(Updated at Mar 23 / 2023)
How you can help people in your life who suffer from depression
Though for many years depression was in general viewed as a weak character or just a caprice, it is a serious mental disorder that should be ignored neither by the person who suffers from it nor his friends and family. Untreated depression tends to worsen and even lead to a suicide. This is why the treatment and family and friends’ the support is crucial. Social stigma and lack of support from the closed ones makes people who suffer from depression reluctant to look for the treatment but you have to change that if you don’t want to lose them.
Moderate to severe cases require the use of antidepressants for quite a long time. It can be hard since they can cause lowered productivity, fatigue, and are expensive. But you can greatly save buying the medicines online. You can consult a specialist on how to reduce side effects without stopping the medication use. Now let’s see how you can help your loved ones to cope with the disorder and how not to worsen it with your behavior.
1. First of all, if all, if a depressed person is not realizing that he or she suffers from the disorder, you should gently give them a hint that they might need to visit a specialist. Do not tell them to get over it or that it will just go away but on the contrary, tell them that you care and you will feel better if they go visit a doctor.
2. Encourage them and support when they undergo depression treatment. You need to realize that even with antidepressants the disorder does not fade overnight. Do not speed things up and tell a depressed individual that you thought they would feel better once they start taking antidepressants. Help them with their treatment as much as you can. For example, if they need a ride to a doctor, do not refuse. If they are inclined to miss their appointment with the doctor because they see no point in it, tell them that they need to take small steps towards recovery and everything will work out.
3. Do not allow them to isolate themselves from the society. Depressed people are reluctant to leave their homes and socialize. Do not drag them to a crowded party but rather try to involve them in your daily activities. For example, invite your depressed friend or family member to go jogging, hiking or simply walking with you. Try to come up with different activities that will help him or her leave their home and socialize at least with you.
4. Do not ignore them. Show them that you care not only on the weekends or holidays. It is easy to make a phone call and ask your friend or family member how they are doing. Be there for them if they say they want to talk about how they feel.
5. Read books about depression for better understanding what your depressed closed one feels. From the books you can also find out new ways of how you can help them beating up depression and what treatment methods are available.
6. Praise and reward every effort they make. Depressed people tend to be apathetic and unmotivated. When they do something and overcome their apathy and isolation you need to tell them how much this means to you and that they have an amazing willpower.
7. Find local support groups. You can do an online search for such support groups for depressed people that can help you and your closed one to get free counseling or a recommendation on what specialist you should address.
8. Do not ignore them even if you think that depression is gone. People who once suffered from a severe depression are prone to developing the disorder again especially being exposed to emotional triggers such as losing a family member, divorcing, losing a job, and so on. Be attentive to them always and especially in rough times.