Read for helpful information on five steps on how to help someone with depression. Some of you may have noticed that something is not quite right with your loved one and would like to encourage professional help, whilst others may have just found out their loved one has depression. Here is a guide on what you should do to help.
Take your first step to helping someone with depression by educating yourself
Become informed, and understand depression is a mental illness, that someone cannot simply ‘snap out of’. There is a great deal of misunderstanding surrounding mental illness. You really need to understand that the symptoms of depression are real, and that your loved one is going through a very difficult time. It is also important that you know and understand how to recognise the signs of depression including the less well-known signs.
Taking the first step to helping someone with depression
Armed with your knowledge and compassion, you now can have the conversation. A simple conversation can show how much you care and make them feel less alone. Just knowing that you are there can be great support. Try have the conversation in a safe environment where your loved one would feel most at ease. Make sure you’re in a good headspace and you have plenty of time.
If you’re unsure of what questions to ask someone who has depression, some examples could be:
Are you ok?
How are you feeling?
What can I do to help?
Or some examples of what to say to someone with depression include:
I’ll do my best to understand
I care about you
I’m here for you
Offer encouragement that they receive professional support
If someone is showing signs of depression encourage them gently of your concerns and towards seeing their Doctor.
Encourage them to seek professional support. Treatment can include medication and therapy. Let them know of local support groups and convenient online therapy to treat depression.
People with depression often feel unmotivated so perhaps you can suggest coming along to the appointments with them, if they would like.
Is it an emergency?
Has your loved one:
- spoken of suicide or plans of suicide
- indicated they would harm another person
- shown signs of severe confusion, or disorientation or hallucinations
Get help immediately. Call emergency services.
Look after yourself
To effectively support your loved one, your wellbeing also needs to be taken care of. It can be difficult, painful and even exhausting to help someone you love with depression. Just as your loved one is not alone, nor are you. There are actually support groups for friends and family of those with mental illnesses.
Ensure you are looking after yourself, allow time for things you love, and time to relax.
These five steps on how to help someone with depression show there are many different ways you can help those with depression, and help yourself at the same time too.