Do you or a loved one have a diagnosis of depression? Maybe you haven’t been diagnosed with depression but you have times where you feel down, depressed, “blue”, or don’t have energy?
Unfortunately, depression is a common illness. According to the World Health Organization, depression affects more than 300 million people of all ages around the globe, and is the leading cause of disability world wide (Source).
Depression can suck the life out of you at times. It can be difficult not only for the one who is dealing with it, but for their loved ones as well.
I would like to share with you 5 easy ways that you can support someone who is battling depression.
1. How to Support Someone with Depression: Be There for Them
To me, the most important thing you can do for someone with depression is be there for them. Depression has a tendency to make people feel isolated. It may appear as though they want to be alone but your presence could be the one thing that is keeping them going. Be there for your friend or loved one while they are going through the depression, you presence is needed.
2. How to Support Someone with Depression: Listen to Them
This step is important. Sometimes your friend may not want to talk and if that is the case, then be comfortable sitting in the silence with them. However; they may decide that they do want to share their feelings with you. Be prepared to listen to what they are telling you. Listen, but don’t be quick to tell them what they can do to make themselves better. Do not offer your cure for depression. Don’t tell them to just “suck it up” or remind them that other people have it worse than they do. Chances are, your friend or family member is already beating themselves up. Please, don’t add guilt by trying to “fix them” even if it makes you uncomfortable to just listen.
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3. How to Support Someone with Depression: Don’t Ask, Just do It!
Depression can take it’s toll not only on your mind but also on your physical body as well. While it is important that people with depression continue to be productive at something, they may not be able to handle cleaning the entire house, cooking dinner, or other big chores. Instead of asking your friend what you can do to help, offer to do something. Instead of asking if they would like for you to cook dinner, tell them that you made extra food and you do not want it to go to waste and ask them when you can bring it over.
4. How to Support Someone with Depression: Pray for Them
As a Christian, I pray for my friends and family members who are experiencing depression that God would comfort them and give them peace in the midst of the darkness. Maybe you do not believe in Jesus but if you do, then you can pray for them.
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5. How to Support Someone with Depression: Reach Out
I struggle with depression myself and I have a friend who is AMAZING at doing this for me. Whenever my friend has not heard from me in a while (I have a tendency to want to isolate myself when I am depressed), she will send me a quick meme, card in the mail, note, etc… letting me know that she is thinking of me and just how much I mean to her. Her little words of encouragement are always sent at just the right time and are enough to remind me that I am loved and that my feelings are probably lying to me.
If you have a friend or family member who is struggling with depression right now, reach out to them. Send them a quick text or email to let them know you are thinking of them. Send them a card in the mail and let them know when you saw it it made you think of them. Believe me, reaching out to someone who is in need could make all the difference in the world.
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If you are struggling with depression, let me say this: You matter. You have a story to tell and the world is better because you are in it. I know you may not feel like you are making a difference but to someone out there, you are the world. Hold on, you’re gonna make it through this one second, one minute, one hour, one day at a time.
If you know someone who is struggling with depression make sure that you are there for them, listening to them, doing things for them, praying for them, and reaching out when you haven’t heard from them in a while. Doing these things are how you are going to be able to support someone with depression even when you don’t think that you are able to. You are someone’s lifeline right now. Keep reaching out.
Do you have a way that you support those who are dealing with depression that didn’t make this list? Be sure to share it in the comments below. Your thoughts could help someone experiencing depression right now.
About The Author:
Miranda is a Licensed Master Social Worker who has experience in both community mental health and substance abuse. As someone who struggles with depression, anxiety, and chronic health issues, she is passionate about raising awareness for mental health issues, providing support for caregivers of those affected with mental health issues, and helping people find joy in the journey of life. Her passion is what led her to create her blog Miranda Rejoice which focuses on spiritual growth as well as health and wellness so that you can find help for your mind, body, and soul.
Be sure to read more of her writing at https://mirandarejoice.com
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