Disclaimer: This article is made for the purposes of sharing information and not as a means of diagnosis or treatment. Please reach out to a licensed healthcare provider or mental health professional, if you are struggling.
Hey Psych2Goers! Have you ever noticed a loved one or someone you care about, slowly talking less, showing up to events and activities less, or having a lower mood? Well, you and your loved one aren’t alone. As of 2021 (World Health Organization, 2021), the World Health Organization has said that depression is a common illness that affects more than 280 million people worldwide. But did you know there are certain ways to help someone who may have depression? Here are 10 ways you might be able to help.
Often, someone with depression may not feel like they are being heard or that they are alone. If you reach out to them, ask them how they are feeling, and have them tell you their story, they might feel a little better because they feel heard. They know that you are there for them and that someone cares about what might be troubling them.
2. Learn about depression
To help your loved one and be aware if they have depression, or to know what to look out for incase their signs and symptoms become worse, learn about depression and what it entails. It’s okay if you are not completely versed in it, however, having an idea will help you better understand how to help.
3. Be there for them
Your loved one might be feeling lonely and that could be causing their low mood. If you are present for them, listening to them, doing things with them, your loved one will appreciate the time you give them. They may not ask you to spend time with them, so remember to offer it if you can.
4. Help them find support from professionals
Your loved one might be hesitant to reach out for help. It can be a scary and overwhelming process, but if you provide them moral support, walk or drive with them to therapy they will know that they can do it. This helps them know that there is someone there with them and that they are not alone.
5. Help them with certain tasks or activities by being another presence there
Day to day might become hard to do for your loved one. They might lose motivation to eat or clean. You might be able to help by offering to do the task with them. This way they will get to do their tasks, spend time with you and they can make happy memories with you.
6. Tell them positive things
It is common for someone with depression to have negative thoughts. This can lead to them having a lower mood. You can help by telling them happy and positive things or reminding them of past joyful memories you may have had together. This can help them feel happier. Here is a list of some positive things you can say to them.
7. Remember to give them time
It may take time for your loved one to start feeling better. It is important that you are patient with them. The thoughts they are having can be powerful and hard to overcome. But they will slowly start feeling better, knowing that you are there for them and are giving them the time they need.
8. Check in on them
While being patient with them, it is important to check in on them from time to time so that they know that there is still support and that you still care for them. It can be a long process to work through depression, so by checking in on them, they know that someone will be there for them.
9. While they are in therapy, make sure you are supportive
Therapy is important for recovery. However, it is also important to be with your loved one in between their appointments. This will help them feel supported and better about what they are doing in therapy. They will not feel alone and they will have a shoulder to lean on when they may not have an appointment immediately.
10. Invite them to activities
Your loved ones may start to not show up at events or activities that they previously enjoyed. It is important that even if they stop attending, you are still inviting them and let them know that it is okay if they are unable to attend but that you would love for them to be there. They will know that they are wanted and that they will still have a place to go to when they start to feel better.
Noticing any changes in your loved ones’ day to day life is the first step to helping them feel better. If you find that their symptoms start to get worse, make sure they are able to access a professional.
World Health Organization. (2021, September 13). Depression. World Health Organization. Retrieved October 23, 2021, from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/depression.
Chloe. (2020, April 7). 7 Things To Say To Someone With Depression. Psych2Go. Retrieved October 23, 2021, from https://psych2go.net/7-things-to-say-to-someone-with-depression/