Depression is a serious but treatable disorder that affects millions of people, from young to old, and from all walks of life. It gets in the way of tremendous pain, hurting not just those suffering from it but also impacting everyone around them.
If someone you love is depressed, you may be experiencing any number of difficult emotions including helpless frustration, anger, fear, guilt, and sadness. These feelings are all normal. It’s not easy dealing with a friend or family member’s depression. And if you neglect your own health, it can become overwhelming.
That said, your companionship and support can be crucial to your loved one’s recovery. You can help them cope with depression symptoms, overcome negative thoughts, and regain their energy, optimism, and enjoyment of life.
Recognizing Depression Symptoms in a One
Family and friends are often the first defense in the fights against depression. That’s why it’s important to understand the signs and symptoms of depression. You may notice the problem in a depressed loved one before they do, and your influence and concern can motivate them to seek help.
Talk to Someone About Depression
Sometimes it’s hard to know what to say when speaking to someone about depression. You might fear that if you bring up your worries the person will get angry, feel insulted, or ignore your concerns. You may be unsure what questions to ask or how to be supportive.
Remember that being a compassionate listener is much more important than giving advice. You don’t have to try to “fix” your friend or family member; you just have to be a good listener. Often, the simple act of talking face to face can be enormous help to someone suffering from depression. Encourage the depressed person to talk about their feelings , and be willing to listen without judgment.
Don’t expect a single conversation to be the end of it. Depressed people tend to withdraw from others and isolate themselves. You may need to express you concern and willingness to listen over and over again. Be gentle, yet persistent.