Do you have someone in your life who is struggling with depression? Even if they have admitted they are depressed yet, you can still find ways to help them. The first thing to note is that even if their depression doesn’t seem severe, that doesn’t mean it isn’t causing difficulties in their life. Never underestimate the power of depression and how it can affect a person’s life on so many deep levels.
With this being said, if you want to help someone with depression, reach out to our Harmony Oaks Recovery Center team for guidance. We have helped people from all walks of life – from young kids to elderly adults. We know how damaging depression can be on a person’s life and we want to guide you in helping your loved ones.
Understand More About Depression Before Trying to Help
Before you can truly help someone who is struggling with a depressive episode, you may need to know a bit more about depression. There are so many studies and resources regarding depression that it can be difficult to find the basic information you need.
Here at Harmony Oaks Recovery Center, we want to make it easier for you to help someone you know who has depression. For this reason, here are some basic things that can help you to better understand depression in your loved one or friend:
- Depression can range from mild to severe.
- Depression drains a person physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.
- People can’t just snap out of depression.
- The symptoms being displayed aren’t personal.
- Ignoring the problems won’t make them disappear.
- Your friend or loved one isn’t a bad person.
- You can’t fix their problems alone – they have to ask for help and take action.
- You can offer support and love through your loved one or friend’s recovery.
Now that you have some of the basic tips and information regarding depression, you can start identifying depressive episodes in your loved one or friend. If you do recognize they have some level of depression, there are other tips you can use to help them.
Identifying Symptoms of Depression in Your Friend or Loved One
As noted above, one of the first steps in helping someone with depression is to identify the symptoms they are displaying. Some symptoms you might notice in your friend or loved one if they are having a depressive episode include:
- Not seeming to care about things that brought them pleasure in the past
- Having a negative outlook on all things related to life
- Becoming quite moody
- Often complaining of aches, pains, and irritations
- Sleeping less or more than their usual amount
- Eating more or less than their usual amount
- Abusing alcohol and/or drugs to cope with their emotions or life
Take a look at how your friend or loved one is living. Do you recognize these symptoms in their life? If so, they could be struggling with some level of depression. The next step is to talk to your friend or loved one about how they are feeling and what they are up against.
Talking to Your Friend or Loved One About How They Are Feeling
At times, you may find it difficult to know exactly what you should say to your friend or loved one, especially when they are feeling down. You don’t want to say the wrong thing or make them feel worse, but you don’t want to sit there and say nothing either.
If you aren’t sure what you should say to your friend or loved one, the number one rule is to show compassion. Listen to what they are saying and be empathetic. You aren’t responsible for fixing what they are going through. In fact, trying to fix it for them may just make things worse. It is best to be a good listener, encourage them to talk about how they are feeling and don’t judge. If you can do these things, your friend or loved one will likely open up to you more often and in more detail. Hopefully, they will start seeing that talking about their emotions and problems helps them feel better. If they can see this, maybe, they might be willing to attend a treatment program at Harmony Oaks Recovery Center.
One other thing to keep in mind is that one conversation isn’t likely going to help your friend or loved one feel better completely. Sure, it can help, but depression doesn’t disappear overnight. Have patience with your friend or loved one. Let them talk to you over days, months or even years if necessary. Be persistent with your conversations, but kind at the same time.
Top Tips for Discussing Depressive Thoughts, Emotions and Conditions
Do you have a friend or loved one who is struggling with depression? If so, here are some of our top tips for discussing depressive thoughts, emotions and conditions with a friend or loved one:
- Let them know they aren’t alone and that you are there for them.
- Let them know better feelings are coming their way.
- Offer to help them, as people with depression aren’t likely to ask for help.
- Tell your friend or loved one how much you care about them.
- Let them know that you are there to help them try different solutions.
- Offer mental health treatment resources to them.
- Don’t tell them that they are fine because everyone goes through this
- Never say it is in their own mind
- Avoid trying to control how they are feeling
These are some of the tips that have helped millions of people who struggle with depression. If you are a friend or loved one to someone struggling with a depressive condition, be there for them. Follow through with these tips and find resources that can help to treat their depression when they are ready. If you want resources or program options today, contact our Harmony Oaks Recovery Center team right away.
Signs of Suicidal Tendencies or Thoughts
Unfortunately, when talking about depression, we must talk about suicide, too. Suicidal tendencies and thoughts are very real. As a loved one or friend of someone who is struggling with depressive thoughts and/or episodes, you can recognize the signs that they may be suicidal. If you notice the following things, you should do your best to get them help right away:
- Regularly talking about dying, harming themselves, or suicide
- Expressing self-hatred or hopelessness
- Putting their affairs in order and telling loved ones goodbye
- Self-destructive behaviors such as getting drunk or missing work
- Seeking out weapons, lethal products, or pills
- Feeling completely calm after recently being depressed
If you believe your friend or loved one is suicidal, don’t let it pass. Talk to them to see what you can do to help. Sometimes, it just takes one person to show they care that can change a person’s world or save a life.
Help Someone with Depression Today
Is your loved one or friend depressed? Do they display the signs noted above? Are they feeling suicidal? Have you recognized those signs, as well? If so, don’t let time just pass. While you can’t and aren’t responsible for fixing this issue for your friend or loved one, you can let them know you are there and able to help.
If your friend or loved one is ready to overcome depression, contact us here at Harmony Oaks Recovery Center today.