How can I help someone close to me deal with depression?
Depression Support / Getting help
When someone has depression they are often very low, despondent and not motivated to do things. Living with someone who is depressed is not easy and can trigger feelings of anger, frustration, helplessness, sadness and fear. These are all normal feelings to have. You might feel like you need to step in and “make them feel better” or you might wish they could just snap out of it and get on with living their life.
The main thing to keep in mind is depression is a serious illness and people with depression need treatment and time to feel better. They can’t just get over it, even if they wish they could. If you are living with someone with depression or you have a friend with depression you can help them by doing a few simple things:
Try to be supportive and offer encouragement and hope. This means listening to them and letting them know you care about them. You could ask them about how they are feeling and if there is anything you could do to help.
Avoid saying things like “everyone feels like this sometimes” or “I wish you could just snap out of it”. These types of things can make a depressed person feel more hopeless.
Don’t pretend it’s not happening. Be honest about the depression and don’t feel tempted to cover up or make excuses for the depression as this can sometimes stop a depressed person getting help.
Encourage them to seek help. Ask them if they have thought about getting help? You could talk to them about where they could get help and the positive results of treatment. Select Counsellors can help you find a counsellor who is the best fit for you or your loved one with depression.
It can be helpful to hear about other people’s stories of depression and how they have come through it:
Taking care of yourself
While you are helping someone else with depression you need to make sure you are taking care of yourself. It can be exhausting taking care of someone else and you need to make sure you don’t burn out. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Make sure you are taking care of yourself and getting some exercise, eating well, getting some time to yourself and asking other for support. This is good for you and also is good for the depressed person in your life to see you role modelling healthy habits.
You are not responsible for fixing another person. You can offer support and encouragement but you are not responsible for fixing anyone else. The depressed person in your life needs to commit to treatment and follow it through to get better, only they can do this.
Set boundaries. You might be worried about saying something if the depressed person in your life upsets you or lets you down. It’s important to speak up as resentment can build from sitting on your feelings and not saying anything. It’s important to be honest but say things with sensitivity.
Don’t do too much. Help as much as you can but don’t do so much that you can’t take care of yourself and the rest of your life suffers. You might decide to get some help for yourself to deal with your own feelings and to have a place to discuss what you are experiencing.
Recovery from depression
It’s good to know that recovery from depression is possible with the right treatment. Counselling alone, or a combination of antidepressants and Counselling are widely considered the most effective treatment for depression.
Did you realise research has shown that the relationship between you and your counsellor is one of the most important elements for a successful outcome? How do you know if the counsellor you find will be the best fit for you?
Select Counsellors provides a unique client counsellor matching service to ensure you see the right counsellor for you, first time. We have a pool of highly trained Sydney based counsellors, psychologists, psychotherapists and psychiatrists and will match you with the right therapist based on important information collected in a personalised assessment about you and your needs. At Select Counsellors our key priority is Finding you the One. To book an assessment click here or call on 1300 123 680 to speak in person with a Select Counsellor.
Click on the links below to find out more information on depression:
The Helpful Guide