When someone you love is struggling with depression it can be both heartbreaking and frustrating.
If you’ve never walked that dark path, it can be challenging to understand what they’re going through. You want to help, but you’re not sure how. Or you end up frustrated because everything you can think of doesn’t help or they don’t try it.
The problem lies in the fact that when you’re mentally healthy the things that cheer you up are different than the things that help a person struggling with depression.
Depression isn’t being sad when things aren’t going well in life. Depression feels more like being sad when everything is going right.
DO tell them they can share their feelings and thoughts with you and you’ll listen.
No advice. Just LISTEN.
DON’T tell them to “cheer up”.
DO say “I’m sorry you’re feeling so bad. I still love you.”
DON’T help them try to see the positives of situations.
DO something together.
Instead of asking “what do you feel like doing” – say “let’s do this” or “we are going to”.
DON’T ask them if something is wrong. They will likely say no.
DO help them with things that need to get done that they’re unable to do themselvesScheduling Dr. appointments, cooking, laundry, etc.
DO make them some healthy, brain-boosting foods.
Choose foods with omega-3s (like wild salmon, sardines and flax seeds), whole grains (but skip wheat products), seeds, nuts, legumes and lots of produce.
DO remind them that depression has nothing to do with who they are as a person but everything to do with their brain.
DO ask them how you can help them.
It’s better to ask them when they’re having a good day (because when they’re having a dark day they might say “I don’t know” or “nothing”).
Now over to you:
How have you been able to help a loved on?
Or if you struggle with low moods or depression, what’s helped you?