How to help someone who's depressed

How To Help Someone Who’s Depressed: 7 Steps To Take

Depression definition

Depression is a medical condition that affects your mood, thoughts, behavior, and physical health. The term depression is often used to describe people who are sad or have lost interest in activities they once enjoyed; however, a diagnosis of clinical depression means something different.

Clinical depression is diagnosed when a person has several depressive symptoms that last for at least two weeks and cause significant distress and/or impairment in everyday life. The most common symptoms of depression include low energy or fatigue, feelings of sadness or hopelessness, changes in appetite (weight loss or gain), sleeping too much or too little, having trouble focusing on tasks, and an inability to enjoy hobbies you once found pleasurable. Other signs include irritability, trouble concentrating, and headaches. 

What depression is?

Depression is an illness characterized by feelings of sadness, guilt, or hopelessness that interfere with daily activities. People who are depressed may feel they cannot function as well as they did before becoming depressed. The illness can become so severe that people contemplate suicide or attempt it. In addition to those suffering from depression, their loved ones and friends are also affected. It’s a serious condition that requires professional treatment, but you can help your loved ones by learning about depression and encouraging them to seek treatment.

How to help someone who’s depressed?

It can be a difficult task, especially if you’ve never experienced depression yourself and don’t know how to distinguish it from other mental health issues like anxiety or bipolar disorder. There are many ways to help someone who’s suffering from depression, including showing support, suggesting therapy and medication, and letting them know that they aren’t alone in their struggles. Keep reading to find out how to help someone who’s depressed!

1) Ask Them

A person’s appearance alone cannot reveal whether or not they are depressed. A lot of people are ashamed to ask for help and do not want others to know they are struggling. If you’re worried about someone you know, ask if they are okay. Your questions may seem simple but they could be exactly what they need to reach out for help. You may not always get an answer right away, but your caring support will help them realize they aren’t alone in their struggles.

Seek immediate medical attention from a reliable resource if you suspect someone is having suicidal thoughts. This is not something you should keep to yourself as it could be dangerous for them and others around them. Don’t assume that you know what is causing their depression because everyone has different experiences that contribute to mental health problems. Ask them how they are feeling and try to show interest without adding judgments of your own.

Remember that listening isn’t just waiting for them to stop talking so you can talk again; really try to understand where they are coming from so you can better offer advice later on. Be sure not to listen with pity either – make sure that there is empathy in your responses, too!

2) Don’t Judge

One of the worst things you can do for someone with depression is to judge them. They’re already feeling like a failure, and if you tell them what they should be doing instead or criticize their choices, you’re going to make it worse. Instead, let them know that it’s OK to not be OK and accept them as they are.

You’ll earn their trust over time and they might start talking to you about how they feel—and that’s where real healing begins. Just listen to what they have to say, sympathize when appropriate, and let them know that it’s all going to get better. Everyone has bad days; your loved one is no different. Be there for them on those bad days.

Remember: It will take some time for them to figure out their problems, so be patient with them. Most importantly, try to understand what they’re going through without judgment. Depression isn’t something that can be fixed overnight, but it can get better if you stay positive and help your friend every step of the way.

3) Identify Triggers

If you are helping someone who is depressed, it’s important to remember that there could be triggers that bring on feelings of depression or anxiety. If your loved one struggles with anxiety, stress, or other negative emotions as a result of something in their environment, it’s important to help them identify those triggers and work on ways to cope with them.

Being aware of what causes your loved one’s depression is vital to helping them overcome it; not all methods will be effective for everyone. Some people may need more support than others, so knowing how they react to certain situations can help you tailor your approach. For example, if they tend to isolate themselves when they feel down, make sure they know that reaching out can help.

Remember: Don’t force them to talk about their problems if they don’t want to. Instead, ask how you can support them and let them know that whatever happens is okay—you just want to see them happy again.

4) Don’t take their emotions for granted

In a recent study published in Psychiatry Research, researchers found that people who aren’t depressed—so-called non-clinically depressed—are less likely to take another person’s sadness seriously.

This can be hard for people with depression to deal with. One thing you can do is try not to assume that someone else knows how serious their situation is and just how much support they need; don’t expect them to tell you what they need because, chances are, you’ll never know if they don’t say it. Your job as a friend or loved one is simply to ask what you can do for them and offer your help.

When they seem reluctant to accept, reassure them that you are willing to listen without judgment. If they still seem unsure about telling you how they feel, give them space but continue checking in on them until you get an answer.

Remember: You can’t make someone feel better about something if they’re afraid of being judged for feeling bad in the first place. Be patient and stay positive by reminding yourself that depression doesn’t define who your loved one is—it’s just part of his or her life right now.

5) Accept That You Can’t Fix Them (But They Can Do It!)

As much as you may want to help, ultimately, someone who is depressed needs to want to get better. Try giving them support in a variety of ways—take them for a walk or spend time with them.

Listen carefully if they’re willing to talk about what’s going on and be understanding if they’re not. If you feel comfortable and it seems appropriate, ask them how you can help?. It might also be worth talking to other family members or friends who are close to your loved one; find out what has worked for them in similar situations.

Remember: In any case, remember that there is nothing wrong with helping someone seek professional care when needed—it is often essential for recovery from depression.

6) Expect a Change in Personality

When someone is depressed, their mental outlook on life changes. Their personality often becomes different, and they may not feel like doing things they normally enjoy. If you’re trying to help a friend or family member out of depression, expect a change in behavior. You might need to encourage them to get out of bed or brush their teeth—things that could seem mundane but that can be hard for someone who’s depressed to do.

Don’t push too hard, though; remember that people are likely to resist your efforts at first. Instead, try making small suggestions here and there about how they can make little lifestyle changes that will make it easier for them to start feeling better.

For example, if your loved one has been saying he or she doesn’t want to go out with friends because it takes too much energy, suggest he or she stay home one night instead of going out so he or she won’t have as much stress.

Remember: Be supportive and offer encouragement, but don’t pressure them into changing how they want to live their lives.

7) Keep The Faith

You can help your friend or loved one by being positive support. Sometimes, though, it’s hard to know what to say when someone you care about is hurting. It may be tough to find your own words, but knowing how to listen with compassion can go a long way toward helping lift your friend out of their depression.

The most important thing you can do for someone who’s depressed is let them know that they aren’t alone. Don’t downplay their feelings; rather, let them know that you want to be there for them and that they are not alone in feeling how they do—it is okay to feel sad and hopeless sometimes. Make sure they know that whatever they’re going through, it will pass. Remind them of all of their good qualities and why people love them so much.

If you can remember back to a time when you were depressed, remind your friend how far he or she has come since then. People often think back on times when things were bad as if those times will never end—remind your friend that he or she got through those tough times before and will get through these too.

Remember: Make sure your loved one knows how much his or her life means to you and how much better off everyone would be if he/she didn’t have depression anymore. 

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