If you have a loved one who has depression, it can be difficult to know how best to support them. Depression is an illness that affects all aspects of the person’s life and for people close to someone with depression, this may result in feeling helpless or not knowing what they could do to help. However, there are some things you can do which might make a difference and we will be discussing a few of them in this article.
Know What Symptoms Look Like
Understanding more about the nature of your loved one’s condition will enable you better support them; if they don’t want help then at least respect their wishes but never give up on trying because sometimes the smallest step forward can mean everything within recovery. People with depression often go through times when they feel happy so just because she seems okay, there may be unspoken issues beneath the surface. Some people with depression also have a distorted view of themselves and their world so if they seem overly self-critical or negative about everything, it is important to remain supportive but not try to talk them out of how they feel because sometimes this will only make things worse.
Encourage Them To Seek Help
Depression is an illness and like any other, it can be treated. It can take a long time for people with depression to reach out but talking about how they are feeling with someone who cares can be a big step on the road to recovery. If your loved one doesn’t want to seek treatment, don’t push them but continue showing that you care and support their decisions while also encouraging them to speak about how they are feeling.
Therapy is an excellent way for people dealing with depression to learn more about themselves, work through issues that might have contributed towards their illness and develop coping strategies which will help in times of crisis. There are many different types of therapies available so it’s important not to assume that because your friend has gone down this route once before or spoken highly of one type over another at the time, that what worked then will necessarily still work now. Your role as a friend is to support them in the decisions they make around therapy and what type of therapist they should see.
Keeping a record of your loved ones mental health can help you both monitor their progress which may be more difficult when symptoms are at their worst; it will also enable you to keep an eye out for triggers that might contribute towards relapse or ongoing issues such as isolation, lack of self-care, or other concerning symptoms. It’s important not to push too hard because this could backfire but if possible offer encouragement while keeping yourself informed about changes she has made since last time so you know where to focus your attention next time something does happen
Be Patient And Don’t Get Discouraged
Depression affects everyone differently so no two cases of depression are exactly alike. If your loved one seems to get worse before they start getting better, don’t lose hope or become discouraged because this is a common symptom of the illness and with time things will improve. Remember that recovery from mental health issues can be an ongoing process so it’s important not to expect too much too soon but instead continue supporting them in everything you do until you see obvious signs of improvement.
Know When To Say No
Sometimes people with depression place unnecessary demands on their friends which can cause resentment both for those who struggle with depression as well as those trying to support them; if there comes a point where you feel like giving up then seek outside help such as a family member or professional counselor because you should never be expected to carry the burden of someone else’s mental health alone. Try not to take it personally if your loved one resists assistance because sometimes they have become so used to being self-reliant that giving up control can feel like a huge step that triggers feelings of loss and failure.
Don’t Make Promises You Don’t Intend On Keeping
It is important for friends who support people with depression to do everything in their power to keep any promises made, no matter how small or insignificant they seem at the time; even when things are difficult this will help reassure them that you care enough about them and their recovery to follow through on what might end up as little more than pleasantries. Remember that many people dealing with depression take disappointment very seriously and so it is important to take everything they say at face value. If you don’t think that a promise will be kept then do not make it because this can cause unnecessary stress on them which in turn may contribute to a relapse.
Invite Your Loved One Out
Depression often comes with feelings of isolation, loss, and loneliness; if your friend has been avoiding social engagements for some time or could use an extra dose of positivity then perhaps offer to accompany them somewhere new. You never know where the day might lead but forcing people into uncomfortable situations when they are already feeling low just adds another layer of misery onto what is likely to be an unpleasant experience already. So try doing something together that’s fun rather than inviting them over to your house. Being social may seem trivial but it can help people with depression feel like they belong and that there is more to life than just the illness they are dealing with.
Trying to help a loved one with depression can be extremely challenging but if you are patient and understanding then this will not only benefit them in the near future but may also strengthen your relationship as well. If something is really troubling you don’t hesitate to ask for help from friends or family members too because everyone needs support at some point along their journey of recovery.
It’s important not to give up on someone who has asked for assistance because they might feel like there is no reason left to keep fighting so try continuing with what works and perhaps talking about how things have been going recently could bring about positive changes which do lead towards better days ahead even when we least expect it!