Dealing with Depression

Most of us have experienced depression at some point in our lives. It’s also likely that we have watched as a family member, friend, or colleague has struggled with depression. Our professional staff have compiled a list of tips to keep in mind the next time you or a loved one is feeling depressed.

  • Pay more attention to your strengths and those situations where you feel competent. Focusing on your strengths will help you feel empowered.
  • Try to focus on the positive events and interactions with others throughout your day.
  • Even though you may feel like spending more time alone, try to create opportunities where you will be with supportive friends and family members. Avoid situations or people who may trigger feelings of isolation or other negative emotions.
     
  • Stay physically healthy by having regular medical check-ups, eating healthy foods, and sleeping and exercising more regularly.
  • Pay attention to what your own intuition tells you will help you most.
     
  • Keep in mind that alcohol is a depressant, so try to abstain if at all possible during a depressive episode.
     
  • If you are seeing a physician or counselor for depression, listen to what they tell you will help the most.

How Can You Help?
(Adapted from National Alliance on Mental Illness)

If a loved one is expressing depression, you want to be able to help them. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

  • Be Patient: The problems your loved one is experiencing are very real. You need to be patient and understanding of their struggle, not judgmental.
  • Motivate Them: Part of recovery from depression is becoming active and leading a healthy lifestyle, but it’s difficult to get motivated to take action when depressed. You can help by providing motivation and offering to participate in activities with them.
  • Don’t Offer Advice: One of the biggest issues that people with depression face is the constant advice from their loved ones. While it is almost always well-intentioned, the fact is that telling them your opinions on how to deal with what they’re feeling won’t usually help; it may only add to the problem. Instead, support what they’re doing and working through. It’s a better solution, with much better results.

Keep in Mind: If you or someone you care about experiences prolonged or severe depression, seek help from a medical professional.