Depression is a common and serious medical condition that can negatively affect how a person feels, thinks, and acts. When someone you care about is clinically depressed, it is important to be there for that person. Follow these helpful tips when a loved one has depression.
- Understand that clinical depression is a serious condition. Your loved one cannot just “snap” out of it just by wanting to so try to avoid getting frustrated with them because your efforts don’t “cure” their depression. Try to educate yourself more about the condition.
- Realize that hiding or avoiding the problem won’t make it go away.
- Let the person know that you and others care about them and are available for support.
- Try to call or visit the person and invite her or him to join you in daily activities. Keep in mind that they may not seem interested in the activity right away.
- Try to be mindful for your words. Validate that depression is “real” and difficult, and that you will support them. For instance avoid saying “It’s all in your head” or “Just snap out of it”. Instead, say: “You are not alone in this. I’m here for you.” or “Tell me what I can do now to help you.”
- Be proud of their accomplishments, even small ones.
- Motivate that person to seek professional help.