How to Support Someone With Depression

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This story was published on The Mighty by Skylar Tillman, a platform for people facing health challenges to share their stories and connect.

Dear friends and family,

I know it’s not easy to see someone you love go through major depression and anxiety. I know you are always asking yourself how can you help. Sometimes you may feel helpless, but I promise you aren’t.

Here is a list of things you can do to help:

1. Ask how I am feeling.

It doesn’t matter if it’s through text message, phone call or coming to visit. The little acts of kindness never go unnoticed and are greatly appreciated.

2. Understand I may not always know how to explain depression.

Please understand sometimes it’s hard to explain what’s going on in my mind because half of the time, I don’t know why I’m feeling sad and empty, I just am. It’s one of the hardest things I deal with. The best advice for when I’m like this is to sit with me in silence and remind me I am not alone.

3. Educate yourself on mental illness.

Educate yourself on what major depressive disorder is and how it affects the mind and body. Please understand what works for one person doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to work for me. Everyone is different and expresses their emotions differently.

4. Don’t force me to talk about how I’m feeling if I’m not ready.

I will explain everything when I have a clearer mind. Explaining depression to someone who isn’t going through what you are going through can be difficult.

5. Keep inviting me places.

Even if I say no, please understand it’s not that I don’t want to hang out with you. It’s because my depression is bad and when I’m in a low mood, I like to be by myself.

6. Remind me you care.

A huge problem I have is pushing people away because I feel like they don’t care about me. Please remind me this isn’t true.

For more information on depressionplease visit https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

or if you need help please call 1-800-273-TALK

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