A Conversation for Talking Point: Coping with Depression

Supporting people with depression

Post 1


Can anyone give me advice on what sort of support to give loved ones suffering from depression? Do you fuss over them or stay back (without being aloof) waiting for them to open up to you?

Supporting people with depression

Post 2

Mag Ratte

Recognise that they are ill, and no matter how much what they say hurts you, it's not deliberate.

Don't let the negativity push you away, clinical depression can make people believe they're worthless, and if you stay away you're proving them right.

Don't tell them to cheer up - at its most severe, a clinically depressed person feels nothing at all - can't even cry, and if they could cheer up they would have done by now.

Don't dissuade the person from taking medication - instead, support them in finding a treatment regime which suits them.

Don't tell the person they have nothing to be depressed about. Clinical depression is as much chemically caused as diabetes - and you don't tell a diabetic they have no reason for the wrong blood sugar level.

Tell the person that you believe how they say they feel but also tell them that this will pass, one day, no mastter how unbelievable this is now. Say this with as much belief in your voice as possible, as often as it takes. Believe this until the depressed person is able to believe it for him or herself again.

Take any thoughts of self-harm (or talk of it) seriously.

Support the person in seeking and having treatment - the sooner clinical depression is treated, the better the chances of recovery.

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Supporting people with depression

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