What to do when someone is severely depressed and How to help them
Do you know How to help a depressed person? Depression is a complicated but treatable disorder suffered by millions of people of all ages and in all walks of life. We have all tried at some point with a depressed person. A problem that causes pain not only in people who have this diagnosis, but also affects people in their environment.
Sometimes, when a friend or family member is depressed, they experience difficult emotions to overcome, such as impotence, frustration, anger, fear, guilt or sadness. These feelings are normal and feeling them does not mean that we can not or want to help that person. So, if we really want to provide effective help, it is not good that we neglect caring for ourselves.
What to do when someone is severely depressed?
At the beginning, to help another person overcome depression, we must learn how depression works and in what terms and form we should treat it, without forgetting our own emotional health. This is essential to maintain effective care over time and so that we do not pay too high a price for our help.
Depression is a serious illness that needs professional treatment and attention. Your role, if you want to help another with depression, is not to cure him, but to support him so that it is easier for him to overcome his condition.
How to help a depressed person?
Sometimes it is difficult to know what to say when talking to a depressed person. In any case, it is more important to listen than to give advice. Thus, the simple act of talking to someone can be a great help.
Depressed young woman
Encouraging that person to talk about their feelings and being willing to listen to them without judgment will probably do you a lot of good. Listening we tell the sick person that we are open and willing, that it is their story that we care about.
A depressed person tends to isolate themselves from others, and even to distrust, so you’ll have to continually renew disposition samples if you want me to talk to you.
The time to talk
To start a conversation, you can start by saying you are worried about him or her, or that you have noticed that you have changed and would like to know how you are doing. But, remember that this is a way to start a conversation that should be done with tact, we do not want the depressed person to feel guilty for worrying.
When you want to talk (something we have to be willing to do but not force), you can ask him about the time he started feeling that way, what happened so that he started to feel that way and how you can help him. And, above all, encourage him to seek professional help if he has not already done so. But you have to be very sensitive at this point because not everyone is willing to do it.
Tell him that you are with him/her, that he can count on you, that it is possible to overcome his condition. Remind him that you appreciate him and that, even if you do not understand how he feels or why, you want to help him because what matters to you is that he feels well.
But there are also phrases that you do not have to say, hence the fundamental thing is that we maintain our emotional control. Do not tell him that everything is in his head and that we all go through the same thing at some point, let alone try to convince him that surely in the long run he will get something good out of all this.
Do not try to convince him of how good your life is, or ask him for responsibilities with questions like “what about me, is that you do not care?”. This will only make the situation worse.
Take care of yourself while helping a depressed person
There is a natural impulse to want to solve the problems of the people we love, but you can not pretend to control the depression of a loved one. If we do not take care of ourselves emotionally in this situation we can not help the other.
Taking care of your own health and your happiness is essential to try to help someone who is depressed. Therefore, you must attend to your own needs before those of the other in order to be useful.
For this, it is important that you talk about yourself with the other and that you do not suppress your emotions. It’s not about making him feel guilty or about demanding responsibilities. It’s about creating an honest communication relationship that will help you create a long-term relationship that also allows you to be more sensitive.
You must also set limits so that your own mental health is not affected, nor your personal life. Set clear limits to avoid burnout and resentment. It is not about being the other’s therapist.
Another important aspect that can not be neglected is the maintenance of one’s life. Although you have to make some changes in the routine, you have to move forward, each with his own.
You have to seek personal support, someone to talk about what you feel during the process of helping another, and without feeling that you betray him. It is necessary to externalize the feelings to repress them. To avoid hurting the person you help you will have to look for someone.