Many people living with a person going through depression often ask themselves, “how to care for a sad person?” It can be not very clear, and you may feel like there’s not much you can do. Well, you’re not alone in this situation. Depression is prevalent worldwide, with more than 264 million people affected. For example, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, 17.3 million adults have suffered a single episode of depression that is severe enough to lead them to seek professional help or show significant functional impairment.
In this article, we’ll share some ways you can support your loved ones when going through depression.
Listen to Them
When you’re talking to your friend, let them feel, and know you’re always there for them. You may begin a conversation with your friend by asking a question or sharing your feelings. For instance, you can ask, “It looks like you’ve gone through a tiresome time recently. Is everything all right?”
Encourage Them to Get Help
It’s important that you encourage your friends or family members going through depression to seek professional help. The first step into recovery for many people is admitting they have a problem and want it fixed. You can ask them if they would like some information about mental health services in your area. If they say yes, you can offer to go with them or help them contact a mental health service provider.
Encourage Activity and Exercise
If your friend is going through depression, it’s important that he gets out of the house regularly. You might encourage him to take walks outside in the fresh air. It’s scientifically proven that exercise releases cannabis-like natural brain chemicals (feel-good endorphins) that can reduce depression and improve the sense of well-being.
Physical activity can relieve depression symptoms by helping to reduce agitation, anger, and anxiety. It also helps people who are not depressed but experiencing a depressive episode recover faster. If your friend doesn’t like sports, try cycling or swimming instead of running, for instance.
Get Help for Yourself
When a person is going through depression, they may have little energy and motivation to do anything. You might be feeling frustrated when you want to offer help, but your friend doesn’t seem very receptive. But the truth is that it’s hard for anyone who has depression or anxiety disorder to find the time or willpower. Offer them help to complete tasks like going to the store, doing laundry, or managing bills. This will take some pressure off of their regular schedule and allow them the opportunity to have more downtime. You may also offer to help them in the areas of work or school.
Help with Emotional Support
If you want to make a difference, there are some things that you can do for emotional support: listening, understanding how depression feels and why it’s such an issue, providing encouragement when they feel like giving up, helping them meet someone they love.
Did you know, fewer than 50% of depressed people receive proper treatment! When you know the right way to help someone going through depression, you can greatly minimize it.
Some ways to help depressed people are listening to them, encouraging them and giving emotional support, helping with their regular tasks that they may have neglected during a depressive episode, and getting active and doing exercise with them if they want. You will always be there for your loved ones when they need any emotional or physical care; show them that you’re here for them no matter what happens in life.