It is true what they say about depression, that it affects your whole being. Depression, apparently, relates not only to your mental being, but also to your physical and social self. In like manner, depression affects not only the sufferer but also the people around him or her. People who are depressed have feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness. These feelings can be very overwhelming to the point that they "push" anyone who tries to get close to them. If you happen to be at the opposite end, this can be very painful for you. More frequently than not, people who suffer from depression do not really realize that while they are hurting inside they also hurt the people they love in the process. But there are ways of dealing with depression so that it doesn't reach to the point when relationships with loved ones are affected. Here are some tips that can help you help your loved one overcome depression:
- Don't let your loved one push you away. It may be necessary to give him or her time and space, but don't make your presence overwhelming. Don't talk too much. Be more of a listening ear than a gabbing tongue. In many cases, silence speaks volumes of words. Just be there and be ready with your hand he/she can hold to.
- Try to get to the bottom of your friend's depression. There are various reasons why one gets depressed and for many of these reasons are practical solutions. If financial difficulties are causing your friend to get depressed, here are some ways you can be of help:
- Get your friend to list down all her creditors and the amount owed to each and every one of them.
- Encourage your friend to have his/her loans consolidated. Loan or debt consolidation can reduce the interest rates, and it will be easier for your friend to manage his/her debts with just one person or company to deal with every month.
- Help your friend to control his/her expenses. Get your friend to make a list of monthly expenses. Many of these expenses (such as Friday nights dinner, weekend trips, cable, etc) may not be necessary at all so get his/her to get it off the list at least for the meantime.
- Ask your friend pay for purchases in cash instead of relying on credit cards. With cash payments, your friend will not be tempted to buy anything he/she cannot afford for the time being.
- Help your friend to find work opportunities online. Getting a part-time job online can help your friend deal with his/her financial trouble.
- Go out with your friend. If heartbreak is the reason for your friend's depression, get him/her out of his/her nutshell, not necessarily to date other people but to realize that he/she is not the only one in the world.
- Encourage healthy eating. I've personally seen profiles of people who are depressed for one reason or another, and for most of them, turning on to "comfort" foods is second nature. But you should know that the effects of these comfort foods never last long. Worse, they can make one look bloated because of too much salt content that tends to draw water inside. Encourage healthy eating habits and wise food choices that include vegetables and fruits.
Normally, depression lasts but just a few days. If your friend appears to be withdrawn for a much longer period of time or exhibits signs and symptoms that affect his/her state of mind and general well being, get him/her to seek professional help. He/she may already require psychotherapy and antidepressants to control the problem.