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1. Be Aware Of The Symptoms
Being aware of the symptoms of depression is the first step to helping a loved one come out of depression. It is very important for one to be able to differentiate the symptoms of depression from infrequent bouts of sadness. Experiencing negative emotions can be identified as a symptom of depression only when an individual exhibits them on a regular basis and when those feelings start to disrupt the normal processes of routine life.
2. Accompany Them To The Doctor To Rule Out Any Physical Ailments
When a person you love is facing physical symptoms that might match those of depression, the first thing to do is to rule out any possibility of physical illness. Although physical symptoms of depression can be equally serious as the mental ones, if the individual experiences only physical discomfort without any noticeable change in their behaviour, their condition is most likely due to a health issue and not a mental problem.
3. Make Them Feel Loved
Feeling worthless is a very common symptom of depression. In this situation, the onus of making the person feel important and worthy is on his/her loved ones. Constant affirmations and encouragement from friends and family play a very important role in helping the depressed person battle his feelings of sadness and gain his confidence again.
4. Don’t Take Their Behavior Personally
Depression can sometimes cause people to act very unreasonably. In such times, it is necessary for the friends and family of the depressed person to be extremely patient and supportive. The person suffering from depression might end up saying or doing things which will hurt the people close to him.
5. Seek Help From Others
Taking care of a depressed person is not a small task. Being around a person suffering from depression can affect your own mental well being as well. While taking care of a depressed person, it is very important to take some time off to recharge your mental energies. Thus, a person who is helping a loved one deal with depression should never hesitate from taking help from other friends and family so that everybody can collectively help the depressed person without having to compromise on their own mental health.
6. Avoid Judgements Be Supportive
The main reason why the support of friends and family is so helpful for people battling depression is because these are the only people who support and love without judgement. While helping a loved one deal with depression, one should always keep an open mind and offer full support to that individual. Friends and family should encourage the depressed individual to express himself freely and talk about his fears and insecurities.
7. Recommend Helping Resources
People undergoing depression are often resistant to getting help from mental health experts. In these situations, the job of friends and family is to make the individual aware of all the options there are which can help him/her overcome his negative feelings. Loved ones can start by sharing blogs, articles and videos on how help from experts helps people battle depression.
8. Invite Them To Events
The job of friends and family of a person dealing with depression should be to try to keep his hard life as normal as possible. Even though the depressed individual might be wary of participating in any kind of activity, they should always try to send out loose ended invitations that are of his/her interest. Simply saying things like, “I would love to go out for a run with you wherever you are in the mood” is a great way of coaxing the depressed person to participate in fun activities without putting any kind of pressure on them.
9. Help With Everyday Tasks
Assisting with everyday errands, sending homemade food, making appointments to the therapist, dropping off laundry and picking up the mail are some of the ways in which friends and family of a depressed individual can help in making his/her everyday life easier. People with depression often spend their days in bed. Handling these everyday tasks that seem too overwhelming for depressed people is a great way to help the depressed individual sail through the dark days of depression.
10. Institutionalise If You Notice Suicidal Tendencies
If you believe that a person you love is having suicidal tendencies, the best thing you can do is to help him/her in getting admitted into a professional institution where they will be under constant care and supervision. While at home, it is impossible to keep an eye on the depressed individual at all times. Even a little carelessness can have grave consequences.
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