How to Communicate with Someone Who Suffers from Depression

If you have a loved one who suffers from depression, then you may be feeling at a loss as to how to help him cope with his disorder. However, it is very important that you continue to let your loved one know that you still love and support him. Here are some ways that will allow you to express your love without causing your friend or family member to shut down or turn away from you.

suffering from depression

Be Open

When you start a conversation with someone who suffers from depression, you should be willing to talk about anything. This will help your loved one release some of his feelings so that he can cope with his disorder, and it can help you identify any suicidal thoughts that he may be having. You should be prepared to hear him say things that make you feel uncomfortable, but you should still be open to hearing what he has to say so that you can be as helpful as possible.

 

Be a Good Listener

Your loved one may need someone to be there as he voices his thoughts and feelings aloud, but this doesn’t mean that you should try to fix all of his problems. He may want to visit a therapist or a doctor if he wants someone who can help him overcome his depression, but you can still lend an ear for whatever emotions or thoughts he may be having. Your loving companionship may be all he needs to start feeling better at that moment.

 

Take a Walk

If your friend or family member is reluctant to get out of bed because of his depression, you can encourage him to take a walk with you. You can keep the pace slow and stay close to home, and the walk will help to change his brain chemistry so that he feels less depressed.

 

Keep Calm

As you spend time with someone who struggles with depression, you may hear him say things that alarm you. Your friend or family member may talk about suicide or harming himself, but you should not panic. If he shares such thoughts with you, it means that he trusts you, and you should respect that trust by remaining calm. However, you should direct him to a professional who can help him see that suicide is not the only way that he can find relief from his depression.

 

photo credit: Path to freedom via photopin (license)

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