I get asked a lot what someone can do if we have a family member or close friend suffering from depression. There is a lot we can do to help those suffering from depression and anxiety, it may not seem like it but all the help and support is so important and can do so much. You don't have to feel helpless and there is so much you can do besides asking them how they are doing. Here are my tips and I hope you get a lot from this and as always I would love to hear from you more tips that can help. It's all about people helping people.
1. First and foremost do not be judgemental. The last thing you want to have them feel is that you are judging them for the state they are in. No one wants to feel this way and they are their worst critics. Knowing you're not judging them for how they feel goes so far. Not making them feel judge lets them know how much you care for them.
2. Help with chores. When someone is feeling depressed the little things add up. Laundry, Dishes, Trash all these things seem like huge tasks and can add to the anxiety and depression. It is hard enough to get up and move around let alone handle some of the things piling up. Helping them with these small chores does so much. It is a huge relief and it helps so much knowing that someone cares. A lot of times it's the small things that matter!
3. Let Them Cry. Emotions are natural and we need to let them out, sometimes it's easy and sometimes it is difficult. Most of the time we don't want to let these emotions out around others because we don't want to burden or show weakness. It's ok and let us know it's ok, makes a huge difference. Crying can heal and it's a rush of emotions that can do so much so let us cry that means for men too, gotta put the ego aside sometimes and let it flow.
4. Send them funny messages. If you find something funny send it to us, meme's, pictures, videos send them, believe me, we want to laugh because it seems so hard sometimes and spontaneous laughter is the best. Sending those can give us the smile we have been looking for and can completely change our day!
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5. Send them music. I haven't met anyone who doesn't like music in some form. You hear a song that makes you think of us send it, find a new song you enjoy send it, find an oldie but a goodie send it. Music is a great distraction from what we are going through and helps stimulates our brains so much! Nothing better than hearing a new song to brighten up the day.
6. Play with the kids. If they have kids take them outside and have some fun with them. When someone is suffering from depression the last thing we want to do is let anyone down and they feel very strongly that they are letting their family down. Taking the kids out and doing something fun is huge and the kids get to enjoy and they find happiness in knowing that their children are enjoying. This one is a win, win for everyone.
7. Let them be negative. Don't try and fix them, let them be negative and get it out. We have to vent and share so that our brains can help process what is going on. Don't say anything and let them share their negative thoughts and slowly you will see them start to fade away with time. This is a big one and is so needed.
8. Sit next to them. Just having someone next to us is comforting! When you come over to sit by us just the presence makes us feel comforted and warm. When we are depressed we want to be around others but sometimes it is hard to interact. Sit and enjoy a tv show with us or a movie we don't have to say anything but I will enjoy your company more than you know.
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9. Interact with them on social media. A lot of time to feel a connection when we are depressed we turn to social media. It helps us not feel so alone so interact with us. Let us know we are not alone and the interaction lets us know you care. It always makes anyone feel special if you like a post of ours or comment on something we say.
10. Let them know your thinking of them. Send a text letting us know your thing of us, sometimes it's hard to talk especially on the phone but communicating through text is so much easier. Again we want to talk but don't always know how to so sending us a text letting us know you care and are thinking of us does so much!
11. Come over. We want company but don't always know how to ask for it, when we are depressed we feel so alone and isolated. Hit us up and let us know you're coming over, don't show up uninvited because that can cause mad anxiety. If you let us know your coming and we say no, let us know to bad and come over then we are still expecting it and it isn't a surprise. Having the company even though we may say we don't want any because we don't want to feel like a burden is very much welcomed.
12. Invite them out. Invite us out and guess what the first time you ask we are most likely going to say no. What do you do, ask us out again and again. We want to get out but it is a challenge and it is baby steps, invite us out to dinner, movie a walk. Eventually, we will gather the strength to go out and it helps us tremendously. Never give up on us and together we can get through it and your friendship will be so much stronger.
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This is a long process and does not happen overnight. If you want to help them out it is a time investment but it can do so much! There's so much together that we can accomplish, and we never want to see a friend or family member suffering. As always I would love to hear from you and any tips that you can share that has helped and together we can do this!
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