Other signs you might notice in your loved one if they are experiencing depression is a general sense of hopelessness about themselves and the world, and an inability for them to enjoy the things they normally would. Their appetites and their sleeping habits may also have changed. At the most extreme end of depression, your loved one may be expressing desire to die or a lack of caring about dying.
Sometimes the signs of depression are subtle. If you have noticed some subtle changes in your loved one’s mood and behaviours, the first thing to do is gently raise it with them – express to them in a concerned but gentle fashion what changes you have noticed in them and ask them how they are feeling. Encourage them to open up by reinforcing that feeling depressed is not a sign of weakness or defectiveness, but something that can occur to anyone.
Other things you can do to help your loved one if they are suffering depression:
Try and keep them active by encouraging them to go for a walk with you or helping you with tasks
- Encourage them to wake up and go to sleep at the same time every day
- Encourage them to eat regularly
- Encourage your loved one to do one thing each day that is just for them e.g. eat their favourite food, watch their favourite show, sit outside in the sunshine for 15 minutes etc.
- Create opportunities where your loved one can share their feelings with you, but respect if they do not want to
- Encourage your loved one to speak to a GP to get a professional opinion on what they are going through and to inform any treatment
- Encourage your loved one to speak to a professional
For more information on helping with depression please go to the following:
If you are concerned about the wellbeing of your loved one or need advice, contact the independent counselling service (Employee Assistance Program), free to WA Police Force personnel and their immediate family on 1300 687 327 (available 24/7) or a WA Police Force psychologist on 6229 5615 (8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday).