It is always difficult to watch someone you love struggle with depression. It can feel like there are no signs of hope, and it may seem as if they will never be happy again. This article will discuss eleven ways that you can help your loved one who has been struggling with depression. You don’t have to do all these things at once-they are simply suggestions for how you can make their life a little easier, even in small ways!
This is not always easy. Especially if they are dealing with a serious case of depression and have retreated into themselves, it can be hard to find out what might help them feel better. A common misconception is that you should try to “snap” your loved one out of the depression by being happy around them or acting like their old self again.
What some people don’t realize is that happiness cannot be forced; when someone has been depressed for an extended period of time, forcing them to act happy will only make things worse because then they’ll think something must be wrong with how they’re feeling in order for others to react so differently towards them!
Symptoms Of Depression
The following are common depression symptoms:
- Feeling sad or hopeless for more than two weeks without any particular reason. Sadness is a normal emotion, and they shouldn’t feel guilty about it, but if their sadness has no cause that you can identify, then this may be one of the first signs that something isn’t right in their life. Feelings of guilt and worthlessness are also common symptoms of depression.
- A lack of interest in things they used to enjoy doing. You’ll notice that they slowly lose interest in activities they used to find fun and rewarding (exercise, hobbies, etc.). This is partly because we all need motivation to do anything productive with our lives, so when depression hits us hard, we lose this motivation easily as well.
- They will start isolating themselves from their loved ones. They might feel like their loved ones will be better off without them and would have a much easier life if only they weren’t around. Even though this thought is irrational in nature (nobody wants to lose their friends or family members), it’s easy for us to fall into these negative thoughts when we’re depressed.
How To Help Someone With Depression: What NOT To Do!
Below are some things you shouldn’t do or say to a depressed family member or friend:
Don’t Try To Cheer Them Up All The Time
This is one of the worst things you can do because it invalidates their feelings and makes them feel like they’re not allowed to be sad or down in the first place! It’s important to let your loved ones know that it’s okay to feel however they’re feeling, without any pressure from you to change how they’re feeling.
Don’t Tell Them To “Snap Out Of It”
Again, this will only make them feel worse and more misunderstood than ever before. Depression isn’t something we can just choose to stop having, no matter how much we may want to.
Don’t Give Up On Them
This is probably the most important thing that you need to remember! It can be so hard not to give up on someone when they’re going through a tough time, especially if their depression is showing no signs of letting up. There may be times when you would rather walk away and get on with your own life. But try your hardest not to do this because it will make them feel like there’s something wrong with them and that the only way for you to love them again is for them to get better without any help from anyone else.
Don’t Let Them Ignore Or Isolate Themselves From Others
This could also cause problems well because isolation makes us more vulnerable to other psychological issues such as anxiety disorders and PTSD. If we don’t have anybody around us who understands what we’re going through, then it becomes much easier for these kinds of thoughts to take root in our minds.
How To Help Someone With Depression: What You Can Do!
Below are five ways to help someone with depression:
Be There For Them
This is the most important thing you can do for your loved ones! Just being there for them and listening to what they have to say without judgment will make them feel so much better. You don’t even need to say anything, just sitting with them in silence can be helpful.
Encourage Positive Thoughts
When somebody’s depressed, their negative thoughts tend to get the best of them. So try and encourage your loved ones to think positively by complimenting them on things they’re good at or sharing happy memories from the past. This will help remind them that they are capable of feeling happy again.
Offer Practical Support
If your loved one is struggling to take care of themselves due to their depression, offer to help out with things like cooking meals, doing chores around the house, and taking care of their pets. This will not only help them out in times when they’re feeling too low to do anything, but it’ll also give you an opportunity to spend time with your loved one while simultaneously helping yourself as well!
Teach Relaxation Techniques
A lot of people get so stuck up on worrying about all the things that need fixing or improving that they forget how important it is for them to take a break from life every once in a while. Teach your loved ones some simple ways (such as meditation) which can be used by anyone regardless of age or gender to feel relaxed and at ease again.
Encourage Social Interactions
Depression has been known to make us lose interest in our social lives. Some people even start to become afraid of being around other people because they worry about what the others might think or say about them. But social interactions are necessary for our own mental well-being, so don’t let your loved one lose out on their friends and family just because of their depression!
It can be so frustrating when somebody we love is going through a tough time and it seems like they’re not getting any better no matter what we do. But remember to be patient because depression is a very complex issue that cannot be cured overnight. Just keep doing your best to support them in whatever way you can and hopefully, with time, things will start to improve.
Get Help From A Mental Health Provider
If you’ve tried everything else and your loved one still hasn’t gotten better, then it might be a good idea to ask for professional help from a mental health professional. Suppose they have agreed to see someone about their depression but aren’t taking any of the steps that need to be taken to get better (such as attending therapy sessions or following up with psychiatrists).
In that case, this is an indicator that something more serious might be going on, such as a mental illness or maybe even obsessive-compulsive disorder. In these cases, it’s best if somebody close to them takes charge by forcing them into getting the treatment they need.
If your loved one is depressed, there are many groups and programs out there for people just like us. Whether it’s a free hotline service where we can talk to other members who’ve been in similar situations before or simply joining an online forum on Facebook, these services provide us with the opportunity to meet others who understand what we’re going through so that we no longer have to feel alone while trying to overcome our depression.
How To Talk A loved One Out Of Suicide
If you’re reading this, then chances are that a loved one of yours is at the point where they don’t think life is worth living anymore. This can be extremely scary and stressful to go through, but there’s no reason to panic just yet because with some careful consideration, suicide can easily be prevented!
Although it may seem difficult or pointless on your part, having an open dialogue about depression and suicidal thoughts will help greatly in understanding each other better as well as creating more opportunities for conversation later down the road; As long as both parties involved keep their minds open while talking things through together.
It’s hard enough keeping up with what’s going inside our own heads without even thinking about someone else’s problems, too, so if anything comes out of these conversations, it will either be a greater understanding of your loved one’s problems or just an overall relief that they’re not alone in all this.
This is because depression can make people act and feel differently than their usual selves, which means that the way you deal with them may have to change as well. As long as both parties involved are prepared for what might happen during these conversations (either good or bad), then everything should turn out okay in the end!
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
We can all help prevent suicide. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals in the United States. Call 1-800-273-8255 to get help on mental health advice.
So far, we’ve learned that the best way to help someone with depression is by being there for them, offering practical support, teaching relaxation techniques, and encouraging social interactions.
It’s also important to note that we should be prepared to have open and honest conversations with our loved ones about their thoughts and feelings in order to better understand what they’re going through. And finally, if things seem too difficult or hopeless at any time, don’t hesitate to seek professional help because suicide can always be prevented!