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How to support a loved one with depression | Natural Body Cafe

How to support a loved one with depression

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Depression does not only affect the person who suffers from it. Depression can have a significant effect on their loved ones too. If you have a friend, partner or family member who is suffering from depression, here are some practical ways to offer them the support they need.

Unconditional support

Let your loved one know that they can always depend on you. Many people who suffer from depression feel terribly alone or they feel like they could end up alone any minute. This worsens their symptoms. By reinforcing your support, you will help build trust and give them the security they need.

Learn about depression

The best way that you can help is by learning as much as you can about depression and depression symptoms. Without an understanding of the symptoms, you can easily misinterpret your loved one's behaviour as irrational.

Encourage enjoyable activities

It is common for somebody with depression to feel like spending most of their time at home or simply doing nothing at all. You can try to plan fun activities like dining out at a restaurant, a walk in the park or a trip to the local cinema. Keep it simple with minimal participation required. Also, you should take care not to make your loved one feel forced into anything.

Be prepared to talk

Your loved one might not want to talk about their feelings all the time. When they are ready to talk, you should be prepared to listen. Avoid making snap judgements and try not to sound like you are trying to tell them what to do or how to feel. Stay calm, listen and be their shoulder to cry on.

Come up with a plan together

Try to think about a plan that will work for you both. Encourage, without force, your loved one to come up with a plan together. When they have the opportunity to contribute to the plan, they will feel more in control and empowered.

Consider therapy

Sometimes professional help is needed. Not only to help identify root causes, but also to equip you both with the tools you need to cope with depression and keep symptoms at bay. Depression is not something that can simply be cured. It is something that you will need to keep under control for the rest of your life. Since it is so easy to fall back into bad habits, learning positive coping skills is essential.

Take care of yourself too

While you are taking care of your loved one, don't forget to take care of yourself too. You are no good to your loved one if you are not taking care of your own needs too.

Apart from counselling, you can also benefit from massage therapy, pamper treatments like facials, Reiki and aromatherapy to name just a few. Schedule various treatments each month to give yourself and your loved one something to do together and enjoy some time out from your daily routines.


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