*To help your friend or relative:
Offer emotional support, understanding, patience, and encouragement.
Talk to him or her and listen carefully.
Never dismiss feelings but point out realities and offer hope.
Never ignore comments about suicide and report them to your loved one’s therapist or doctor.
Invite your loved one out for walks, outings, and other activities. Keep trying if he or she declines, but don’t push him or her to take on too much too soon.
Aid in getting to doctors’ appointments.
Remind your loved one that with time and treatment, the depression will lift.
Caring for someone with depression is not easy. Someone with depression may need constant support for an extended period. Make sure you leave time for yourself and your own needs. If you feel you need additional assistance, there are support groups for caregivers too.
Helping someone with depression can be a real task. The person may be in a pit and become verbally combative when insisted on getting moving to a therapy appointment or maybe just to the shower.
Remember, it’s the depression lashing out or talking to you. Just like someone drunk, it’s the liquor talking. Boundaries can be set; however, patience is the call of the day.
*U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health. (2015). Depression (NIH Publication No. 15-3561). Bethesda, MD: U.S. Government Printing Office.
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