How to Help Someone With Depression
Having a loved one with depression can be overwhelming. Educating yourself on the condition and what you can do to help is a great place to start. You can also join a support group and talk to a therapist. The support you offer to someone suffering from depression can play a large part in their recovery. If you are unsure how to help someone with depression, it is important to remember that this is a difficult time for them and they may not want to take medication or ask for help.
While it is understandable that you want to support your loved one, you also need to remember that they may need time to heal. This isn’t a quick process and it can take months or even years to feel better. You can help by checking in with your loved one periodically and providing them with reassurance that you are there for them. It is also important to set boundaries and limits. You may need to help them organize household chores and schedules for activities like exercise and sleep.
If you have noticed signs of depression in your loved one, it is important to offer them space to discuss their feelings. If your loved one is reluctant to seek help, you can gently encourage them to do so. You can also help them feel better by educating them about depression and the options they have. You can encourage them to take medication, join a support group, or seek professional help.
You may also find it helpful to take a few minutes each day for yourself. Whether it is going for a walk in the park, watching a Netflix movie, or taking a restorative yoga class, taking care of yourself can help you to better understand how to help someone with depression.
The best thing you can do for someone with depression is to remain patient. This doesn’t mean you can’t ask questions, but it does mean you should be patient with your response. If you do make a judgment or ask a question that isn’t directly related to your loved one’s situation, you may be invalidating them.
You may be tempted to say, “Just think positive,” or “Cherish your feelings,” but these can actually trigger negative thoughts. You should always say something supportive to help someone with depression. A gentle suggestion such as “think of happy memories,” may be a good idea. If you do find that your loved one does not want to take medication or ask for help, you should remind them that the symptoms will improve and the feelings will eventually subside.
If you have noticed that your loved one hasn’t been doing any physical activity, suggest taking up an activity that will boost their mood. You can suggest going for a walk, swimming, yoga, or even making art. Activities that involve nature can help improve your mood and are also good for your physical health. You can also encourage your loved one to reduce their alcohol intake and eat healthier foods.