How to Support a Depressed Friend or Family Member

When a loved one is struggling with depression, it can become difficult to enjoy our own lives. Knowing that someone we care deeply about is suffering, and being powerless over their mental health disorder, can weigh heavy on our hearts. We want to help our helpless loved ones, and are frustrated by our inability to do so...and by their inability to help themselves!

Mental health is hard to understand, but offering the right kind of help—and at the right time—can actually make or break the day for everyone involved. What we need to understand is that depression and anxiety are major roadblocks to living a rich and fulfilling life—patients can’t control their symptoms—they can’t just “look on the bright side,” or “get outside and enjoy some fresh air”—and while they wish they could experience the joy and happiness of life, they struggle to find motivation to perform even the most mundane daily tasks: cleaning the house, showering, exercise, or going to work. Being so distracted by the negativity in their lives, many depressed patients find it hard to function at all.

When offering your help to a loved one who is struggling, it is important to keep a few things in mind to ensure you’re offering the most useful and compassionate support possible.

Encourage and support psychotherapy and pharmaceutical aids: There are many patients who assume their therapy or medications are not working, simply because they don’t notice any dramatic changes soon enough. When this occurs, let your loved one know that this is normal, the changes are small and incremental, that there are benefits which are not immediately noticeable, and that they should definitely continue treatment. With patience, persistence, and a dedication to finding happiness things will gradually improve.

Listen without judgement: Dealing with depression typically means dealing with a loud and persistent inner voice that dictates how to feel about one thing or another. In order to fight this, lend an open ear, and provide your loved one with honest, positive, and non-judgemental feedback.

Help to maintain their schedule: If your loved one is overwhelmed, it may be hard for them to remember to take their medications or attend their therapy sessions. Offering helpful reminders, or driving them to their sessions, may be just what they need to stay on track.

Help to create a low-stress, trigger-free environment: Those who are depressed often have triggers. By discussing their symptoms both of you can learn about these triggers. Then, together, you can construct a living space that reduces their opportunity to feel depressed by avoiding or replacing these triggers.

Of course, there are many other ways you can help to relieve the symptoms of depression. These are just 4 of them. Whichever way you decide to help your friend or family member, doing it with compassion and patience is the most important thing. Helping your loved one find the light at the end of their tunnel may seem difficult, but the reward—seeing them smile again—is so worth it.

Contact Vitalitas Denver

Vitalitas Denver is one of Denver’s leading ketamine clinics, with clinic locations in Littleton and Westminster, CO. We have performed thousands of ketamine infusions over the years, and are happy to answer any questions you have about ketamine infusions and how they could help you or a loved one. Contact us today and take the first step towards reclaiming your mental wellbeing.

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