How to help someone with depression? It’s quite normal to feel sad or melancholy at times in life. If a family member or friend exhibits these symptoms for an extended period of time (many weeks or more), it could be a sign of depression. You may assist and support the person during these moments by following these tips to make them feel better. Remember that these principles are meant to be a supplement to psychotherapy, not a replacement for it. Follow PowerPAC plus to learn more!!!
Signs someone is depressed
Depression affects people differently, and the symptoms can differ. If you have a buddy who is depressed, they may:
- appear sadder or emotional than usual
- appear dismal or hopeless regarding the future than normal
- More often than usual, talk about feeling guilty, empty, or useless.
- appear to be less interested in spending time together or communicating with one another
- more frequently than they would typically
- get easily irritated or appear unusually irritable
- have less energy than usual, move slowly, or appear listless in general
- have a lower level of concern for their appearance than normal or fail to maintain basic hygiene, such as washing and brushing their teeth
- sleeping problems or sleeping a lot more than usual
- They are less concerned with their regular hobbies and interests.
- forget things more frequently, or have difficulties concentrating or making decisions
- eat a little more or a little less than usual
- Discuss death or suicide.
- With your body language, express empathy and curiosity.
How to help someone with depression properly
How to start a conversation with them
Make your friend aware that you are there for them. Start the discussion by expressing your concerns and asking a particular question. For instance, you could say:
- “I’ve noticed, and it appears that you’ve been experiencing some difficulties lately.” “Could you tell me what you’re thinking about?”
- “You seemed a touch sad the previous few times we met together.” Is there anything on your mind that you’d like to discuss?”
- “You mentioned recently going through some difficult circumstances – how do you feel about everything?”
- “I understand how difficult things have been for you. I just wanted to let you know that I’ll be there for you if you need anything.”
Continue to ask open questions and communicate your worry (without being aggressive). When possible, try to hold conversations in person. Try video conferencing if you live in different places.
Help them find professional support
It’s frightening to consider that you require assistance. This may cause your loved one to believe that something is wrong with them. Explain to them gently that psychotherapy is a healthy and important technique for anyone suffering from mental health issues, but it does not imply that they are insane or suffering from mental diseases. If they’re having trouble making that first visit, encouraging and supporting them might be quite beneficial.
Set boundaries for yourself
If you’re reading this, you’re definitely a caring individual who wants to help others. If you have a loved one who is depressed, you may want to put all of your work on hold so that you may devote all of your time and energy to them. While this is a kind gesture, it isn’t really healthy for you. To begin with, devoting all of your time and energy to someone else is tiring and exhausting. You won’t have time to worry about other crucial aspects of your life.
Second, the individual who is depressed may confide in you but refuse to listen to your advise. Rather than providing them verbal counsel, urge them to engage in relationship-building and stress-relieving activities such as cooking a nice dinner together, baking a cake, exercising, going for a walk in the park, and so on. It takes time and care to help someone who is depressed. As a result, don’t make it a burden for you both. Take care of yourself and establish boundaries so you can be a safe haven for others.
What NOT to do or say
Taking things personally
Depressed people tend to isolate themselves, refusing to talk or open up to others, or even say “bad” things that harm others. You must remain calm and remember that this is not a personal concern at these moments in order to avoid reacting aggressively and escalating the situation.
Try to fix their “problem”
Depression is a serious mental illness that necessitates medical attention. If you’ve never experienced depression, it can be difficult to comprehend how it feels. But it’s not something that can be fixed with a few well-intentioned statements like “Be grateful for the positive things in your life” or “Stop thinking about sad things.”
What you should (and can) do is inspire positivity in that individual by reminding them of their wonderful traits, the memories you have of them, or uplifting stories from everyday life so that they might reclaim their trust in life.
Giving counsel is futile and perhaps harmful unless you are a professional psychologist. People who have never been depressed have a difficult time comprehending what it is. In this scenario, conventional counsel such as “Think positive” or “Be appreciative” is ineffective. Worse worse, it may make your friend feel uncomfortable and unheard.
Things you should avoid saying
- “It’s all in your head,” says the narrator.
- “Everyone has their ups and downs.”
- “Try to see the positive side of things.”
- “When you have so much to live for, why do you want to die?”
- “I’m sorry, but I’m powerless to help you.”
- “Just snap out of it,” says the narrator.
- “By now, you should be feeling much better.”
Things you should do when doubting a suicidal attempt
It’s difficult to comprehend that a loved one is planning to kill themselves. However, the number of persons who commit suicide as a result of depression is on the rise. When you discover that someone close to you is exhibiting the following symptoms, contact government and health authorities for assistance:
- Suicide, death, or self-harm are all topics that people talk about; they are preoccupied with death.
- Feelings of hopelessness or self-hatred are expressed in this way.
- Acting in a potentially risky or self-destructive manner
- Putting things in order and bidding farewell
- Looking for medications, guns, or other potentially dangerous items
- After a period of depression, there is a sudden sense of serenity.
It’s critical to have support, both social and professional. One way we may help one other is to follow up with our loved ones, especially if they’ve showed signs of despair or suicide ideation. Encourage your family and friends to seek treatment for depression or suicide ideation. To assist prevent suicide, be aware of the warning signs and follow these seven strategies to begin talking to someone who is depressed.