As a sufferer of depression for quite a few years now, I feel as though i’ve collected some pretty good advice and experience during my time here on earth. I have suffered with someone, I have suffered alone and I have hidden my suffering. Depression is horrible thing for someone to experience, it destroys not only you, but those around you, those who care and who see you in such pain. After a pretty rough evening, I’ve decided to share with you a few ways you can help a loved one, a friend, a family member etc, if they need you.
1) Acknowledge that something is wrong, look out for the signs. When depression hits someone it has a pretty big impact, notice that something has changed. Have they suddenly become quiet? Distant? Are their answers short and snappy? Some people might just get up and leave, some might stay and pretend it’s okay. The longer it takes you to acknowledge that something is wrong, the worse that person might feel. The signs are different for everyone, so keep an eye out.
2) Make sure that person knows you are there for them. One of the most comforting things to hear from someone when you feel depressed is that they are there for you, and they care. Depression is nasty because it fills your head full of lies, someone with depression may feel like they are not worth your time, or that they are a waste of space. Make sure they know this is not true, that they are special, unique and deserve a place on this earth.
3) Give them a hug! Hugs can perform miracles, I know for myself personally, If I start feeling depressed, a hug can change everything. A hug speaks when words do not. If you struggle speaking to someone with depression, a simple hug will do just as much.
4) DO NOT SAY “CHEER UP.” Cheering up is not something you can just do when you’re depressed. Often people with depression may not even have an explanation for their sadness, you need to know that. If you ask someone what’s wrong and they don’t have an answer, don’t push it, don’t tell them to just cheer up. It will only make things worse.
5) If the sufferer is a close friend/relation, you might know what they enjoy doing, try and encourage them to do something they enjoy but keep it simple. Getting up and doing something is important when you find yourself stuck in depression. It’s hard I know, but maybe start by offering the sufferer a cup of tea or make them some food, then help them get up and take them for a walk outside. The fresh air is lovely. If its horrible outside, maybe put on their favourite film, snuggle them up in a blanket and wait it out with them. Do not ignore the problem, don’t let them suffer alone.
I hope these tips might help you if you are dealing with depression or dealing with someone who has depression. I live with my boyfriend and suffer myself, so this advice isn’t coming from just anywhere. These are things that help me and things that my boyfriend can do to help me. I hope they can help you to.