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5 Simple (but Powerful) Ways to Help Someone With Depression

Deborah E. Padilla
two young women sitting on roof of car by mountains

Helping someone with depression can be complicated, especially if we’re unsure of the right support to give. Even though intentions are good, it can become counterproductive for our loved ones already going through a difficult time.

People cope differently than others, however, and sometimes the simplest gestures can make a difference. Below is a list of five ways you can possibly help someone with depression feel more at ease.

1. Validate

Validation is a form of communication that makes others, as well as ourselves, feel accepted. Validating someone’s feelings can make a huge difference, as they may feel like nobody understands them to begin with. Accepting someone’s feelings can brighten their day, as they’ll feel like someone accepts them despite their struggles.

2. Empathy

Having the ability to understand and share feelings of another is a gift many of us have experienced. Even if we don’t realize it, we can express empathy to someone by understanding stressful days at work or dealing with a great loss. Displaying empathy helps our loved ones feel like we understand them as a whole.

Related:How Handwritten Letters Helped Me Through Residential Treatment

3. Positive Encouragement

Positive encouragement can remind our loved ones of where they excel while encouraging them to continue on that path. It also can promote self-care. It gives them an opportunity to be reminded of the good while giving hope to the future. Sometimes we can all use a little encouragement when we’re not feeling our best.

4. Listen

Sometimes, our listening skills aren’t the best. We tend to just hear what others are saying. Listening to others proves we care enough to know what someone has to say. If our loved ones believe we aren’t that interested in why they are feeling down to begin with, they will probably feel like they are talking to a wall.

5. Reminders

Reminding our loved ones that this feeling won’t last forever can help boost their outlook. Even though their depression may mean they are at their lowest, it can also remind them that better days are to come. There will be good and bad days, but ultimately things can get better. Positive reminders can help shape someone’s outlook with hope to the future.

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