It can be tough to watch someone you care about suffer from depression. You will probably struggle with helplessness and frustration as you search for ways to help your loved one in any way you can. Many times, too, a person who has depression is looking for help of some sort but isn’t sure where or how to start.
Here are 6 ways you can give even just a little bit of help to that person in your life.
*Be a good listener. If your loved one wants to talk about what’s bothering them, be attentive and caring. Remember that he or she might not be speaking well right now and might even speak more slowly and less clearly. Just do what you can to be patient and don’t interrupt.
*Take care of the pesky little tasks that need to be done around the home. Do the laundry, wash the dishes, keep things tidy, and make sure that the dog or cat is fed as well. Most importantly, do these things with love – never complain in front of the depressed person. It will only make him or her feel worse.
*Always keep in mind that the depressed person is not being lazy. Remember a time when you felt so sick that you could barely get yourself to get up to go to the bathroom. That’s what depression feels like, and it’s constant. Keep this in mind when you’re trying to help that person in your life.
*Depression is a hard, sometimes impossible battle to fight alone. Encourage this person to receive professional help for their depression if he or she hasn’t received any yet. If treatment has already begun, do what you can to ensure that he or she is keeping doctor appointments and doing whatever the doctor says.
*If the depressed person begins to talk about self-harm, take it seriously. Call the doctor for advice on what to do.
*Finally, remember to take care of yourself in the process. Helping someone deal with depression can be taxing. Remember that your feelings of anger, frustration, and helplessness are valid. Talk to someone about it, and make sure that you do things that make you happy as well.
Like I said before, depression can be an incredibly difficult battle, especially if you attempt to go it alone. The great thing is that you don’t have to! Join us for one or both of our two support groups in St. Louis. Contact me at (636) 236-2267 for more information!