People with depression need your love and support. The best way to help is to be there for them. Depression hurts physically and emotionally. It impacts the one experiencing it and the loved ones surrounding him or her. It is not discriminatory and can affect anyone, regardless of age, economics, social status, gender … the list is endless.
Before you begin to help someone with depression, make sure you have self-care tools in place. Caregiver fatigue is a real thing. Make yourself a priority in order to give your best self to those who need your help.
Once you are aware of how much you can give of yourself, you will be better able to effectively help the people in your life who fight depression. Start with these five ways and then take it further.
The previous suggestions will have a big impact, but remember that no two people are exactly the same. There is no one method that works for everyone. Every individual faces unique challenges and has their own story. Your friend has strengths and preferences that others do not. Be sure to respect their wishes every step of the way and listen carefully for what those wishes are. Sometimes communicating one’s needs are difficult, especially during depressive episodes. There may be shame or guilt involved in asking. Listen carefully. Be alert.
Never be afraid to ask for clarification or to ask directly what kind of support your friend needs in that particular moment. Perhaps they need quiet and your clanging away at the dishes, while well intentioned, is actually making it impossible to rest. Or maybe the last thing they need is a quiet house and your tiptoeing around is making them feel like a burden. The only way to know is to ask. Communication is key.
Jesus didn’t simply step into people’s lives and take over. He was present, responsive and compassionate. He asked questions and often asked if the miracle He offered was wanted. His help was never forced onto others; it was given freely and ready for the taking. There was no guilt or shame offered, only authenticity and compassion.
If you are wondering what it means to authentically follow Jesus, join us on Unfiltered Radio as we investigate who He claimed to be and how He taught us to interact with one another.