Knowhow-Now Article

Depression: How You Can Provide Emotional Support

If a loved one is suffering from depression, you know that it can become serious or even life-threatening in some cases. You need to be there for your loved one, but it isn't always easy. If someone close to you has just been diagnosed with depression, you feel like you need to be walking on eggshells. The following tips are here to help you provide emotional support for someone suffering from depression.

Tip: Stop and ask yourself if you have entered into a repeated cycle, becoming more depressed because you gave in to depression before. So can repeatedly going over the negative feelings.

Become a good listener for your loved one. When someone is suffering from depression, he or she will ultimately say things that may shock you. It is important that you don't appear shocked or withdrawn when a loved one starts talking about his or her depression. Be there and listen to what he or she has to say. Let your loved know that you appreciate him or her opening up to you. When someone is suffering from depression, talking about it is not easy. Make sure you acknowledge that.

Tip: Aim to get some sun each day. There is scientific data that suggests that insufficient sunlight can significantly worsen depression.

Someone who is suffering from depression needs sensitivity and compassion. You need to be a good listener for your loved one. Know how to respond to what your loved one is saying. It is important that you exercise compassion and respond in a well thought out manner. Avoid telling your loved one to "get over it" or "snap out of it". It is unhelpful and the opposite of being sensitive. Ask how you can be of help and don't talk the person out of feeling a certain way. Depression can't be helped and your loved one can't control how he or she is feeling.

Tip: Try not to speak of your self as depressed or experiencing depression. While depression is a tangible problem, the terminology that comes along with it can leave people feeling stigmatized and overwhelmed.

Keep in contact with your loved and let him or her know you're there in their time of need. Call them each day or write a nice card or letter showing your support. It is important that someone who is suffering from depression feels supported and knows that they can count on you in their time of need. Visit your loved one often, but don't make your visits too overwhelming. Don't put too much pressure on your loved one, but certainly have him or her check in with you at least once a day.

Tip: Going back and rehashing the past can be one of the biggest things keeping you in your depression. However, looking ahead and into the future can be your way out of your depression.

Never take it personally when your loved one exhibits signs of sullenness or even resistance. It is not something that's against you, but rather a sign of depression. If you feel that you are becoming overwhelmed or starting to lose patience being supportive, take a step back and take some time off. Being a shoulder to lean on is never easy, but under any circumstances, avoid getting angry with someone who is depressed.

Being supportive of someone who is close to you and suffering from depression is a hard task. There are many ways that you can provide the support that they need, but you have to approach depression with caution. People who suffer from depression don't react in ways that we would expect. Keep in mind what you have just read to provide a loved one with optimal support!

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