How I can support family member dealing with depression?
Last Updated: 11/10/2020 at 3:24pm
Jennifer Geib, LCSWR
Clinical Social Work/Therapist
1:1, daily chats. - My therapy is non-judgmental and focuses on emotions and motivation to accomplish your goals or overcome your struggles.
Top Rated Answers
It's definitely hard to support a family member or friend when they are dealing with something you are unfamiliar with. However, what I think the most important thing to do is 1) educate and 2) empathize. Ask them how they are feeling. Everyone's struggle with depression is unique and valid. The WebMD version of depression might not resonate with theirs, and that's OK. Don't go off of those stereotypes. If you don't have a high sense of empathy, it's important to understand that depression is a disorder that can be impacted by brain chemistry- it is not an excuse to be lazy. So, just be patient with them. Ask them how they're feeling. Get them out of the house when you can. Encourage them. Tell them you're proud. You got this.
Make sure they establish a daily routine and get sufficiently of sleep and food:) physical exercise is also a great tool for overcoming depression, but most important is to establish a weekly/daily routine so the person doesn't get carried away and has structure in their life!
It is very hard when a family member or a loved one are dealing with depression. some days are better and some are worse, and its hard to find the balance and always be able to help. sometimes its important to know we cant help, and just let the situation slide. whats up to us is to be there for them and be supportive, to try and show them how life is amazing- not to force it on them, cause they wont understand. talking with them about their problems is also great and very needed, but if they have a therapist thats even better. don't think that their therapist matter more than you, they are more professional but you are more needed, cause you can discuss things on a more personal level. this person must trust you, as well. sometimes they will have ideas in mind that don't match with yours, and as much as you would want them to think more positively, you can't do much unless they start changing. what you do at these lower times is be a good listener, friend, support. give them positive thoughts.. this won't be an easy journey, but please don't give up. there will be days you are mad, negative, don't want to put up with it anymore, but please remember how this person is feeling and stay by their side! good luck!
Be there for them whatever they need. If they just need to vent or sit quietly in a room with them. Do not try to fix anything. Remind them it is OK to not be OK, but it will be OK again. Let them talk about how they feel on their own time. Also, remember when they push you away it is not personal. They feel like a burden and/or they don't want to hurt you. Even if you have not said it or acted that way. When they push away, take a step back but let them know you are right there no matter what.
Related Questions: How I can support family member dealing with depression?
What do you do when you have no passion or drive?My anxiety is getting worse and depression won't let me live my life, how do I overcome this?I feel sad a lot, unmotivated, and I often can't stop crying for many hours. But I sleep and eat decently and I also can smile or laugh sometimes. Am I depressed or just sad?How to get things done professionaly at work when I'm very depressed?Is it normal to not want to get better?How do I keep myself from getting to attached to people?I am struggling with codependency and depression. I cannot afford therapy. What can I do to get help?How do I help explain to a parent that what I feel is valid after they reacted badly?How can I open up to people more even if it scares me?I think I have depression and I want to tell my parents but my brother recently got diagnosed so I feel like they would think that I'm just trying to get attention. What do I do?