Having depression can be challenging, and a person going through it will feel quite alone if help isn’t there. It is where having some emotional support can help immensely in this regard. If you have a partner, a family member, or a close friend who is undergoing depression, then educating yourself on this matter is essential. Once you have the knowledge, you can better support your close ones and help them feel better as they go through a hard time.
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How Can You Support a Person with Depression?
Depression is a mental health condition that primarily affects your emotional state and can cause a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest and can interfere with your daily life. Depression can be crippling to the affected person’s quality of life. However, they can learn to cope with the pressuring feelings they feel with good emotional support. The key to supporting someone with depression is to make them feel heard, loved, and understood. Also, it is vital to keep healthy boundaries, so you don’t end up feeling drained.
We will cover more details about supporting a loved one that has depression in this article. You can do the following things to help them feel supported and enabled.
Walk Them Through Nature
Walking in nature, like in a park or trekking on a mountainside, can do wonders for a person struggling with mental health issues. It is because the natural scenes have healing energies, and the sights help a person struggling with depression feel at ease. You can also help them think mindfully and comfortably this way. It can be challenging for the struggling person to feel motivated to head out. Here, your role becomes quite crucial in making a change.
Be A Good Listener
One of the best things you can do to support someone dealing with depression is to be a good listener to them. When you intend to do active listening, they feel heard and valued. Instead of trying to give a reply or a solution to them every time they come to you, try to help them open up more. When you are trying just to sit and give them the ear that they truly need, they will definitely feel light and calm. For this, you need first to observe your own listening habits. Ask yourself if you genuinely listen to the speaker or if you are only hearing. Also, it is vital to allow empathy to settle in yourself as they talk and let your body and words reflect their hurt. It will make them feel comfortable and heard.
Don’t Belittle Their Feelings
It can sound repetitive to hear the same problems from a hurt person, but honestly, they are trying to find a fix. In the words of comfort, in the listening of the supporter, they are trying to find the warmth they are seeking to feel better about their mental health. So, it is essential to make their words and problems valued. Give them the voice they need to communicate with you. Even if they repeat all the words that they have discussed with you, it is important not to let them feel bad for it. Instead, it is essential you allow them to feel comfortable. It would help if you also considered that merely expressing pain can be an excruciatingly difficult task for someone. So, if they trust you enough to just come to you and repeat those words, give them the shoulder they need because it is the only way they would find comfort sometimes.
Be Available for Them
The last thing anyone with depression would want is that they feel all alone by themselves. There are times when people with moderate to severe depression will have thoughts of worthlessness and shame. They might even have suicidal behavior as well and attempt to harm themselves. It is likely they are looking for someone to give them the comfort they need to continue with their lives. If you can, try to save your contact number in their emergency contacts list, so you can be reached whenever an emergency comes. If any such situation arises and they happen to tell you, immediately call 911 or seek professional help.
Take Care of Yourself
One of the most underrated things loved ones of a suffering person need to understand is that they need to take care of themselves as well. It is as simple as that: If you don’t take care of yourself first, how will you take care of the person who needs your help? So, take out some time to look after yourself and check in with your mind. If you feel something puts you in trouble, then evaluate your situation, seek professional help, and manage your feelings and emotions too. If you keep ignoring yourself in the process of helping someone, it is possible you will soon drain out of the energy you have and end up needing help yourself. It is true that we all need some level of self-care and love.
Get Them Professional Help
Connect them with a professional talk therapist, a mental health expert, or a psychiatrist who will understand the person’s situation and help them accordingly. Most people with depression find it quite hard to get the help they need, so it is a great help if you can connect them with the professional help they need. No matter how much the person suffering, remember that depression symptoms are treatable.
Therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness can help individuals to understand what they are going through, how depression can affect their lives, and what they can do to heal. They will also feel heard as they talk and listen to a confidential professional who understands their situation well. At Latinx Talk Therapy, there are many Latinx therapists fluent in both Spanish and English, helping guide individuals with practical, evidence-based techniques. To learn more about how our Chicago cognitive behavioral therapists can help, contact us online or call (312) 620-7551.