Ignoring the depression will only make it worse. Time to confront it and conquer it!
You know someone who is depressed and want to help. Where do you start?
Here are my top 10 things I would suggest. Hope this helps.
#1 – Love them but don’t enable them.
There is a fine line of loving and enabling . Have a open dialoge on why they are feeling the way they are. Just ask questions without having any answers for them. Let them know you just want to hear and understand. Bite your tongue on giving any advice or talking about you. This is just about them. This will build trust and show you truly care only about them.
#2 – Get them active, involved, feeling alive at something positive
Challenge them to go do something with you. Don’t let them be alone in their thoughts all the time. There must be something they love to do or used to love to do. Find out what and go do it. Stay positive the whole time and don’t let there depression dictate the mood of the day. You’re hanging out with someone sick and it’s your job to be the medicine. The medicine is positivity, encouragement, fun and loving on them.
#3 – Send texts of encouragement and truth
My favorite daily readings comes from a book called “Thought Conditioners” by Norman Vincent Peale. He uses the Bible to speak truth into your life and guess what……. it works, it really really works 🙂
Example of one of his daily readings:
The things, which are impossible with men are possible with God. —Luke 18:27
This text shows how to do an “impossible” thing. Size up your problem, pray about it, do all you can about it. If it seems impossible, don’t give up, but affirm, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”
Keep relaxed. Don’t worry. Avoid getting panicky. Never think, “This can’t be done.” Declare, “It can be done, it is being done because God is doing it through me.” Affirm that the process is in operation. The final outcome may not be entirely what you now desire. But, handled in this manner, the solution will be what God wants it to be.
#4 – Encourage them to get help.
Find a depression counselor and set up an appointment for them. Let them know you’ll pick them up and take them and afterwards go to lunch or something. A lot of times, your loved one, wants help but just can’t do it for themselves. So if you take all the planning or stress our of the positive activity, they’ll be more likely to go.
#5 – Help them to treat themselves better.
Depression affects all sorts of lifestyle changes. A lot of times they forget to treat themselves. So encourage them to do things that are good for their appearance, health and daily routine.
#6 – Appearance
Book a day at the barber or salon. Get your haircut, hair dyed, beard trimmed, new haircut. Make your loved one feel great about themselves. Get some new clothes that look and fit great. This is a great way to break the mindset of someone depressed.
#7 – Health
Be on the lookout for red flags. Are they eating horribly? Are they exercising? Brushing their teeth? Things that might seem simple to us but when your depressed, you seem to forget to do the simplest things, to stay healthy. So make healthy meals together, go on walks together, take or purchase a good multi vitamin. Try to limit unhealthy snacks. Depression is sometimes a direct link to how the body is being treated. Try to implement some healthy lifestyle changes into their life but remember to make it fun! Sometimes walking isn’t that much fun but frisbee golf is. So find creative ways to get them to be healthy.
#8 – Daily Routine
Are they a thermostat or a thermometer? I’m guessing they are a thermometer and the world dictates their mood. So it’s time to coach them to be a thermostat. Have a healthy night routine. Write some things your grateful for before bed. Wake up with an alarm. Start your day with some goals and daily readings that are encouraging and life giving. Don’t let that phone of yours dictate your morning or nights. It’s time for you to set your own mood.
#9 – Go get blood work done
Go to your doctor and get a wellness check. Make sure your body is doing okay. Maybe your loved ones depression is a direct link to something that is going on with their body. It’s always a really good feeling to know everything is okay. If something comes back off, then it’s nice to be able to know what to fix and how.
#10 – Don’t let them talk negative about themselves
Most depression is linked to a poor me attitude and lack of gratitude. Always in a loving way make sure they know not to talk crap about themselves or anybody else. The way you talk about others will directly impact the way you think about yourself. Even if someone is a crappy person, it does nothing for you to talk poorly about them. Find ways to love other people all the time and you will find love for yourself too :). Sometimes you have to fake your inner thoughts and mood to get it to change. So help that loved one with loving themselves all the time.
I hope this helps when it comes to helping your loved ones!!!