Helping someone who’s struggling with depression can seem like an impossible task. But, luckily, there are a few therapist-approved ways to help them during their darker moments. According to VeryWell Health, the primary step to take is to always take care of yourself. You can’t pour from an empty cup so make sure to get your rest, stay hydrated and eat plenty of nutrient-dense foods.
Common ways you can provide support include simply listening to them, ensuring them that they are worthy and telling them that it isn’t their fault for how they feel, the outlet notes. Rather than telling them how to fix various aspects of their lives, reach out to them and ask how they’re feeling, Medical News Today suggests. Think of a fun activity to do together to take their mind off of things like baking, watching a movie or going on a walk. You can also go to dinner or get out in a way that makes them feel less isolated.
Of course, knowledge is always powerful. The outlet recommends reading various materials to learn more about depression, what it feels like and other important information. Having an understanding of what they’re experiencing can make a huge difference.
Help them find support
Perhaps one of the best ways to support a friend or loved one struggling with depression is by helping them find the help they need. Sometimes finding a therapist or doctor can seem overwhelming, so standing by their side as they reach out for support can make a huge difference. According to Healthline, helping your friend find a therapist can make the process that much less daunting. You can draft a list of potential therapists to help your friend choose which is right for them.
Of course, a classic sign of depression is a lack of interest or low energy, making it difficult to perform everyday tasks. The outlet suggests asking your friend what you can help with instead of asking if you can help at all. It can be anything like helping them clean their room, eat a healthy, home-cooked meal or pick up their groceries. Since these tasks can pile up while someone is suffering, it’s a good idea to help with small items as frequently as possible.
Reaching out and being patient with your friend can help both of you navigate these difficult times. Know that it’s incredibly important to take care of yourself first and then offer what support you can.
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