Advice for Loving a Family Member Who Is Depressed? Do Suggestions for a Family Member Affected by Depression Work? We all understand that depression is challenging, not only for individuals who are experiencing it but also for those who are close to them. There are definitely certain things you can do to support a depressed member of your family or social network. This article offers 11 suggestions for supporting someone you care about who is depressed without succumbing to depression yourself.
- 1 Family Member Who Is Depressed
- 2 1. Determine what the person requires.
- 3 2. Recognize them as they are
- 4 3. Look for yourself
- 5 4. Encourage them to get specialist assistance.
- 6 5. Avoid humor about it.
- 7 6. Don’t keep them apart
- 8 7. Let them know you love them.
- 9 8. Show kindness even if they don’t
- 10 9. Do not believe that you owe them anything.
- 11 10. Let go of the shame
- 12 11. Avoid contrasting them with others.
- 13 Takeaway
Family Member Who Is Depressed
1. Determine what the person requires.
Some people are content to have their availability acknowledged by others. Others enjoy it if you can offer advice on their professional or love lives. Another person might simply feel comfortable talking about their ideas with you for a few hours. If you are unsure of the kind of assistance your friend or relative needs, ask them directly. Additionally, you should listen to what they have to say rather than just assuming what they want to say.
2. Recognize them as they are
A person’s reaction to sadness is extremely common. The person who is depressed is still the same person inside, regardless of how you perceive their situation, and you should never criticize or make any remarks about their behavior because of their mental illness. Try to avoid passing judgment, offering justifications for how terrible they appear, and expecting them to act any differently than you’d like them to (since that’s how it feels) when talking about depression with friends or family.
3. Look for yourself
Even though you’ve given your loved one a lot of help, you now still need to look after yourself. Being aware of your own responses to what is happening with them will help you avoid letting their circumstances make you feel down with them. Maintain a positive attitude and help the person you are supporting recognize their own wonderful qualities. Reassure them that things will get better, despite whatever reservations they may have. You can only do so much; remember that you cannot stop or treat someone else’s depression; all you can do is be there for them when they need a friend to rely on, even if that’s all they need at the moment.
4. Encourage them to get specialist assistance.
If a family member or friend doesn’t already have coping methods in place, suggest that they seek help from a psychologist or psychotherapist so that they can get the support they require. If conventional mental health therapy is ineffective, consider creative art therapies including theatre therapy, music therapy, dance therapy, and art therapy workshops.
5. Avoid humor about it.
Don’t make fun of or laugh about someone you know who is depressed. As a result, others could feel awkward, which commonly deters people from talking openly about their issues with you—or anybody else, for that matter. Their issues only seem to become worse as a result of this. Why wouldn’t you want someone you care about making fun of her weight or anything else that makes her feel different while she is seeking therapy for depression, but you would want her to behave in the same way while doing so?
6. Don’t keep them apart
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Avoid giving your grieving friend or family member the sense that their circumstance is exceptional. They also need the help of people who are close to them. This will pique their interest in whatever pastimes you enjoy, whether they are sports or hobbies. Encourage your depressed friend or family member to engage in and simply keep doing things as a group, even if they don’t actually enjoy doing everything with you.
7. Let them know you love them.
Because depression is a lonely condition, it’s crucial for individuals close to the depressed person to know they are loved and shouldn’t feel guilty about anything. For the relationship to succeed, you must demonstrate your love and support for them; don’t be embarrassed to express your feelings in front of your friend or relative. They will understand they are not alone if they regard you as a flawed human being.
8. Show kindness even if they don’t
Try not to let your occasional want to be irate or annoyed with your depressed friend or family member overcome you. The condition of depression is highly fragile. Keep in mind that this is just a phase and that eventually, the person you know will revert to their former self, if only for brief periods of time.
9. Do not believe that you owe them anything.
Depression is not a moral issue; it is up to the depressed person and their therapist to decide how to proceed. You can’t tell how long or when someone will be depressed, so don’t plan on them feeling better after a certain amount of time. They alone are to blame for their predicament and their attitude to it; not you.
10. Let go of the shame
There is no reason for someone you know to be depressed. If you’ve done everything you can to help them, let it go. If you don’t, the consequences will hurt both you and them. You’ll start to feel that you’re not helping them enough or that they should be grateful for your assistance, but you won’t realize how wrong you’re thinking until it’s too late.
11. Avoid contrasting them with others.
You can’t help anyone, no matter how much you want to. You should always be there for your friend or relative in times of need, even if you are unable to help them. Even if someone seems to be doing well on the surface, depression affects people at different ages and phases of life, so it’s crucial that we all attempt to offer the support that our friends and family members need.
If you wish to help a loved one who is depressed, keep in mind that they need you. Assist them in locating expert advice and guidance, surround them with encouraging friends and family, and do everything in your ability to maintain a positive mindset.