How to help someone with depression - 16 little things you can do to help

Mental health awareness has increased in recent years with many people now openly discussing mental health issues. Personally I see regular information on what to do if you have depression or how to recognise it. I still feel however, that there is a lack of understanding of practical ways to help someone who may be experiencing depression/anxiety. I also feel like there seems to be a disconnect when people who are having trouble ask for help they often feel like they don't get the help and support they need.
This post is to try and help people who have friends and family that are suffering, and understand ways they can  help. It's also for people with depression and anxiety who have trouble verbalising the way they feel, and the kind of help they need. This is not a list of long term solutions, and of course if you are feeling down or anxious for extended periods of time you should see a doctor.

I hope you all enjoy my list and feel free to add to it!

1. Don't say oh come on cheer up its not that bad! Or, well it could be worse... although you might be trying to help this can be very dismissive.

2. Be an ear. Sometimes just letting someone express their feelings is enough to help them feel better, you don't need to offer advice, just listen.

3. Feelings are feelings no matter how irrational! Yes many feelings of hopelessness and anxiety are irrational but pointing that out won't help.

4. Helping with small every day tasks like admin, forms and keeping the house clean can be an amazing help! When your in a bad space everyday tasks can seem too much to cope with.

5. Offer to cook their favourite meal. Skipping food and irregular sleeping are all problems people can experience that can make them feel drained, small acts of kindness like this can really help.

6. Put together a care package as a treat.
(nice tea, make up, bubble bath candles, dried fruit, vitamins, ready meals and magazines are all good things to put in a care package).

7. Make someone a cup of tea and give them a hug.

8. Let them no that no matter how hard life gets you will be there.

9. Tell them you love them.

10. Ring and text regularly.

11. Try and encourage them to stay active and keep eating healthy. Going out for a walk or to a juice bar can be a really nice activity and keep them feeling positive.

12. Offer support.

13. Run them a hot bath with lots of bubbles.

14. Treat them to a beauty treatment like a manicure or massage. This can help them relax and feel good about themselves.

15. Be forgiving when they disappoint you.

16. Be unconditional. Don't help to get something in return or hold it over them at a later date, this can be counter productive.

These are some little things that can really help someone in need, some may seem silly but they really can make a difference. It's important to remember however, that you can't fix someone or change the way they feel long term, but you can make sure they feel they have the support they need to be strong and fix themselves.


Unknown said...

Lovely post and the most important thing is to have friends next to you and in these type of moments you will see who are you real friends!

Ethical Bunny said...

Thank you :) yes it is important it defiantly shows who is a real friend! thank you :) xx