It can be daunting to support a friend or loved one who is depressed. Many people with depression have symptoms serious enough to interfere with daily tasks (such as going to school or getting to work), while some may feel unhappy or overwhelmed without understanding why. You may be perplexed as to how to be supportive of someone with depression, whether or not that person has been diagnosed. 

Understanding the signs of depression is the most crucial factor in assisting a loved one who is suffering from it. The severity of major depressive disorder varies from person to person, as do the symptoms. Understanding the potential signs will help you to understand what your loved one is going through. 

How To Be Supportive Of Someone With Depression

People who are depressed may be oblivious to the fact that they are suffering from fear of a disease or any other personal issues. According to a recent report, about 13%+ people are under depression because of the fear of Cancer Treatment in India. People who are unaware of the signs of depression can mistakenly regard their feelings as natural or underestimate them as a temporary struggle. The discomfort associated with seeking medication for depression will lead to people attempting to self-treat.

Here we’ll go through five things you can do to comfort a loved one who is suffering from depression:

  1. Pay Attention To What They Are Saying

Let your friend be aware that you are there with them. Begin the discussion by expressing your questions and posing a particular question. For example, you might say, “It seems that you’ve been having some issues lately.” “Can you tell me what’s on your mind?”

Remember that although your friend may want to communicate about their emotions, they may not want advice.

Use constructive listening approaches to engage with your friend:

  • Instead of thinking you understand what they say, ask questions and learn more.
  • Confirm their emotions. “That seems very difficult,” you might say. I’m sorry for the pain caused to you”
  • In your body language, express concern and interest.

If your friend doesn’t want to speak the first time you ask, continuing to remind them you care can help.

Continue to ask free questions and share your concern (without being pushy). Where possible, try to hold conversations in person. Try video messaging if you live in various places.

  1. Take Care of Yourself

When you’re feeling stressed and drained, you won’t be around to help anyone else. Take the time to step back from the situation and refresh your battery on a regular basis.

Although depression cannot be “caught” like a cold or the flu, it is possible that people that work together or belong to the same family are more likely to become depressed due to common genetic and environmental factors.

Caring about a loved one who is depressed can be overwhelming and traumatic. Make sure you’re taking care of your own needs, setting appropriate expectations, and finding assistance from a doctor or support group.

  1. Assist With Day-to-Day Activities

Day-to-day things can feel daunting when you’re depressed. Laundry, grocery shopping, and bill paying can all pile up, making it impossible to know where to begin.

Your friend may accept your offer of assistance, but they may not be able to express their needs clearly. Rather than asking, “Let me know if there’s something I can do,” say, “What do you most need assistance with today?”

“Can I drive you food shopping or pick up what you need if you write me a list?” if you find their refrigerator is empty. or “Let’s go food shopping and make dinner together.”

Offer to come by, put some music on, and work on a special assignment with your buddy whether he or she is late on dishes, washing, or other domestic tasks. The very existence of others will make the job feel less overwhelming.

  1. Avoid Judging and Accusing the Victim

You may think somebody you care for is lazy if they’re sad and can’t do the things they used to, such as work or support around the house. When you’re getting upset, bear in mind that someone who is sad isn’t being lazy; they’re sick.  Cleaning the home, paying bills, and feeding the dog can sound daunting, if not unlikely, to someone who suffers from depression. 

You will not be able to carry on all of your loved one’s duties around the house while they are piling up. Try not to condemn yourself in addition to fighting the temptation to blame your loved one. It’s okay to ask for support if you need it.

  1. Recognize the Possibility of Suicide

Suicide is more common in people who are suicidal. If your loved one is seriously depressed, be prepared for the risk that he or she will feel suicidal at any stage. Consider any signs of suicidal activity seriously and take steps as quickly as possible. Learn to identify and be mindful of the following early signs of suicide or suicide attempts:

  • Make comments including “I’m going to kill myself,” “I wish I was gone,” or “I wish I hadn’t been created” while discussing suicide.
  • Withdrawing from social interaction and a need to be alone
  • Mood swings, such as being emotionally elated one day and extremely sad the next.
  • Feeling powerless or trapped in a case
  • Increased intake of drinks or drugs
  • Changing personality or being extremely anxious or irritated, particularly if they’re experiencing any of the warning signs mentioned above.

When And How To Get Professional Help?

The value of clinical care in the healing process cannot be overstated. Seeing a doctor, who may prescribe drugs, psychotherapy, or both, is always the first step.

If you’re having very severe depressive problems or are in a life-threatening situation, go to the nearest emergency department.

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Supporting a partner who is suffering from depression, both mentally and practically, will aid in their rehabilitation.Caring for those with a psychiatric disorder can be rewarding, but it can also be complicated. Caregivers should exercise self-care on a daily basis to maintain their mental health.

Remember that no one is to blame for your loved one’s depression. You can’t make someone’s depression go away, but your help and empathy can go a long way.

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