When a person you know, or is close to you, is experiencing depression, the three most important things that you can offer them is love, support and a gentle but firm push towards proper professional help. And all of this needs empathy.
How can you use the empathy to help them? How can you develop that empathy? Here is a list of things you can do to help them out of depression.
- Show emotional support, understanding, patience and encouragement.
- Speak to them, let them express, and listen to them carefully.
- Never dismiss their feelings or undermine their pain.
- Never ignore references to suicide. Report them to your loved one's therapist.
- Invite your loved one out for walks, outings and other activities that they used to like. But be sure not to push them too much if they are reluctant.
- Accompany them to the therapist if they ask you too.
- Remind your loved one that with time and counselling, they will overcome the depression.
- Do not be tough on your loved one, support them through the rough patch.
- Make them laugh and show them that you care and remind them of their strengths.
- Convince them to avail of professional assistance.
- Arrange for hospitalisation if they are experiencing suicidal tendencies, hallucinations or delusions.
- Donâ€™t give up on the person â€” they might need to hear repeatedly from several people around them that they deserve to feel better.
This is a TNM Marquee initiative in association with The Live Love Laugh Foundation.