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In case you have noticed a close friend or relative continues to be experiencing depression symptoms — prolonged feelings of despair, guilt, worthlessness, and hopelessness — there are things you can do in order to help. While you may not have the ability to “repair” the depression, friends and family members can provide encouragement and support.

Melancholy: Getting Help For The Loved One

Depression is not something which could be shrugged off; it’s an actual sickness which should be medicated by a mental or medical health professional. The most important thing you can do is always to ensure that your loved one gets professional help.

Relatives and buddies can do that by “encouraging [their family members to make] regular medical visits to see their doctor, and also to see any type of therapist or mental health professional” who is treating their depression symptoms, says Julie Walther Scheibel, MEd, a counselor at Concordia Seminary Counseling and Resource Center in St. Louis.

A doctor can diagnose and treat depression, or make a referral to a mental health professional who is experienced in coping with depression.

Occasionally individuals are reluctant to get help for depression. If this is actually the case with the one you love, assure him or her that treatment is typically effective in relieving depression symptoms and that depression is a familiar sickness.

Depression: Providing Practical Support

You can help your loved one deal along with their melancholy by doing the following:

  • Read about its symptoms depression, and its treatments. There’s plenty of online, literature and elsewhere, that will help you get prepared.
  • Offer to go to appointments together with the one you love by asking questions, in order to help.
  • Indicate that your family member write down questions ahead of the appointment, so nothing is forgotten.
  • Imply that your family member maintain a diary to record symptoms, enhancements treatments, and setbacks.
  • Help keep the one you love on her or his treatment strategy. For example, it is possible to offer gentle reminders about taking medications.
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Depression: Providing Emotional Support

Nearby friends as well as family also can provide emotional support by occasionally checking in using their loved one to find out whether the depression treatment is working, also to ensure he or she is performing daily activities.

Walther Scheibel says that friends and family should motivate people who have depression “to continue on their regular routine and program.” She says that it is important for depressed people to not only continue making use of their work, but also to do “things outside work that bring them happiness.” This may mean seeing a movie taking a walk, or enjoying a meal at a favorite restaurant.

Tell your loved one you will continue to supply any help it is possible to, and that you know it is a difficult time, which you love him or her. When the one you love needs to talk about depression symptoms or feelings, be there to listen and offer words of encouragement.

Finally, remind your beloved that treatment for depression might be quite powerful, before depression symptoms begin to improve, but that it often takes some time.