There are a lot of ways to support someone with depression. This affective disorder can be very isolating, debilitating and in the long term, it can sabotage relationships. Even though you might think that there is not much you can do for someone who suffers from depression, I must disabuse you of that since there are quite a few things that you can do that will help them feel better and help restore their faith in themselves. Here are a few useful ways to support someone with depression:
1. Be There
One of the most helpful ways to support someone with depression is by simply being there for them. Just sit there by their side when they are crying, really listen to what they have to say and show them that you are willing to do everything you can to help them feel better again. Hold their hand and tell them that you believe in them and that you know they have all the resources they need to overcome this difficult time in their life.
2. Don’t Judge!
One of the worst things you can do when you’re dealing with someone who suffers from depression is to judge or criticize them. You will not help them by saying things like: “It’s all in your head!” or that “You just have to get out of bed and move around to feel better.”. Depression is not an easy thing to deal with, so show some compassion and really think before you speak!
3. Don’t Minimize Their Pain
For someone who suffers from depression, their struggle is real, so don’t try to minimize their pain. It’s very disrespectful and you’re not doing them any favors. Don’t use sentences like: “Why do you let every little thing bother you?”, because you’re simply implying that there are not trying hard enough and that they are the ones to blame for their mood.
4. Give Plenty of Reassurance
When someone close to you is suffering from depression, make sure you give them plenty of reassurance, since they often feel unworthy of being loved. Tell them you love them, tell them you are always going to be by their side to help them fight this battle and that you will celebrate together when they will manage to overcome this debilitating disorder.
5. Give Understanding
When you are trying to help someone who suffers from depression feel better, give understanding and sympathy by saying things like: “I can't imagine how hard it is for you, but you have all my sympathy.” or “All I want to do is give you a hug and a shoulder to cry on.”. Be supportive and help them through.
6. Offer to Help
Another very useful thing to do to support someone who suffers from depression is to simply offer to help them whenever they need. Small things may seem insignificant to you, but for them they will mean everything. Try to be patient, because just like Deborah Serani, psychologist, said: “With such patience, comes hope.”.
7. Learn as Much as You Can about Depression
Try to learn as much as you can about depression. This way, you will be able to understand depression’s symptoms better and you will be able to better support your loved one. Educate yourself and you'll do a better job of being there by their side.
There are a lot of things you can do to support someone who suffers from depression. I just mentioned a few but I’m sure there are more I could add to this list. Do you know any other ways to support someone with depression? Please tell us about them in the comments section!