5 ways you can help someone with depression


    According to National Institute of Mental Health, in 2019 "an estimated 19.4 million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode. This number represented 7.8% of all U.S. adults." Chances are you know someone who was or is currently depressed. It can be hard to know how to help! My best suggestion is to encourage them to see a therapist. But, there are also things you can do to help as well! Below is some tips on how to help someone with depression. 

5 ways you can help someone with depression:

1. Be there for them

    • Think of a time when you were upset... did you have someone who was just there for you? They didn't talk or give advice they were just physically present. When someone is going through depression, they feel lonely. If you are even just present, this can mean more than you know! Watch a movie with them... even if you don't talk they will know that you care about them. If they are crying, listen to them and be the shoulder to cry one. You don't have to "fix it". 
    • I think one of the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to supporting someone with depression is they try to "fix" them. They say things like "have you tried..." or "just do this...". The intensions are often pure, but this makes a person feel overwhelmed and inadequate. Sit with them in their pain. Talk about the pain if they are willing, but don't force anything out of them.
    • Simply, just be present.

2. Be empathetic 

    • Imagine what it's like for them. Try to imagine the feelings and thoughts they are experiencing. You don't need to know everything about the situation in order to empathize. You can also think back to a time when you felt lonely/sad/depressed/worthless... this doesn't mean you know exactly what they are experiencing, but they way you respond to their pain is going to be more thoughtful. Before saying words, think about if you would want to hear what you are about to say. Would you want to hear the advice/questions/comments if you were in their situation?
    • You can also be empathetic by reflective listening. Show that you are listening to them by basically repeating what they say: 
      • Friend: "I feel so tired and useless. I can barely even get up out of bed."
      • You: "So you've been feeling tired and it's difficult to get out of bed. You are also feeling useless."
      • Friend: "Yeah. I don't know what to do anymore."
      • You: "I'm sorry that you are feeling this way. It sounds like you're not sure what to do now."
    • This is just one example of an empathetic response. There are many other ways you can show empathy 💗

3. Offer support

    • Depression can prevent a person from getting even simple tasks completed. Hygiene can become a daunting activity. Cleaning is likely a tough task to accomplish. Offering support is a great way you can help someone who is struggling with depression. You can offer to help them clean, cook, and buy groceries. Helping them will also hopefully motivate them to do it since you are doing it together.

4. Offer resources

5. Seek professional help

    • Encourage the person to talk to a profession therapist. Therapist are trained to talk with individuals who are struggling with depression. You can also encourage them to see their primary care doctor if that is an easier first step for them. Psychology Today is a great resource for finding local therapists.
I hope that these tips were helpful to you! You do not need to carry this burden alone. Make sure you take of your mental health as well.

I know you are going to do great things!

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