Help protect against depression
Pleasant, satisfying experiences help people cope with illness and treatment. Having fun makes people feel better physically and emotionally. When people regularly do things they enjoy, they keep a positive outlook on life and are less likely to become depressed.
One of the most important things we can do for the person going through treatment is to help that person find a balance between his or her problems and the enjoyable things in life. An important goal for you and the person you are caring for is to arrange as many pleasant, positive experiences as possible even during the time spent in the hospital and clinic.
Persons caring for someone with a serious illness can also become preoccupied with their problems. Remember to do things you enjoy, in order to maintain a positive outlook. Caregivers who think only about the needs and problems of the patient are more likely to become upset and discouraged. By renewing yourself, you are able to keep caring for your loved one. Check out further resources on relief and relaxation or spiritual health.
If the person going through health challenges feels that it is impossible for him or her to have any positive experiences, and, at the same time, is feeling sad and depressed, then it is best to seek professional help.
Provide positive experiences
Make lists of pleasant experiences. Keep these lists and read them over from time to time to remind you and the person going through treatment about the good things in life. Sometimes it helps to think of activities that have been pleasant and enjoyable in the past. Decide what part of the activities the person going through treatment can do now. If doing the activity is possible (such as playing a sport), is there a part he or she can still engage in? Is there a similar activity that she can do? Can he talk about how to do that activity when the treatment is over?
Below are some examples of positive experiences that are important in maintaining good quality of life and in helping prevent depression: