Here, The Worsley Centre offers insight and advice on how you can help someone who is suffering from depression
If your loved one is struggling with depression, it can often mean that you are left feeling helpless and sometimes frustrated that you cannot take away part of their suffering. As well as this, those suffering from depression can try to push you away while other people become more dependent on you. This can also change daily which means it can be hard to know where you stand and what to do.
Therapy can be a massive help for those suffering with depression, but, support from loved ones is equally important. While each person suffering with depression can act differently and require different care, luckily there are some main ways you can help.
Embrace the outdoors
Nature is a great way to boost mood and reduce symptoms of major depression. Simply going for a walk outside can help with the overwhelming side effects that come with depression. The outdoors also enables them to get some headspace in a natural environment. Not to mention the sun will supply them with vitamin D which is a key element in producing the hormones that make us feel happier. Exercise also causes endorphins to be released which can also boost your mood.
Someone suffering from depression may not feel as though they want to go outside, so encouraging this is a great way to help. Ensure that you gently encourage them and make the experience as positive as you can by taking a nice walking route.
Those trying to cope with their depression can often feel as though their life is out of control. Providing an environment that is organised can really go along way. A tidy environment can help avoid them feeling overwhelmed by clutter and mess. A calm and tidy home can help them feel relaxed and at ease.
Being positive doesn’t mean that you have to over the top happy. However, it’s important that you try and stay positive. Help them see the positive in things they may be feeling negative about. Ideally, being around people that are happy will encourage them to feel good. Try and keep the conversation light and avoid moaning or complaining as this energy can negatively affect those struggling to be positive.
Don’t ignore depression
Whilst being positive and keeping it light is essential, you also need to encourage them to talk about their feelings. Letting them know that they can open up to you can take some of the burden away from them.
Even if they don’t do it straight away, just knowing they have someone to talk to who is aware and understanding of their situation is crucial.
Don’t use the tough love approach
If you think saying anything along the lines of ‘you need to sort it out’ or ‘just cheer up’ will help someone struggling with depression, you’re wrong.
The gentle approach can be taken by encouraging them to work through the issues that their mental health causes. No matter how big or small the issue may be to you, you must not judge them and you must treat each of their issues equally to help them on the road to recovery.
Although you may still feel hopeless at times, you can only do your best. Follow these steps and remember to always remind them that you love them and you’re there for them. That’s all they really need from you at this moment, love, positivity and care.