When a person you care about has depression, you start wondering how to help a depressed person. If you think there is nothing you can do, you are wrong: depression is treatable, though very serious. Lots of things depend on those people, who surround a depressed person and on how they are helping a friend with depression.
If you are ready to become a sort of a helping hand and wish to support someone with depression, our advice will be needed to succeed in your beginnings.
How To Understand When A Person Is Depressed?
It would be wrong to say that first symptoms of depression are personal and it’s difficult to define them. When one is depressed, he finds it difficult to connect on an emotional level with everyone else and frequently says hurtful things that come out in anger.
It is important not to underestimate the seriousness of depression. If you wish to help a depressed person, stay optimistic, full of energy and motivation.
First signs of depression include:
- indifference to everything around;
- unreasonable sadness, irritation, changes of mood;
- lack of interest in hobbies, work, pleasurable activities, sex;
- feelings of helplessness and hopelessness;
- frequent complains of feeling drained and tired all the time;
- avoidance of family, friends, different social activities;
- rapid weight gain or loss;
- talks about suicide or harming oneself;
- acting in dangerous ways;
- seeking weapons and pills;
- getting into dangerous affairs;
- sudden sense of calm after a prolonged depression;
- drugs and alcohol abuse.
Talking Is The Key To Helping A Friend With Depression
How to support someone with depression? – Start a conversation. Be a compassionate listener, because this is much more important than giving useless advice. If you are supportive, offer hope and encouragement, a depressed person will understand you and will respond to your worrying.
Use the phrases like:
- You’re not alone. I am here for you.
- The way you are feeling right now will soon change.
- Don’t give up. Just tell yourself there are lots of people you should live for.
- You are important for many people. You are important for me.
- We all have to cope with things like these.
- There’s nothing I can do about your situation.
- It’s only in your head.
- What has happened with you?
Helping A Friend With Depression Via Activity Encouraging
Begin with helping to arrange appointments and seeking for treatment options. You should create a schedule of the recovery process and have quite realistic expectations towards the results of your help. If you wish to find the way how to support someone with depression, encourage their activities: go to a funny movie together, dine at his/her favorite restaurant, etc. But never be too persistent, not to bother too much.
Your plan how to help a friend should look like this:
- find out the real symptoms;
- convince him/her to get treatment;
- talk with a depressed person, tell he/she is loved, appreciated and deserves the best;
- accompany him/her during the whole treatment process, entertain, laugh, dine, go to the movies and parties;
- arrange therapist visits or hospitalization, when it is needed;
- seek for family and friends’ assistance. Find people, who could convince that treatment is needed;
- never give up! Don’t let depression influence you! Stay optimistic, calm and compassionate.
How to help a depressed person usually becomes a frustrating question. Recognizing the first signs, you will know how to act and what to say. Remember that your help is really important as there are not so many people, who would like to help. Make a depressed person feel better and you will see the changes pretty soon.