While depression can seem scary there are some things we can do to help our loved ones cope with it.
We can educate ourselves.
We can start by learning everything we can about depression. Many people think that depression is simply extreme sadness. It’s much more than simply being sad. Learn about the symptoms of depression.
Sometimes we will see the symptoms of depression before our friend or family member realizes they are experiencing them. So, it’s important to be aware of the symptoms and to encourage our friend or family member to seek help.
We can recognize that depression doesn’t simply go away.
Depression is a serious condition. The symptoms may lessen, or they may seem better for a time, but they don’t simply disappear. Depression is severely draining, and our loved ones can’t simply “get over it”. They aren’t lazy, they’re exhausted just at the thought of doing anything.
A depressed friend or family member may experience a variety of emotions, and sometimes that can make them say or do things that are out of character. We need to remember that their attacks aren’t meant to be personal. Their depression affects everything about their daily lives, and that also affects their relationships with everyone in their life.
We can encourage them to talk.
When our friend or family member is depressed, talking can help them to cope with the symptoms they’re experiencing Ideally, we’d encourage them to speak with a professional who’s been trained to help them work through their symptoms and possibly find the root cause of their depression. Sometimes, they’ll be resistant to that idea, but they might be willing to talk to you.
If a depressed friend or family member chooses to talk to us, we need to remember to be compassionate without judging. We should listen with the intention of truly hearing rather than the intention of fixing their problem. The fact is we can’t “fix” it.
Depression is a serious condition that can affect every aspect of life. The best way to help a loved one struggling with depression is to be compassionate. Help them help themselves.