Supporting a loved one who has gone to treatment for their depression requires love, compassion, and patience. For those first days, here are some suggestions for making the transition as smooth as possible.
Help them create a supportive home environment
Returning home after being in residential treatment for some time is overwhelming in more ways than one. Though your loved one has been working hard at building new techniques and tools for coping, they may still feel intimidated by the prospect of returning homes. An old home environment has many triggers and reminders of more difficult times passed. Trying to reorganize and clean everything at once will feel like too much. Your loved one’s independence is growing and they are becoming more capable of taking care of themselves. In the beginning, especially upon a first return home, your help in creating a clean, serene, and supportive environment will be invaluable. Creating a fresh start in recovery can be a metaphor in a clean home, organized, supplied with the right supplements and food, and decorated to meet the new needs of your loved one. Out with the old, in with the new.
Remember the signs of mood swings
Treatment is not a cure for depression. Currently, there are no cures for depression. There are, however, many evidence based practices which help reduce the effects of depression, alleviate symptoms, and create practical tools for living. After treatment, your loved one will be much better equipped to notice the signs of depression, handle their depression, and regulate their moods as well as emotions. Good days and bad days will come and go as does everything in life. Long periods of time without depression might cause you to believe the depression is gone. Rather than be disappointed by depression’s return, remember that is the nature of the disorder. Help your loved one and yourself be prepared by staying aware of the signs that a depressive episode might be coming. Sometimes it can be prevented, other times it just has to be loved until it passes.
Ask Them To Communicate In A Way That Works
During especially difficult times, it might be more challenging than normal for your loved one to pick up and use the tools they have learned for effectively articulating their emotions. Create a representative system together which helps you understand at least the surface of what they are going through. When they can’t find the words or speak through what could be sadness, fear, or anger, they can send an emoji, a picture, or a keyword which will let you know what they are going through.
Avalon By The Sea is one of California’s only primary care facilities for mental health disorders. Providing trusted results in healing mind, body, and spirit, our residential treatment programs for depression build lifetime recovery. For a confidential assessment and more information on our programs, call 888-958-7511.