Countless people experience some kind of depression, and after a short period of time, they are able to get over those feelings and thoughts and move on. However, there are those who go through what is known as clinical depression and the negative feelings they experience seem to take much longer to get through. Anyone in contact with a depressed individual may feel at a loss on how to handle their situation.
Learning how to encourage someone who is depressed should begin with realizing that they are not just in some sort of funk or bad mood that they can simply snap out of anytime they want. What they are experiencing often feels as if they have lost all hope and that their future is bleak. Depression can lead to feelings of self-hate and might even lead one to entertain thoughts of self-mutilation or suicide. Family and friends who distance themselves from depression sufferers do not help alleviate those negative feelings so forms of encouragement and a reassuring presence are important.
Taking the time to actually get together with the person who is depressed and be the ear that is willing to listen to them and that shoulder need to lean on is one of the most important type of support depression sufferers need. More often than not, people going through depression feel as if no one cares and no one has the time or patience to listen to them. Giving advice is important but listening to someone's woes and anxieties is much more vital. It is essential to know how to encourage someone who is depressed and provide them with the support system they need.
Depression sufferers may have a hard time getting up and out of the house. As a support person, it might fall on your plate to help this person remain social. Offer to take them somewhere the depressed person likes to frequent. Keep a positive attitude during the visit, and remember when having conversation that listening without judgment is key. Remind them that you are there for them and that you care enough to listen.
One of the best things someone wanting to help a friend or family member experiencing clinical depression can do is to arm themselves with the right kind of knowledge and information. Reading through books, doing some research on the internet and/or asking people who have undergone depression on how they were able to cope is a great place to start. Asking a professional who can give advice on how to encourage someone who is depressed may also be extremely helpful. Doing so can help one be better prepared to provide support for someone diagnosed with depression, however, if a person is contemplating suicide or hurting themselves, a doctor or a professional therapist should be contacted.
Handing the reins over to someone who is better prepared and suited to give medical advice to a depressed individual begins with encouraging them to either find a professional or continue seeing the one they already have. If there are any support groups in the area then help them get the necessary information and give them the confidence to join and participate so that they will see that they are not alone and that others have suffered and are suffering through depression as well. You could even offer to attend with your friend.