Depression can significantly change a person’s life. When a person has depression, they will always experience severe feelings of sadness and emptiness, have trouble making decisions, suffer from a weakened immune system, and increase their risk of a heart attack. When left untreated, depression can become the reason why a person’s quality of life will become poor.
Experiencing depression is a very challenging time in a person’s life, which is why, as a friend or family member, you should strive to show support to someone who is diagnosed with this mental condition. Your role as a friend or family will surely go a long way in encouraging a depressed person to live a normal life and finally recover from this mental health condition.
Here are ways you can help someone dealing with depression:
- Learn About Depression On Your Own
Helping someone with depression can be very overwhelming, especially if you don’t have any idea what you’re up against. Sure, depression is one of the most common mental health conditions around the world, but, aside from this, do you know what the symptoms of depression are, or how this condition can affect a person holistically?
Before you offer help to someone who is depressed, spend some time to learn more about this mental health condition on your own. You can click here or expand your research by using other online platforms, ask people who have been diagnosed with depression, or consult a medical professional. All of these resources will help you better understand depression, ultimately making it easy for you to determine how you’re going to help a friend or family who has this mental health condition.
- Always Listen
Individuals diagnosed with depression will usually keep their problems to themselves, thinking that opening up will only cause trouble to other people. They think that their own social circle has problems of their own, which is why they would choose to solve their problems on their own. However, this doesn’t always bring positive results.
A person who is diagnosed with depression and continues to bottle up their feeling will only cause their mental health condition to worsen and even trigger others, as well. In worse cases, people with depression will likely commit suicide once they reach the peak of their emotions and they do not have someone to talk to.
Make sure that this doesn’t happen to your friend or family by always being there for them, ready to listen. If you suspect that your friend is going through depression, slowly open up the topic and ask if something is bothering them. Do not pressure them to open up if they are not ready as this can only worsen their mental state.
To make it easy for your friend to open up to you, talk to them using the following active listening techniques:
- Ask questions if you have problems understanding a depressed person’s emotions. This is always a better option rather than assuming that you actually understand what they’re saying to you. You’ll end up hurting your friend or family if you only pretend to understand what they are going through.
- Always validate their feelings whenever you are conversing with them. If they tell you that something is bothering them and they suspect that they are currently going through depression, validate their feelings by saying, “That sounds very difficult. I am sorry to hear that.”
- Whenever you are conversing with a friend or family who has depression, show interest and empathy with your body language. Depressed individuals are usually very sensitive and would end up bottling up their feelings again if they notice that their loved ones become distant to them.
- Help Them Find Support
You can only do so much for a depressed friend or family. Regardless of how concerned you are about their mental wellbeing, keep in mind that their health concern will require the intervention of a professional. Your friend or family should be able to seek professional help and undergo the necessary treatments to ensure that they can get back on track and live life without depression.
The process of finding the right professional and treatment can be very challenging and time-consuming for a person who is depressed, which is why you should help them find the support they need. Depressed persons will already have a lot of things on their minds, and finding a doctor who can offer them the right therapy can be very overwhelming for them. A variety of therapies is available, especially in recent times. From classic CBT sessions to ketamine infusion therapy, you really need to consult a professional to find out what would be the best choice.
For you to make this process easier, offer to help them find support. If they don’t have any idea where to start looking for the best doctor, volunteer to help them out. Review potential therapists, inquire from people who have worked with these therapists in the past and determine which among these will suit the needs of your depressed friend or family. You can even accompany them to their first appointment and always encourage them to show up in all of their therapies.
Therapies for depression and other mental health problems can be very time-consuming, and your presence throughout the entire process will surely encourage a depressed friend or family to participate in all of these.
- Avoid Judgment And Blame
Depression can significantly take a toll on a person’s life. This mental health problem can become the reason why a person will no longer find the interest to play their favorite sports or pursue their hobbies. Depression can also cause a person to become lazy and lose the motivation to move around and accomplish chores around the house.
If you notice that your friend or family is manifesting these behaviors, do not judge and blame. Remember that your friend or family does not want to be in the situation they are in and are also struggling to look for treatments that can help them get back on track.
Instead of judging and blaming a depressed friend or family, ask them how you can help in their situation. If you see a friend or family member having a hard time accomplishing simple household chores, offer help to make the task lighter for them. If they don’t have the energy to go out and pay the bills because of depression, offer to run the errand or drive their vehicle for them.
Depression is a serious mental health condition, which is why you should extend your patience and understanding to anyone who has it. Having depression is already very challenging for the person, and blaming them for it will only make their condition worse.
- Don’t Forget To Take Care Of Yourself
Seeing someone succumb to depression can be very heartbreaking. This is especially true if the person’s character and behavior have completely changed because of depression. However, regardless of how tempting it is to drop everything so you can completely focus on helping a depressed friend or family, don’t do it. It’ll be challenging for you to offer help and support to a depressed person if you don’t exert time in taking care of yourself first. How can you help a depressed person if you are also suffering from the same mental health condition?
For you to effectively help someone who is depressed, make sure that you also take care of yourself. Here’s how you can do it:
- Set boundaries: Although challenging at first, you should know how to set boundaries when offering help to a depressed friend or family. Instead of bringing meals to your depressed friend or family every day, offer to stop by twice a week at their home. This schedule will allow you to help your friend or family, while making sure that you still have time and energy for work and other personal errands.
If you’re usually too busy at work during the day and your depressed friend or family can’t reach you, look for a hotline that caters to depressed individuals 24/7 and encourage them to use this service. You can also ask help from other common friends to create a bigger and more positive network for the depressed friend or family.
- Practice self-care: One of the easiest and most effective ways to show help to a person who is depressed is to listen to all of their sentiments. However, over time, this can take a toll your own mental and emotional health as well. For people who are naturally empathetic, the negative aura of a person can rub off on them, causing them to eventually become stressed and depressed, too.
Make sure that these don’t happen to you by regularly practicing self-care. If you see yourself starting to get stressed out after talking to a depressed person, look for ways to relax. This can mean visiting your favorite spa or eating in the newest café in your city.
There are many ways to help and show support to someone who is depressed. Most of these strategies are free, which means that you don’t have to spend a single dollar to help someone.
But, regardless of the method, you plan on using, always remember to stay consistent and patient with your effort. Recovering from depression is a long-term process, and, as a friend or family member, you should be ready to go through all of these things.