10 Ways to Support Someone Who Is Struggling with Depression
Depression is a very real problem that millions of adults face everyday. If you know someone who is struggling with depression, here are 10 ways you can give them the support they need until they decide they are ready to get help.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, at least 16.2 million adults in the United States suffer from depression.
And while the market is full of medication that will help those who are suffering from it, not many people know how to provide support for those who are struggling.
If you or someone you know is currently struggling with depression, here are 10 ways you can give them the support they need.
10 Ways To Support Someone Who Is Struggling With Depression
We don’t always know the words to say to those who are struggling with depression. And sometimes we can unknowingly trigger emotions if we’re not careful.
Here are 10 ways to provide support.
1. Don’t Wait For Them To Come To You With Their Problems
When it comes to helping a loved one struggling with depression– don’t wait for them to come to you with your problems. Because those struggling with mental health issues are usually too afraid to speak up, they begin to internalize thus causing major issues.
Sometimes it can feel a bit intrusive, but according to experts, it’s better to say something to a friend in need then wait until it’s too late.
2. Listening Can Go A Long Way
The simplest way you can help a friend struggling with depression is listening. A lot of times those suffering simply want a friend to lend a listening ear. As they begin to fill you in on their mental battles, be careful not to judge them as this can serve as a trigger.
3. Say Away From Certain Phrases
Tough love is not the best love when it comes to caring for those struggling with depression. We advise that you stay away from certain phrases that could be deemed insensitive when dealing with those with depression.
These phrases include but are not limited to:
- “It will pass”
- “You’re freaking out over absolutely nothing”
- “Being depressed is better than…”
- “Find a new hobby”
- “Count your blessings…”
- “Everyone has problems…”
- “I know how you feel…”
While these might seem like the right things to say, they often create even bigger tension than what was originally present creating unnecessary triggers.
4. Do Not Promise To Keep A Secret
In reality, when it comes to mental health issues, keeping a secret is never a good idea. As tempting as it might seem to want to create a safe place with your loved one – if their depression is causing them to think suicidal and/or homicidal thoughts – you cannot keep this a secret.
Of course, you want to make sure to keep the person’s confidence, but there are instances where professional help is going to be needed. Sometimes making this kind of promise put you in an awkward position between choosing the person and/or seeking the right help.
5. Point Your Loved One In The Right Direction
As much as you might think that you have the right things to say to those who are struggling with depression – the reality is, you’re not a mental health professional.
One of the best ways you can help is pointing your friend towards a therapist. While they’re undergoing session, be certain to check up on them to see how they’re progressing.
6. Ask About Suicidal Tendencies
When it comes to mental health concerns, the best thing you can do is ask. Loved ones struggling with depression won’t always vocalize their suicidal thoughts. Ask them if they’re planning on taking suicidal actions and immediately make the proper arrangements for them to seek medical help.
7. Mental Health Logos
If you plan on owning your own non-government organization (NGO) involving assisting those struggling with depression, it’s important to create a mental health logo.
This logo, not only creates a sense of recognition from your clients but it’s a strong representation of your company and aura of safety associated with it. Discover more about creating your mental health logos and how it can benefit you.
8. Sit With Your Friend When They Make Their First Appointment
The first step is going to be the hardest. This is why it’s important to step up to the plate once you recognize that your loved one needs help.
Keep in mind that this process can be intimidating especially if it’s the first time your loved one is going through it. Offer to make the first appointment, make phone calls, and talk to the appropriate people in order to make this process easier.
9. Beware Of The Signs
There are certain signs that you should be aware of if your loved one is struggling with depression. These signs include but are not limited to:
- Excessive crying
- Mood swings
- Weight loss
- Restless sleep
While these aren’t the only symptoms to depression, they are going to be essential when providing the necessary support for a loved one. If you or someone you know are currently experiencing any of these symptoms, seek a medical professional immediately.
10. Share What You Have Observed With The Person
Those battling depression tend to internalize their feelings, it’s always a good idea to share what you’ve observed with the person. Because you are now aware of the signs of depression your loved one will feel a sense of relief when he/she realizes they are able to release their emotions to you without judgment.
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