Depression is among the most common mental health issues, and it looks different for everyone. Sometimes, you won’t even know they have it. They could be laughing but battling their inner demons.
In most cases, you’ll see signs in a loved one with depression. You may notice that they frequently isolate themselves, are sad or hopeless, have sleeping problems, or have lost weight.
This mental struggle is a tough thing for one to go through– it can make them feel alone in it. But it also affects you too. You want to alleviate the pain of whatever they’re feeling and help them get better.
Well, they don’t have to go through depression alone. Most of the time, simply being there for them is enough to make them feel better. But there are things you can do to support them while they fight it.
7 Ways You Can Support A Loved One With Depression
1. Educate yourself
Before anything else, learn about the illness. Knowing about it and understanding it are essential in helping someone through it.
Knowing lets you know what to do, and understanding lets you know how to do it. Educating yourself on the matter allows you to better empathize with your loved one.
But don’t try to be an expert. Leave the treatments to the professionals.
2. Keep them in the loop
As we said before, people with depression feel alone. Things get worse when they start withdrawing from their social circle and isolating themselves because they might not want to socialize at all.
Even so, try to connect with them. Invite them to hang out, text them, and ask them how they’re doing. Be nice but don’t force them to come. Simply inviting them will reassure them that they haven’t been forgotten. If anything, it will remind them that you’ll be there when they’re ready to reengage.
3. Spend time with them
Again, one of the most powerful feelings people with depression experience is loneliness. And one of the most common things they do is detach themselves from their social circle.
So, even if they push you away or refuse to hang out, try to spend time with them. Be assertive and not forceful. If they’re left alone or unnoticed for a while, this feeling and depression can worsen.
A 2015 study found that just surrounding a person with a group with a “good mood” helps them beat depression.
4. Talk less, listen more
You may wonder, “how to talk to a depressed person.” Well, the best way to do that is just to listen. They already feel like no one understands them; they don’t need someone telling them how to cure their illness.
Sometimes, being there for them and listening is enough to unload the burden they’re feeling.
5. Don’t belittle their condition
If your friend or family member shares their feelings, take what they say seriously.
Depression is more than just feeling sad and wanting to be alone in their room. It’s a severe condition that impairs a person from living a normal life.
If you’ve never experienced depression, don’t say things like, “I know how you feel” or “I get it.” That will just make them feel like you aren’t taking their illness seriously.
You don’t know what it’s like. It’s better to admit that you have no idea what they’re going through but simply be there for them.
6. Don’t take things personally
The symptoms of depression in a loved one hinder them from connecting on a deep emotional level, even with the people they love. They can push you away, lash out in anger, and say hurtful things.
Don’t give up on them. In those instances, it’s the depression taking over. Even if they do those, make an effort to forgive them and encourage them to get the help they need.
If you leave when things go south, who will be their light in their dark times?
7. Be patient
Going through depression can be frustrating on both ends. Your loved one is going through all the symptoms and effects, and you’re in pain from watching them experience it. It’s even more stressful when they take their feelings out on you.
It’s understandable to want to walk away and let them deal with their depression alone. Don’t lose patience. They’re struggling with a tremendous mental disorder that affects every aspect of their lives. They’re going to need you to get through it.
Help Heal A Loved One
One can’t fight depression alone, even if one thinks they have to. While challenging, there are so many things you can do to help a loved one with depression. They need your support, love, and trust to help them get better. You may not carry all the answers, but it’s good for them to know that you’re helping them find them.
You can help a loved one with depression. They can find peace with us. Start your healing journey with people equipped with skill and compassion to help you. You can visit us at 3939 Atlantic Ave Suite 102, Long Beach, CA 90807, United States. You may also contact us at 562-203-0567 or go to our website rootstms.wpengine.com.On your recovery journey, consider CBT therapy and choose Roots TMS. Start your healing journey with people equipped with skill and compassion to help you. You can visit us at 3939 Atlantic Ave Suite 102, Long Beach, CA 90807, United States. You may also contact us at 562-203-0567 or go to our website rootstms.wpengine.com.