Having someone in your life who has depression can be confusing if you’ve never experienced it yourself. Although you may want to help them as best you can, you might not know how. Unfortunately, a lot of people end up doing things that only make the person that they’re trying to support feel worse.
It’s not as hard to assist these people in feeling better as you may have thought. Try these 7 simple tricks for helping others deal with depression.
1. Understand That You Can’t Fix Them
When someone that you care about is struggling with depression, your first reaction can be to try and fix them. Despite this, you can’t solve all their problems. All you can do for them is to be there when they need you.
2. Let Them Talk About Things
Don’t just constantly tell them your opinion and give advice. Instead, let them talk to you about whatever is bothering them. Sometimes, all someone needs to feel just a little bit better is to speak about their emotions.
3. Don’t Be Overly Positive
Positivity is a great thing, but only when it’s realistic. Being overly optimistic with someone who feels like everything is dark and gloomy will only make them feel so much worse. It will make them think that you don’t understand them and that they have no one to turn to.
4. Make Them Feel Wanted
People who are struggling with depression can feel like everyone that they know hates them. They often believe that they’re a burden to all the people around them. Try inviting them to a movie or for a meal, or even just to hang out at home for an hour. By doing this, you’ll help them see that there are people who genuinely care.
5. Let Them Know That Their Feelings Are Valid
Sometimes, they’re going to feel guilty for feeling the way that they do. They’ll start to think that they have no reason to feel so awful. Remind them that their feelings are valid and that they are allowed to feel down. As well as that, never try to cheer them up by saying that “someone else has it worse.”
6. Create Clear Boundaries With Them
You can only help so much if your own mental wellbeing is suffering. As well as looking after them, you need to look after your own needs too. Set boundaries with them so that if you need time alone, you can take it.
7. Don’t Just Ignore It
The worst thing that you could possibly do for someone with depression is to pretend that their illness doesn’t exist. Ignoring it will only make them feel more isolated and desperate. Take the time to understand their mental illness and the reality of it.
The most important thing to remember about dealing with someone who’s suffering from this illness is that they need love and support. They don’t need someone to be able to fix all their problems, just someone to be there when they need it most.
Share this article with your friends and family. You never know who might need to hear this advice.