Someone struggling with depression needs your support and understanding, above all else. Here are things that you can do to help someone with depression.
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Depression is complex and it can be difficult to know how to help someone with depression. If a friend or family members is struggling with depression, you might not know exactly what you can do to make their life easier or to help remedy the situation.
The problem with depression is that it isolates people. Friends and family often feel helpless and do not know what to do to help.
Meanwhile, the person with depression already feels inadequate or unworthy and begins to push themselves away from their loved ones, sabotaging even good, helpful, and healthy relationships, which, in turn, only allows the person to sink deeper into their own depression.
Someone struggling with this very real illness needs your support and understanding, above all else.
Here are a few things that you can do to help someone with depression
They already don’t like being around themselves, so they project that same emotion on to their closest friends and family members. That said, most people who have depression need someone to just be around them, to support them in their time of need, to listen to them and nod as they talk.
When someone is depressed, the negative voice in their head will often tell them over and over that no one really cares about them and that their friends and family would be better off without them. Continually proving to that person that the voice is a liar can be monumentally helpful.
Depression is a real chemical imbalance and blue sky thinking is not the solution, just as positive thinking does not heal a cut or fight cancer. While it is true that you should not always let a depressed person wallow in their depression, comments like, “You need to cheer up,” or “Why don’t you try looking on the positive side,” are not helpful. Why not? They imply that the person is choosing to feel the way they feel. Comments like these will usually cause the person to withdraw from you.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to help someone with depression is making suggestions or providing advice that has no basis in medical science.
Unless you have personally struggled with depression and have something to say that you know will make the other person feel better, it’s probably not a good idea to compare a time when you felt sad to the depression that a person is feeling right now.
When you better understand what causes depression, what its symptoms are, and the consequences of this mental illness, you are better equipped to support someone who has it. Make sure, however, that you are getting your information from a reliable source.
A lot of depressed people are embarrassed about their feelings. They do not want to talk to anyone about it. If they have opened up to you, don’t be afraid to suggest that they talk to a professional who has training and licensing to help them with this issue.
Learn more about Depression
What is Depression?
Top 10 Signs of Depression
How to Help Someone with Depression http://copebetter.com/help-someone-depression/
In our practice, Cope Better Therapy, we help adults cope through complex emotions and thoughts.
If you would like to discuss how to help someone with depression or if you or someone you know would benefit from counseling, contact us. We’d love to hear from you.
2047 Locust St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Please call 215-995-3156 for hours.