by Emma Carpenter
Knowing how to support loved ones experiencing depression can be hard. We don’t want to say the wrong thing, come off as inconsiderate, or make it worse. It is normal to not know what to do or say when a loved one is suffering.
So, here are a few things to do if your loved one has depression:
- Learn about depression. The more you understand about what they are going through, the more empathy you will have. Learn what depression is like in general, and for them specifically.
- Be there. Sometimes, just sitting on the couch, watching tv, or answering the phone when they call is enough. The just need to know you are there for them.
- Check in on them. Ask them how they are coping. Offer to help them get things done on their to do list. Don’t be afraid to ask them how their depression is, if there are any changes.
- Encourage treatment. As much as you try to be supportive & understanding, you can’t be their therapist. Offer to help them get started by looking up professionals in your area or even go with them to their first appointment.
- Know the warning signs of suicide. Talking about suicide, being overwhelmed by feelings of hopelessness. giving away belongings, engaging in abnormal destructive behavior, social withdrawal, acquiring means to commit suicide.
Supporting someone with depression
If you have a loved one suffering from depression, it can be helpful to seek out a therapist for yourself, to gain knowledge on how to be supportive & to avoid burnout. It is also a good idea to have the suicide hotline on hand to give to your loved one if they need it.
Emma Carpenter is a therapist in Philadelphia, PA. She supports individuals, couples, and families to overcome the emotional distresses that make living life & having relationships challenging. To read more about Emma click here.
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