When your significant other suffers from depression, you have to be there for them. Still, keep in mind that giving support may mean more than just offering a shoulder to cry on.
Whether it’s clinical depression or just a bad time for them, a person who’s depressed is often looking for ways to get help, but may not know where or how to start. By recognizing the signs of depression, you can be a great help to a friend or loved one who may be just starting to grapple with it, but not recognize it themselves.
1)Depression is a serious condition.
Don’t underestimate the seriousness of depression. Depression drains a person’s energy, optimism, and motivation. Your depressed loved one can’t just “snap out of it” by sheer force of will.
2) Advices are not always good.
It probably seems natural to share advice with your loved one. Whenever someone we care about is having a tough time, we yearn to fix their heartache. While it may be true that the depressed person needs guidance, saying that will make them feel insulted or even more inadequate and detach further. What helps instead is to ask them about what could make them feel better. This gives your love one the opportunity to ask for help.
3) You need to be ready for their ups and downs.
Depression can make each day a nightmare of variation. It may be that in the morning all is bleak and dark. A person may be so panic-stricken that even being alone for a few minutes seems to be impossible. This mood may last for hours. In such times be quietly and faithfully present. The depressed person does not want to manifest this behavior. No one wants to be afraid, anxious, panic-stricken. But it happens to the person. What gives strength is simple presence.
Keep in mind that the depressed person isn’t communicating well right now, and is probably speaking slower and less clearly. Be patient and don’t interrupt.
5) You shouldn't be confrontational.
Remember that your loved one is suffering from an emotional problem and is in a very vulnerable state. Though it's important to be firm, don't come off too strong in the beginning.
6) Depressed people tend to blame themselves for everything.
Try not to blame the person for being depressed, or tell them to ‘pull themselves together’. They are probably already blaming themselves, and criticism is likely to make them feel even worse.
7) Caring is essential.
It is far from easy to care for a depressed person. The results and rewards in the long term are usually wonderful, but in the initial stages it is often an uphill and thankless task. Your role as a carer requires immense patience and perseverance, but ultimately it could prove essential to a person's recovery and could even save someone's life. However sympathetic and up-to-date the doctors and nurses may be, they simply cannot be there 24 hours a day to observe every small alteration in someone's behaviour or mood. But this is where you, as the carer, can help.