It can be really difficult to watch someone we love struggle with their mental health. We may want to do everything we can to help, but not know exactly the right thing to say or do to provide our support. In this blog post, we give our 5 tips for ways to support someone with depression.
1) Learn More About Depression
When we can understand more about our loved one’s mental health struggles, we will be more able to provide adequate support. Learn more about the symptoms of depression. Some common signs include a persistent feeling of sadness or hopelessness, loss of interest, lack of focus or energy, and disruptions to sleeping and eating patterns. It’s also important to know that there are varying types of depression and experiences with depression that people can have. There are many great resources out there that can give you accurate facts about depression.
2) Provide Support
Support for someone with depression can come in many forms. Sometimes it may involve asking your loved one how you can help. Maybe you can run an errand for them or drive them to an appointment. Other times, you can lend your support just by being someone who will listen to them, if they feel like talking about it. You can also show your support by saying kind words, reassuring them that they matter and that they’re not alone.
3) Consistently Be There For Them
Someone who is depressed may feel like no one can understand what they’re going through. It can be an extremely isolating and overwhelming experience. Let your friend or family member know that you will be there for them through everything they are experiencing. Try to make plans together or at least create a low-stress environment for whenever you’re around them.
4) Avoid Making Judgements
If you’ve not experienced depression yourself, it can be difficult to fully understand what someone else is going through. Try to resist any urge you may have to blame your loved one or judge them for the way they are feeling. Remember that depression is a serious mental health condition that they can’t just “get over.” Instead, approach them with empathy and love.
5) Encourage Professional Help
Lastly, try to encourage your loved one to get professional help. Depression can be treated with a combination of medication and therapy. Let your loved one know how seeking treatment can help them and offer to help them make appointments if they need it. It’s especially important for someone with depression to receive treatment if their depression escalates into suicide risk. Be sure to know about worsening symptoms of depression and possible warning signs of suicide.
As you support your loved one with depression, remember to take care of yourself too. It’s equally as important to prioritize your own mental health and wellbeing. Be patient and kind to yourself throughout this process.