3 Things You Can Do To Help A Loved One Who’s Depressed
Sometimes just being there is enough
Watching a loved one or a friend struggle with depression can be tough. The dilemma we frequently face is that we’re stuck between wanting to help and not knowing how to do so. This is perhaps in part because not everybody experiences depression in the same way, and their needs may vary depending on how severe their depression and circumstances are.
With that in mind, we’ve compiled a general list of tips that you can use to help a loved one through tough times.
#1 LEARN ABOUT DEPRESSION
During your free time, try to read up on depression from reliable sources on the internet or in books. When you have an understanding of depression, its symptoms, and the toll it can take on your loved ones, you will be able to empathise and better understand from the affected person’s perspective.
A good place to start reading would be the symptoms and causes. While depression manifests differently in different people, being familiar with the general symptoms and terminology can help you be more aware and look for signs if your friends are struggling. This in turn can also help you be conscious when having in-depth conversations with your friend.
#2 OFFER ASSISTANCE TO RUN ERRANDS OR COMPLETE SIMPLE TASKS
Depression can be so debilitating that even performing daily tasks can be difficult for the person suffering from it. As a result, some people have difficulty getting out of bed, taking a shower, or even eating. Day-to-day tasks can seem overwhelming or daunting.
Being observant can help you here. If you notice your friend or a loved one has some errands to run, such as buying groceries or doing the laundry, you can offer your help in completing said tasks or invite them to join you in completing the task. If your loved ones are experiencing difficulties voicing their needs, you can figure out what they need by asking, “What’s something you need to get done today?”
#3 HELP YOUR LOVED ONES THROUGH THEIR FIRST STEP OF SEEKING SUPPORT.
If your loved one is considering seeking therapy or counselling for the first time, it can be an overwhelming and daunting process. There is a vast amount of information available on mental health support and facilities. This can be information overload for some. Thus, helping your loved one screen potential therapists or counsellors can help them make an informed decision.
Sources: Healthline, WedMD