Depression can be a very tricky condition to handle. This mental condition can be very unpredictable, not only for those who suffer from it, but also for the other people where its shadow looms over. It is important for loved ones and friends to show their support and help for someone with depression. Here are some tips on how to do it more effectively.
Avoid the tough love approach with someone suffering from depression.
Some people try to will the depression out of the person by going the tough love approach. They create ultimatums or demands with someone depressed, with the belief that they can knock the condition out of them. Someone tired of dealing with the problems may sometimes go this route. But it will not work most of the time. It can only worsen the condition from the emotional level. Making demands and ultimatums to force people to get out of depression is rarely effective.
Always remember that it is not about you, it is about the disease.
Sometimes people who are around those who suffer from depression can end up very affected by the situation. They begin to feel that they have something to do with it, that it is their fault somehow. People around others who suffer from depression should always bear in mind that certain issues and problems that may arise in relationships are due to the effects of the disease.
Be there to support, not to preach.
People with depression can sometimes be unpredictable. Sometimes they would want to have your company. Sometimes, they would not. It takes a high level of understanding to provide support for the depressed. Always bear in mind that whatever the case may be, always lend your support and help in any means necessary. However, avoid trying to be someone who needs to say something or be domineering to a fault. Try to give your support that your depressed friend or loved one needs, not the one you think they need.
Avoid comparing your experiences with theirs.
Trying to encourage a depressed friend or loved one by talking about your own experiences may not always be effective. Avoid trying to compare what you have experienced to that of someone with depression. It will just give them the idea that you are somehow trying to downplay what they feel because you have experienced worse. It may end up as if you are trying to minimize the level of pain they feel. If you do want to support them, try to show empathy and feel their pain from their standpoint. Sometimes, offering support by just offering your ability to listen to them works better in helping them with their condition.