Depression is a serious medical illness that affects millions of people worldwide. In some instances, depression symptoms go untreated for many months or years — despite the harm they cause. Fortunately, if you know how to identify depression symptoms, you can help friends, family members, and colleagues cope with depression.
Depression can affect a person’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, and it causes a wide range of symptoms, including:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feelings of guilt, hopelessness, and/or sadness
- Suicidal thoughts
- Weight loss or gain
If you experience any of the aforementioned depression symptoms, it is crucial to seek out medical support immediately. Meeting with a doctor allows you to explore safe and effective depression treatment options.
Comparatively, if a friend, family member, or colleague displays depression symptoms, providing support is sometimes difficult. You likely want to do everything possible to show your support to this individual in his or her time of need. At the same time, this individual may not be ready to discuss his or her depression symptoms with you. The end result: you may feel helpless, but you still want to support someone dealing with depression.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to treat depression, but providing support may help someone find the best way to alleviate his or her depression symptoms. Now, let’s explore 10 ways to support someone with depression.
1. Learn About Depression
Learn about depression, its symptoms, and how it is treated. Depression is complex, and there are many types of depression that affect individuals in a variety of ways. By learning about depression, you are well-equipped to identify depression symptoms in others. Plus, you may be able to help people dealing with depression take the first step to treat their symptoms.
2. Be an Active Listener
It may seem impossible to get someone dealing with depression to open up about his or her thoughts and feelings. However, active listening makes a world of difference, as it enables you to express your concerns to someone struggling with depression symptoms. If someone with depression wants to talk about his or her thoughts and feelings, it is paramount to concentrate, understand, and respond to what they have to say. With active listening, you can foster trust with a person dealing with depression. And over time, you may be able to help this individual work through his or her depression symptoms.
3. Keep an Open Mind
Depression often raises concerns and questions for the person struggling with depression symptoms, as well as his or her friends, family members, and colleagues. To show support, it helps to be open to everything someone has to say about his or her symptoms. By keeping an open mind, you may be able to help them make sense of his or her depression symptoms. Perhaps most importantly, you could help a person struggling with depression determine the best course of action for treatment.
4. Keep in Touch
Remember, even a text message, email, or phone call to show your support can help someone dealing with depression. As long as you make yourself available, you can be a source of support to someone with depression. At first this person can be closed off but at some point they may open up or need help, and if you make the effort to stay in contact with them then you will be ready to provide support any time they want your help.
5. Stay Active
Research indicates there is a direct correlation between exercise and treating depression, and inviting someone to work out or go to the gym with you may help this individual manage his or her depression symptoms. Meanwhile, simply spending time with a friend, family member, or colleague dealing with depression, whether it’s hiking or going to the gym, may also help this individual feel supported.
6. Set a Positive Example
Maintaining a positive outlook speaks volumes about who you are as a person, and it may inspire someone dealing with depression to find ways to cope with his or her symptoms. Additionally, you can lean on others for support to show someone with depression that he or she does not need to face depression symptoms alone.
7. Use “I Statements”
“I statements” are powerful, and they allow you to share your feelings and thoughts with someone dealing with depression without judgment. By emphasizing your thoughts and feelings rather than the listener’s (ie., don’t talk about how they’re feeling to them, or analyze their behavior to them), you can use I statements to show your support to any individual struggling with depression.
8. Ask Questions
No one expects you to have all the answers, especially when it comes to treating depression. If you ask someone dealing with depression various open questions about his or her feelings and thoughts, you can gain insights into his or her symptoms. You can also use questions to help a person dealing with depression brainstorm ways to treat his or her symptoms.
9. Share Your Feelings and Thoughts
You want to show your support to someone struggling with depression because you care about him or her. Oftentimes, one of the best ways to do that is to share your own feelings and thoughts. It may seem difficult at first, but once you share your own deeper feelings and thoughts, you may inspire them to do the same.
10. Recommend a Doctor’s Appointment
Encourage someone struggling with depression to meet with a doctor. You can provide recommendations for local doctors that this individual can meet with to discuss his or her depression symptoms. Furthermore, you can offer to attend a doctor’s appointment with this individual so he or she feels supported during the visit.
The Bottom Line on Showing Support to Someone with Depression
Depression is problematic, but you can help treat this issue. By showing your support to someone dealing with depression, you could make it easier for this individual to seek out treatment.
At Achieve Concierge, we provide expert services to treat depression and other mental health conditions. We offer personalized treatments, same- and next-day appointments, and other exclusive benefits and premier service options to help our patients get the support they need, any time they need it. To find out more about our mental health services or to schedule an appointment, please contact us online or call us at (858) 221-0344.