How to deal with a depressed father

If any of your parents suffer from depression, it cause a lot of mental and emotional stress on you. There must be a reason behind his depression try to analyze that reason. Here are some ways to deal with such a situation.

Try to understand your father’s situation

Father is the head of the family and has many responsibilities on his shoulders. He is also the bread earner of the family as per traditional norms. Since depression is a complicated condition, there could be multiple underlying causes for it. Look for signs that you think are responsible for his condition. Since men are not known to be very expressive, you may have to probe him to vent out his feelings. Try to know what things are disturbing him. For instance it could be a drug abuse or alcohol abuse that might be the root cause of this situation or may be his failure to meet the monthly expenditures of the family could be underlying cause of this problem. It is imperative to understand the disturbing factors in your father’s life to reach towards an effective solution.

Look for adults to share the concern

Your father must be close to someone in the family or one of his friends. An ideal way to deal with the situation would be to turn to people whom you know are close to him. Discuss his situation with them. Let them know of his actions and reactions towards various things in his daily routine. Ask those adults to speak to him about the situation or the issues that are troubling him. Let him know that they are there to help him and not to blame him for anything. If at any stage you think he is upset or angry and you are tempting to suggest him a solution, restrict yourself from doing so. Keep your suggestions and solutions for the next day.

Make a plan for coping with depression

Separate the illness and the person. It will help you in treating the condition effectively. Make a note of things that are troubling him. Think through them and see what all things can be taken care of without his intervention. Create an action plan for him like getting up early or drinking plenty of water or quitting alcohol and smoking and more such activities. Ensure that he sticks to the plan. Help him get engaged in various activities like yoga or joining a fitness club nearby to help him cope with the emotional trauma. This will help him in getting distracted from the routine chores and release unwanted pressure and stress. Get him involved in gardening if possible. It will help in improving his mood. Involve him in gaming techniques like PS2 or PS3 or Xbox games.

Seek medical support

Introduce the idea of taking medical help to get him out of these feelings of despair. Let him know that medical guidance and supervision will help in treating his illness. Avoid arguments if he disagrees. It is completely normal for him to react with a negative state of mind. For men initial treatment steps could include a preliminary physical examination by a primary care physician. The medical expert will usually investigate about family history, when symptoms of depression started to arise or in case of any increasing dependence on drugs or alcohol. Let him not worry about the expenses. If the physical examination doesn’t reveal anything, then the doctor may sugget to contact a psychologist. Suggest him to join depression support groups which will provide him a platform to discuss his problems and understand solutions. This way he will also get to meet other folks living through similar problems. Ensure that you locate a group that focuses on optimistic approach and recovery ideas. Else let him consult a doctor, who can treat his depression with help of antidepressant medications and psychotherapy.

Get him organized

If you father is on medication, ensure that he takes his medicines on time. Let him know that it is crucial for him to follow the prescription. Spend some normal time with him. Discuss his daily routine and pacify him if need be. Let him know that you enjoy his company and how important he is in your life. Show him love and affection. Be his companion for sharing his problems. Ask him to spend quality time with your mother (if possible). Let him be aware of the triggers associated with depression to counterfeit them the next time around.

Dr Prem Jagyasi (c)

Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.

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