiting for the sun to beautifully set.

  1. Make a Scrapbook

Collect pictures, starting from your wedding, followed by honeymoon, moving to your home, and the rest of your trips together. Relive all the great times you had together, while filling in blank spaces with photos and sweet quotes.

  1. Play “Wish List”

Spice things up between the sheets with this game. To start, each of you should write down three sexual things you always wanted to try on pieces of paper. Fold them and mix them together. Take turns in drawing out one of the wishes, agreeing beforehand to at least try doing everything that’s written down.

Sometimes, the sweetest dates happen in the privacy of our own home. With no one around and having your partner all by yourself makes it comfortable for you to express your love fully and meaningfully whether through words or actions.

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