How to Help a Family Member Suffering from Depression ...

Living with a depressed family member is a bit challenging sometimes, since it’s hard for people struggling with depression to function normally and every aspect of their life can be impacted. Friends and family members can find themselves dealing with a wide range of uncomfortable emotions like frustration, anger, confusion, withdrawal, guilt and even anxiety. If someone close to you is suffering from depression, you may feel helpless and you may even wonder what’s the best thing you can do to help them feel better. Here are a few very helpful tips on how to deal with a depressed family member that will help you both cope with depression in a more effective way:

1. Educate Yourself about Your Loved One’s Illness

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One of the best tips I could give you on how to deal with a depressed family member is to tell you to educate yourself first about your loved one’s illness. Find out is what the symptoms are and what treatments are available. Depression is a real thing and it’s not just a character flaw or a personal weakness, so do your research and educate yourself on this matter.

2. We’re in This Together

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Try to cultivate a “we’re in this together” attitude and show them that they are not fighting that battle with depression by themselves. Depression can make you feel completely alone and it can also isolate everyone in the family. Stay strong and work together to overcome all the obstacles that lie ahead.

3. Don’t Blame Anyone

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You shouldn’t blame anyone for what’s going on with your loved one or with your family. It’s nobody’s fault! No one is responsible for the occurrence of depression; it has so many causes and a lot of people can be affected by it at certain times in their life. Focus on what you can do to make things better and take responsibility for helping to manage it.

4. Improve Your Communication Skills

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When one of your loved ones is affected by this affective disorder and you don’t know what to do to help them feel better, try to work on improving your communication skills, so you can find better ways to negotiate. While addressing your own needs, make sure you allow your depressed loved one to express their needs too.

5. Get Active

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Depressed people are not really motivated to exercise even though that will make them feel better and it will also improve their mood. Just get active and encourage your loved one to do something fun with you, even if they will say no at first. Even a short walk in the park can yield positive benefits right away, so encourage them do more exercise or you can even offer to join them.

6. Reach out to Others

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As I’ve said before, dealing with a depressed family member can be a bit challenging sometimes but you don’t need to be alone in this. Reach out to others! There are a lot of support groups for the friends, family members and caregivers of people suffering from depression that you could join.

7. Be Kind

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Don’t be provocative and don’t start fights out of nothing! Be kind and have patience. Even if it may seem overwhelming sometimes, things will get better and with your help, your loved one will surely improve their mood. Small acts of kindness are appreciated, even if the recipient doesn’t reciprocate.

Dealing with a depressed family member can be difficult sometimes but you can really help them feel better if you just do some of these things mentioned in this little article. Do you know any other helpful tips on how to deal with a depressed family member? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section!

Sources: depressiontoolkit.org, mayoclinic.org, dbsalliance.org, undoingdepression.com

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