Suffering from depression can be a lonely experience. Sometimes, having supportive people around or checking in is the most important thing for a depressed person. It can be difficult to understand how to help someone with depression and what to say to those who are going through a difficult time, because everyone’s scenario can be different. Still, there are many ways you can make a difference in a depressed person’s life, and this article presents you with some useful tips to help a depressed person. Note that it is also very important to talk with them to know what they feel and what they want.
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Symptoms of Depression
Before getting to know how to help a depressed friend, one needs to understand the symptoms of depression. This knowledge will help you to know what the sufferer is going through, and it will also pave the way for you to detect depression in your loved ones. The major signs of this mental condition are as follows:
- Sadness, crying, hollowness, or hopelessness.
- Rage, irritability, anxiety, or distress, even over minor issues.
- Loss of enjoyment or interest in most or all normal activities.
- Insomnia or excessive sleeping.
- Exhaustion and a lack of energy, which makes even minor tasks difficult.
- Appetite changes: decreased appetite with unhealthy weight loss or increased appetite and weight gain.
- Slowing of thought, speech, or movement.
- Guilt, obsessing over past failures, or blaming yourself for things that aren’t your fault.
- Having difficulty thinking, concentrating, making decisions, and remembering things.
- Suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, or frequent suicide-related conversations.
- Physical issues that are unexplained, such as back pain or headaches.
How Do You Interact With Someone With Depression?
When you are interacting with a depressed person, the two main points to keep in mind are being a good listener and being patient. These two traits will help you gain the other person’s trust and comfort. Here is what you should remember when interacting with someone with depression.
- Be patient and understanding.
- Give encouragement and highlight gains, no matter how small.
- Before offering help, ask if there is anything you can do.
- Interact with respect and dignity.
- Don’t blame them for their condition.
- Don’t assume that they are not trying hard enough to get better.
- Don’t give any cues that might make them feel they are pointless.
How Do You Help Someone Who Is Depressed?
To prevent your loved one from suffering, you need to provide support and understand how to assist them in obtaining the resources necessary to cope with depression. The ten most beneficial things you can do are discussed below.
1. Make Sure You Are a Safe Place for Them
2. Listen to Them
3. Educate Yourself More About Depression
4. Offer Them Help
Even minor tasks can become difficult to complete when you are depressed. You can make a difference in someone’s day by helping them with small duties like doing the dishes, picking up groceries, or paying an overdue bill. All of these mundane tasks can be overwhelming for someone with depression.
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5. Encourage Them to Take Part in Fun Activities
Depression can push someone to the darkness of a lonely place. A depressed person feels no motivation to hang out with friends or go out. Don’t insist but try to invite the depressed person out for activities that they might enjoy on a regular basis. Even a simple visit to the mall can get them out of the house and change their mood. Also, make certain that the activity you asked them to join is that your friend would enjoy. There’s no reason to destroy comfort zones right now.
6. Recognize the Suicide Warning Signs
Suicidal thoughts are common in severe depression. Call 911 if you suspect a loved one is suicidal. If their behavior suggests that they may be a danger to themselves, don’t leave them alone. Even if your loved one conveys bitterness at the moment, your intentions will hopefully be understood and even appreciated later.
7. Give Them Space
Showing excessive concern or overcrowding your depressed friend can be suffocating for them. Giving them space can also benefit you because it will allow you to unwind and reflect on things you’ve gathered during the interaction. Giving a depressed person space to breathe can sometimes be just as beneficial as being there beside them. Everyone, including your friend, requires some “me” time.
8. Acknowledge That Depression Is Not One’s Choice
9. Praise Their Accomplishments
10. Encourage Them to Get Professional Help
Nothing can replace professional help. If you think your loved one isn’t finding a way out of depression despite your support, ask them to consult a mental health professional. Explain how seeking treatment can benefit them and offer to assist them in making appointments if necessary. It is especially critical for someone suffering from depression to seek treatment if their depression has progressed to the point of suicidal ideation. Be aware of signs of depression worsening and possible suicide warning signs.
To Sum Up
The easiest answer to the question of how to help someone with depression is to just show patience and empathy. However, nothing can beat professional help. If your friend or loved one is suffering from depression, encourage them to seek professional assistance.
Many depressed patients refuse to go to in-person sessions, so online help from a reliable platform like EZCare Clinic can resolve their problem from the comfort of their home. This is where the journey for the ultimate depression treatment starts!