Providing Support for People with Depression

At one point in your life, no matter where you go, you will encounter a person with depression. It might be someone in your family or even someone you recently met. They need your help. Depressed people can overcome their suffering if you provide them with the right support. Here’s what you can do:

Small Gestures

Send chocolate gifts, a card, or anything that can cheer them up. Every person has their way of showing their concern and support. Not everybody can be emotionally supportive. If you’re uncomfortable showing your emotions to someone suffering from depression, you can still express your support through small gestures.

Aside from sending gifts and messages, you can also give them their favorite dish, a book by their favorite author, or anything that will bring them light.

Encourage Spiritual Practice

This doesn’t necessarily mean forcing people with depression to go to church. You can encourage them to participate in activities that lift their spirits. You can get them involved in a charismatic group, a religious community, a charity group, or any organization that reflects their spiritual practices and beliefs.

Educate Yourself

Learn more about depression. Study everything that you need to know about the disorder. This is important because you’ll be better at understanding people who are going through the illness. You’ll also be able to forego misconceptions, avoid misunderstandings, and eliminate assumptions. Most importantly, you’ll be able to educate others.

Look for Support Groups

The increasing number of people experiencing depression has encouraged many organizations to form support groups and open counseling sessions. You can search for an organization that’s near a patient’s house. You can offer to drive the patient to support group meetings, too.

Support groups and counseling sessions offer a great way of easing the pain. Sufferers will know that they’re not alone. If they need help, they know who to turn to when no else is around.

Caring psycotherapist supporting her young broken down patient

Foster a Low-stress Environment

A low-stress environment promotes positivity, which is scarce in the life of someone with depression. It also makes the person feel more in control.

You can help create a low-stress environment by encouraging a routine that includes daily activities, such as eating, taking medications, household chores, other physical activities, and sleep.

Help the person create a plan for daily activities. Don’t decide anything on your own, and never force the person to do things they’re not comfortable doing.

Offer Positive Reinforcement

Always encourage and give positive reinforcement to people with depression. Remind them about their positive characteristics. Tell them that they mean a lot to you and everybody around them. Tell them how much people care. You need to do this because they always find fault in themselves, and they feel like they do everything the wrong way. They always judge themselves harshly.

Always show people with depression that you’re there if they need you. Be accepting and kind. Never assume that it’s just a phase in their lives. Avoid being too hard on them and telling them that their problems will go away. Most importantly, take thoughts of self-harm very seriously.

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