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Depression affects a large number of people. However, when someone close to you is depressed, offering support can feel tricky if you don’t know what the person needs.
When a person is depressed, it affects everyone surrounding them and family members and friends often do not know what to do to help. It’s even harder when the depressed person cannot vocalise their needs as their communication skills are significantly diminished because they are too embarrassed to say how they feel, anticipating judgment.
How does a family member proceed, then, with little or no direction? These universal tips provide a basis for how you can lend a hand when someone you care about is depressed.
1. Educate yourself
You may not be able to cure your loved one, but you can understand better and be more tolerant of their situation by educating yourself about their mood disorder.
2. Ask questions
One good way to understand depression and anxiety is to ask questions. Everyone’s experience is different and your loved one may not voluntarily dish out the information you need, so dig for it to find the root cause.
3. Make them smile
Laughter heals. One of the best things you can do for your health is to laugh. The effect is surprisingly powerful. Make your loved one laugh as often as you can. It helps.
If there’s only one thing you do, let it be this. Genuinely give them your attention and lend a listening ear to them. Suspend all judgements and interjections. Care about what they’re saying. Most times, this simple thing is more important than understanding.