If your friend or relative is suffering from depression, then you are likely to feel upset, confused, and even frustrated yourself. Often, trying to help somebody with depression can feel impossible, since unless you have gone through it yourself, it can be very difficult to imagine what it must feel like to lose all interest in your favorite things and feel sad and down every day. Depression is a debilitating mental disorder that can ruin relationships; often, the friends and relatives of those with depression aren’t sure what to do or say, or could even avoid their loved one for fear of saying or doing something that would upset them even further. However, your support and care can be a significant factor in helping your family member or friend make a full recovery. Here are just some of the best things that you can do to help.
Tip #1. Simply Be There
Many people who try to help their loved ones through depression give out advice that doesn’t always work. Sometimes, it can be difficult for those who’ve never suffered from depression to understand why somebody with this issue isn’t able to cheer themselves up by doing something that they enjoy, for example. However, don’t overthink it – oftentimes, you don’t have to go as far as offering advice. Simply being there and making sure that your loved one knows they can turn to you if they need anything can be a very powerful way of offering your support that won’t go unnoticed.
Tip #2. Encourage Them to Seek Help
When a patient is suffering from depression, taking the enormous leap to get help can often feel like the most difficult thing in the world. Because of this, it’s not uncommon for depression patients to take a long time before they finally feel brave enough to go and see their doctor or book an appointment with a therapist. You can help your loved one out by finding suitable types of professional help that might work well for the, for example, a therapist that offers home visits or a depression rehab center.
Tip #3. Small Gestures
If your loved one is suffering from depression then you have probably tried and failed to get them to engage in activities that they used to enjoy or encouraged them to join you in a social activity, only to have them cancel at the last minute because they don’t feel up to it. When it comes to helping a family member or friend through this awful mental disease, it’s important to remember that large gestures of kindness can often be too much. Small gestures, such as sending them a card to let them know that you’re thinking of them, taking some food over to their home, or even visiting and cleaning up for them, for example, can have a profound effect when it comes to showing your loved one that you really do care.
Seeing a loved one go through depression can be heartbreaking, but you can help them a lot by offering unconditional support and understanding.