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How To Help A Friend Or Family Member With Depression?

Reviewed by
Dr. Manish Borasi 87% (123 ratings)
MD - Psychiatry, MBBS
Psychiatrist, Bhopal  •  9 years experience
How To Help A Friend Or Family Member With Depression?

Depression follows the trajectory opposite to contentment. It has adverse effects on a person's mental and physical health. Being depressive is not a choice; it is a condition. The fact that despondency is not an elected way of life is a mystery to many. People surrounding a depressed person should make conscious efforts in treating them with love and dignity. Subjecting a person to strict deadlines, stringent rules or excessive pressure could worsen their situation.   

Ways to tackle a depressed family member:-

1. Create occasions to enjoy a hearty laugh- If you have a family member suffering from depression you should probably share the benefits of laughter with him or her. Laughter is the best medicine to remedy acute depression. Look for opportunities to crack a joke or make the concerned person play with a pet. 
You can also take the person to watch humorous movies.

2. "You are impossible" is the worst way of approaching a problem- In many cases a depressed person is reported with instances of negativity. Though the expressed negativity makes you feel morbid, do not give up on your family member. The person involuntarily finds reasons to feel hopeless. You should never think the case is beyond any kind of betterment.
3. Keep them in a positive environment- Positive ideas can counter dejection. Help the person plan for a great future. Lay stress on how important that person is to you and to the world in general. Keeping one's mind creatively occupied can prove to be effective. Music or any other passion for that matter can help a person get over phases of depression.

4. You should not associate depression with perpetual sadness- Depression can have plenty of symptoms. The symptoms vary from one person to another. While some people lack motivation some might want to harm themselves or others. Many become recluse. The minute you associate depression with sadness you limit your overview of the actual problem. 
5. Help the family member take his or her medicines diligently- While counselling helps a few patients of depression some others require medication. A bout of depression will dissuade a person from sticking to his or her medical routine. As a loved one it is your due responsibility to persuade him or her to take medicines regularly.

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