While helping someone with depression can mean learning more about depression itself, it’s also the little things you do that can have a great impact in their overall well-being. According to Huffington Post, the smallest but most important things you can do for someone with depression can be offering gifts of kindness or looking for specific ways to help someone realize they can be happy.
Always trying to find a solution for someone who is depressed can actually present more of a problem than an answer. It may seem simple to switch back to happiness when you are depressed. You have probably been down about specific things whether someone has let you down or things do not go the way you wanted. But people with depression do not always have a reason for feeling sad as it is the loss of serotonin that is causing them to feel down. When that is the case, there is no simple solution to turn that frown upside down. It can make the person who is depressed feel like a failure in that you are making happiness seem like a easy thing anyone can do whereas your loved one still continues to struggle. The best thing to do is just listen to them as a way of showing that how they are feeling is relatable. Really hear that person out and do not be quick to interrupt or turn the conversation back towards you. Fixing a person is not like putting batteries into a toy to make it work as the brain of a human being is more complex than that.
When you have seen someone depressed, there may have been a number of times when you have said that if there is anyway that you can help that person out to please let you know. While that is a very sweet gesture to make, it also very vague. It can make that person think you are saying that as an attempt to make an effort but would not really be true to your word if the opportunity came. It also makes it seem like it is up to the person who is depressed to decide how to be cheered up. If that person knew how to do that, they would be happy. Tell them specifically what you can do for that person whether it is you visiting them every so often or calling them on the phone every night to check up on them. Prove to them that you would be willing to do all you can to help.
Another thing you can do is be patient with your loved one. No one wants to be depressed or is trying to make their depression worse. This is something that they cannot help. Depression is not going to heal overnight. This may be hard for you to see because you want your loved one to be happy again and it will make you be in pain seeing someone you love in pain. That is why patience is one of the best presents you can give to someone who is depressed. This can mean giving that person space when they are frustrated or having a meltdown. It can also mean that they need more reassurance that despite their depression, you still love them anyways. Know that your loved one is doing their best to be the best version of themselves that they can be but it will take a while before they can be in a happy place again.
You can also send funny text messages or funny memes to your loved one. This can help show that you are trying to cheer that person up and do not want to leave them in the dark. As a friend, it should be your duty to make your friend happy in the most natural way without trying to change them. Making little gestures like a funny photo or video can touch their heart and make them laugh for a while. You should also not take it personally if you do not hear directly back from your loved one right away. Do not send a message back asking what is wrong with them that they cannot answer you back. Depression can make someone feel like they are in their lowest and that it has nothing to do with you. Give that person time on their own to answer you back and trust that they will.
Your loved one may be feeling worthless and unloved. It may help that person to remind them of everything that they have accomplished that is hard for other people to do. That we all have our own strengths and qualities about ourselves that make us stand out that others do not have. Let them know qualities about them that you wish you had and why it is you enjoy their company. Remind them about all of the other people in their lives that you know loves them. This will show your friend that they have more than they realize and how fortunate they are. Finally, let your loved one know that it is okay not to be okay. By acknowledging that your friend’s depression is not their fault, they will know that depression is not a fatal flaw but something to work towards in getting better.
Established in 1939, High Watch is the world’s first 12-Step treatment center. Every individual who walks through our doors joins a definitive culture of compassion, dignity, and respect from a genuinely caring staff dedicated to seeing the disease of addiction find remission. Providing proven therapeutic approaches and comprehensive 12-Step education, patients leave High Watch with the confidence to maintain abstinence and live a healthy, happy, sober life. Start your journey today by calling 860.927.3772.