Written by Miranda Davis, Freelance & Guest Writer
Helping a friend or loved one battle depression can be quite challenging. More than millions of people around the world have depression. Its symptoms are severe enough to cause daily activities like getting work done, engaging in dating sites, or attending school difficulty. Others may feel overwhelmed or miserable without knowing the reason why. If you know someone going through depression, you may not always know the best things to do to combat depression.
Perhaps, the first step you need to take to understand the symptoms. Once you know how to combat depression symptoms, you will be able to help your loved one. Familiarizing yourself with the possible symptoms will help you understand what the other person is going through.
How Should You Help Your Friend To Combat Depression?
While the experience of every person with depression is unique, here are some steps on how to combat depression and anxiety:
1. Take Care Of Yourself First
First and foremost, you need to take care of yourself. You will not be able to help anyone if you feel depleted and/or overwhelmed. At times, you should step back from such scenarios and recharge your batteries. You cannot ‘catch’ depression-like flu or cold. However, the environmental and genetic factors may make it likely that people that live together may become depressed.
2. Get Your Facts Right About Depression
You must know at least the basics of depression if you want to learn how to combat major depression. You can read about it on the internet and learn its symptoms and treatment. Reading about depression will allow you to know what depression can feel like and the stigma, misconceptions, and myths around mental illness. It will help you understand the feelings your loved ones are going through.
3. Be As Supportive As You Can
At times, the most helpful thing you can do is offer a listening ear to someone going through a hard time. Simply by offering your presence, you will provide some sort of comfort to the person. Always be patient and let them know that you are always available for them. While you may have learned about depression while researching, you need to tell your loved ones that the depression is not their fault and that they are not worthless, weak, or lazy. This is the best way to combat depression without medication.
4. Do Not Keep It Personal
When a person is going through depression, their social skills become dull; they may become sullen, shy, withdrawn, and even angry. Yes, it is hard to be on the receiving end of an outburst. However, when a depressed person lashes back at you, remember that the anger may not be about you. You may be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Yes, it can be difficult when your friend/family member pulls away from you, especially if he/she is a romantic partner. When your partner keeps refusing sex, you may think that he/she does not love you anymore. However, you need to remember that one of the symptoms of depression is the lack of sex drive.
5. Understand Medications
The main question of this section is – can you combat depression without medication? There are no right answers to this question. A lot of people suffering from depression take medication. If you want to help your friend or family member with depression medication, it is essential to know how it works. Additionally, you also need to know about its side effects and whether the medication is working or not. If they do, you need to remember to keep the pills organized, refill prescriptions, etc.
6. Avoid Blame And Judgment
When a person is feeling depressed, they may no longer be able to do the activities they enjoy or used to do. For instance, the person may not help you clean the house, and you will think that they are lazy. Even on the brink of frustration, you need to remember that a depressed person is not lazy – they are not well. Household chores like feeding the pets, paying the bills, cleaning the house, etc., may feel like an impossible task for a depressed individual. There are many posts online that show you how to combat depression during the quarantine.
7. Provide Hope
Hope is the best healer in any form. It may be a faith in God, their pets or children, or anything that matters to the depressed person. Knowing what matters to your loved ones will help them find ways to fight the depression, especially when they are feeling hopeless or down. Ensure to keep reminding yourself of the same.
8. Love The Person Unconditionally
People that go through depression often develop a deep guilty sense. They may believe that they are a burden for people around them. Sometimes, they may even go up to the extent of saying, ‘You will be better off without me.’ In such cases, you need to find ways to show your love to the person. Whenever they feel angry or discouraged, reassure them that you are only frustrated at their illness, not the person. One of the best ways to do this is to offer them the best foods to combat depression and anxiety.
Depression is a real problem in today’s society. When the person is depressed, they will get confused and/or afraid even daily. If you ever had depression, you may know how tough that feeling is. You may not know many things about depression like combat depression, how to combat depression during pandemic, etc. However, when a loved one is suffering from a problem, it is all up to you to take care of that person.
Many steps will help you understand how to combat depression. However, it is equally important that you take care of your own well-being and mental health. With the help of the tips mentioned above, you should be able to take care of your loved ones with ease.
What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments!
About the Author
Miranda Davis is a freelance writer in the relation and psychology area. Miranda is interested in such topics as building healthy relationships between people, love/sex compatibility, and how to find the right balance in life in general. She is currently doing specific research on the topic. Miranda loves cooking and long-distance walking.