The Unseen Weight of Depression

by | Sep 6, 2023 | Blog

When a loved one grapples with depression, the challenges can often seem unconquerable. It’s natural to sway between concern and confusion, especially when it’s challenging to determine the boundaries between a temporary low mood and a prevalent mental health concern.  Depression, unlike fleeting sadness, isn’t simply a response to daily stressors or setbacks. It’s a persistent condition, often casting a shadow over various aspects of an individual’s life. Unlike the occasional blues we all face, depression can anchor itself, lingering for weeks, months, or
even longer.

This guide aims to equip readers with an understanding of depression’s intricacies, providing
clarity on how to help with depression and support those navigating its maze.

How to Support Someone with Depression: The Dos and Don’ts

Navigating the world of mental health can feel like treading unfamiliar waters, especially when trying to understand how to help with depression. When someone dear to us faces this challenge, our first instinct is to jump in and try to rescue them. But how exactly do we support someone with depression? What should we say or do, and perhaps more crucially, what should we avoid?

The Dos

Open Ears, Open Heart

Opening up about depression is hard. It’s like revealing a hidden scar. When someone confides in you, they aren’t seeking solutions. They need a compassionate ear. Listen. Avoid giving unsolicited advice. Instead, offer a hand to hold or a shoulder to lean on. Showing up for someone with depression starts with active listening and compassion.

Educate Yourself

Before drawing any conclusions, it’s essential to be well-informed. Depression is not just a fleeting bout of sadness or a matter of choice; it’s a genuine medical condition that extends beyond these perceptions. To gain valuable insights and expand your understanding, explore resources offered at BestMind Behavioral Health.

Furthermore, when seeking support for a loved one with depression, it’s important to recognize that specialized care from mental health professionals, including physician assistants (PAs), psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNPs), and psychiatrists well-versed in alternative therapies, can be particularly beneficial. They have the expertise to provide comprehensive and tailored treatment options for this complex condition.

The Power of Presence

In the complex world of human connections, words sometimes fall short, while the quiet power of presence speaks volumes. Being there for someone doesn’t always mean offering solutions
or advice. It’s about creating a comforting atmosphere where your loved one knows they aren’t alone. Whether it’s indulging in the simplicity of watching a movie together, sharing a quiet afternoon,or just being in the same room while they process their feelings—these moments of companionship can be profoundly healing.

Help Your Loved One in Their Daily Routine

When depression hits, even the simplest daily tasks can become daunting. The act of getting out of bed, preparing a meal, or maintaining personal hygiene can feel overwhelming. Your
support can make a tangible difference. Offer to help with chores, accompany them on a walk, or sit with them during a meal. By
assisting in maintaining a semblance of routine, you not only provide practical aid but also help instill a sense of normalcy and structure. Remember, these gestures, no matter how small, can serve as crucial building blocks in their journey toward recovery and mental well-being.

Encourage Professional Support

Recognizing when a loved one might benefit from professional intervention is crucial, as your support is invaluable, but there are times when a mental health specialist’s expertise is necessary. Additionally, offering to assist in coordinating their care, such as scheduling appointments or providing transportation if needed, can also be a powerful way to support them. Gently suggesting they seek help and exploring suitable resources, like those at BestMind, can make a world of difference. Encourage them to consider their options and explore available treatment choices, including the possibility of an initial consultation to gain a better understanding of their mental health needs.

The Don’ts

“Everyone Feels This Way Sometimes” Assumption

Depression isn’t just an occasional bad day or a brief sad moment. When someone hears, “Everyone feels this way sometimes” it can make their genuine struggles seem trivial. This comment, even if well-meaning, can come off as dismissive. Recognizing the difference between typical mood swings and the deeper challenge is crucial in learning how to support someone with depression.

“Physical Activity Always Fixes It” Belief

While exercise can indeed boost endorphin levels and has been shown to help alleviate some depressive symptoms, it’s not a universal remedy. Suggesting that someone can “walk off” their depression undermines the multi-dimensional nature of the condition and doesn’t account for the diverse ways it manifests in different individuals.

“Just Try to Keep Busy and Distract Yourself” Misguidance

While staying busy can sometimes offer temporary relief from specific symptoms, it’s not a long-term solution or cure. Encouraging someone to “keep busy” to avoid their feelings might lead
them to suppress important emotions. Addressing and understanding the root causes of depression, rather than merely distracting from them is crucial for genuine healing and well-being.


How to Help with Depression: Taking the Next Step

Depression can be a daunting storm cloud, casting a lingering shadow over our loved ones. Recognizing and understanding how to support someone with depression signifies a deep commitment to their well-being. Yet, it’s only the beginning. While gestures of care can make a difference, there are times when professional expertise is

At BestMind, our depression specialists are poised to offer a guiding hand, ensuring you’re equipped with comprehensive strategies. From a thorough mental health diagnosis to effective depression treatments such as TMS Therapy and Spravato (eskatamine) treatment, we ensure a tailored approach. So, if you’re pondering what to do if your loved one is depressed, consider taking a more informed leap. Schedule your free consultation with us, or dive deeper into our insights on
depression here. Remember, with the proper guidance, healing isn’t just possible—it’s probable.