Chances are likely that you have known someone who has struggled with depression. Unlike a physical disease, depression can attack anyone and its symptoms may not be easy to diagnose or understand. If you have a friend or family member who is depressed, you might feel helpless. You might not know what to do or where to turn. Being a supportive ally is the first step in helping them get through this awful time in their life, but what else can you do?
You may not want to pressure them or smother them by showing your support. There are some simple and easy ways in which you can show your support and your concern without making their condition worse. Depression can be debilitating, and resolving its symptoms is a priority amongst anyone. Check out these ways you can support a loved one when they are depressed:
Encourage Doctor Visits
First and foremost, if their depression is severely affecting their daily functions, then it is crucial that you suggest that they get professional help. A physician or psychologist is your greatest defense against depression, but the hard part is getting your friend or family to seek medical help. Don’t pressure them but encourage them to seek help, and offer to go with them or take them to their appointment.
Find Community Support
There are many communities online and support groups offered all over the place. Research one close by and offer to take your friend or family member to one. You can also provide them with resources on the internet that they can review on their own if they prefer. This will let them know that you care and that you are concerned about their overall well-being.
Read About Depression
If you want to be a true ally to your friend or family member, do some research. Read up on depression and their symptoms, so this way you will understand exactly what they are going through. This will provide you with a much better idea of how to approach them because you will have a better understanding of how they feel and what may or may not help their condition. There are numerous resources online with information, or head over to your local library or bookstore.
Focus on Small Goals
Instead of setting lofty long term goals, like relieving all their symptoms, set smaller goals. If they don’t want to leave their bed, set the goal of getting them up and out for a little bit. Use positive reinforcement, and make sure to praise them for accomplishing these goals and continue to set daily achievements.
Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.
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