Helping a Friend or Family Member Who Is Depressed

Ineffective treatment of depression, an incapacitating and isolating illness, may put relationships at risk. Living with a depressed person may make a person feel ignored and depleted, which can lead to a lack of empathy and apathy. He or she may feel like they’re walking on eggshells at times because of the sad person’s attitude and reactions. However, it is important to realize that the relationship may be saved with a little tenderness and hard work. Consider the following suggestions in order to provide assistance to someone who is sad:

Try to be there for them: Depressed people and those who care about them go through a lot of agony while they are suffering from depression. However, one may still provide comfort by holding hands, reassuring the other that everything will be OK, or by offering a light back massage. Perhaps “You are not alone in this,” “We will find a solution together,” or “You are very essential to me” might be consoling remarks.

Trying out little acts of affection: Emoticons and facial expressions may be a source of discomfort for certain individuals. When someone is depressed, they can still extend their support by doing things like packing a lunch for the person, leaving a care or love note in the lunch box, sending them a text at regular intervals, helping them with the laundry, doing grocery shopping for or together, accompanying them to the grocery store, and so on.

Judging or condemning others is a bad idea: Telling a sad person they are overreacting or missing perspective might be extremely tempting, but it can damage their self-esteem. As a result, they need to be avoided. Changing your mindset or gaining strong resolve won’t help you beat depression, which is a severe mental illness. Depressed people need validation from a friend or a loved one so that they may begin to think about going ahead.

Taking care of one’s own needs: Depression may make it difficult for individuals to take care of themselves. They may not get out of bed for the whole day, may not eat, may not shower for days, and so on. Helping a friend or loved one out in this way is a great way to show them that you care and that you’re thinking about them.

Rather than penalizing them, reward them. Using threats like, “I’ll stop this relationship if you don’t take care of yourself, eat supper, and sleep on time,” to humiliate someone who is suffering from depression is cruel. Instead, say something like, “Oh, you’re up early. Could we go for a run?” or “Wow, you made dinner. Might I assist with the dishes?” that are both encouraging and fulfilling.

Motivating people to reevaluate their limiting beliefs: People that are depressed tend to think very negatively. It’s critical that a close friend or family member encourage them to test out these ideas in the real world. Asking them why they feel this way, such as “I’m useless or awful,” is a good way to start a conversation that may help them overcome their negative thinking patterns.

Depressive disorders may be treated successfully.

Never question the effectiveness of therapy for depression. Self-help and support networks may alleviate symptoms, but they are no match for professional treatment such as cognitive behavioral therapy or medication. As a result, encouraging those who are depressed to get assistance is essential.

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