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How to Help a Loved One with Depression

a woman helps a loved one who has been struggling with depression

If your loved one is one of 20 million people in the world who suffer from depression, you are undoubtedly worried about their well-being. It can be painful and difficult to see someone you care about experience a depressive disorder. If you are unsure what is going on, we can help you understand the signs of depression. The best way to support someone who suffers is to help them find a depression treatment program. At Evoke Wellness, we provide evidence-based treatments for depression as well as any co-occurring mental health or substance use disorders.

To learn as much as you can about how to help a loved one with depression, reach out to Evoke Wellness today. Our staff can answer your questions and explain the various programs available to treat those who suffer from depression. Our online form is an easy way to connect with us, or you can simply call 866.429.2960.

Types of Depression

Many people do not understand depression and can cause serious harm by telling people to think happy thoughts or that it’s all in their heads. Depression is a medical diagnosis, but like many mental and physical conditions, it does not look the same for everyone. There are several types of clinical depression:

  • Major depressive disorder (MDD)
  • Persistent depressive disorder (PDD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Postpartum depression (PPD)
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
  • Atypical depression

It is vital that a mental health specialist like a psychiatrist or psychotherapist properly diagnose your loved one to maximize the efficacy of treatment.

Depression is very treatable. If you are worried about a loved one, guiding them to accept that treatment is their best option is important.

Signs of Depression

Even though not everyone with depression presents the same, some of the primary symptoms of this serious mental health condition are listed below. You may recognize some or all of them in your loved one:

  • Feeling worthless and hopeless
  • Emptiness
  • Numbness
  • Agitation and restlessness
  • Frequent interludes of tearfulness
  • Feeling isolated and lonely
  • No ability to enjoy things or experience pleasure
  • Decreased self-esteem and confidence
  • Easily angered or frustrated
  • Exhaustion
  • Muscle aches

If you notice your loved one behaving in any of the ways listed below, these behaviors may be due to depression and the symptoms listed above:

  • Struggling to make decisions or think clearly
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Misuse of alcohol and/or drugs
  • No interest in sex
  • Insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Avoiding people and loved ones
  • Not engaging in activities or social events once enjoyed
  • Non-suicidal self-harm, such as cutting
  • Lack of appetite and weight loss, or eating for comfort and weight gain
  • Suicidal thoughts

Concern about a loved one’s mental health can be very stressful. If you have concerns, reach out for professional help as soon as possible.

How to Help a Loved One with Depression

The first thing to do in support of your loved one is to understand that responses born of misunderstanding can be dangerous and reinforce stigmas against mental health issues. Stigma is one of the greatest barriers to people seeking the care they need. Shame about having depression makes them hide rather than ask for help.

Try the following in your interactions with your depressed loved one:

  • Encourage them to seek treatment or, if they are already in therapy, that they stay the course.
  • Remind them you are there whenever they need you.
  • Listen without judgment, remembering that their behaviors and mental distress are not a choice or a character flaw but an illness.
  • Offer practical day-to-day help since household tasks and chores can feel overwhelming to someone with depression.
  • Remind them of their worth. They may not believe you, but they’ll hear you, and it will make a difference as they struggle with their feelings of worthlessness.
  • Plan self-care routines that feel manageable, like going for a walk or getting a haircut. You never know what will help.
  • If your loved one is a person of faith, help them reconnect or connect more often with their faith group by attending services or speaking with their clergy member.

If possible, get them to agree to seek a higher level of care. Even if they are already in therapy, they may benefit from a short-term inpatient program or more intensive outpatient treatment for depression.

Enroll in a Depression Treatment Program at Evoke Wellness Today  — Call Now

Evoke Wellness can help your loved one by treating their depression and providing proven therapy models such as cognitive-behavioral therapy. Our staff can walk you and them through the options. If substance misuse is a factor in your loved one’s constellation of symptoms, we are well-equipped to address co-occurring disorders. Call 866.429.2960 today or use our online form to reach out. We are here to help.