Depression is a 10-letter word: 4 vowels and 6 consonants. But, it is a very serious mental illness that can destroy a person – a person who can be your wife, your husband, your sister, your brother, your parent, your son, your daughter, your closest friend, or someone who sits beside you in a bus or train.
Some depressed people are good at hiding it from others. They smile at you like there is nothing wrong, so you will just be surprised when you hear that he or she attempted to commit suicide or when you hear that he or she slashed his or her wrist or hanged himself or herself and is dead.
What would you do when you know someone who is suffering from depression? If you never had depression, you never know what they’re feeling or going through; therefore, you have to be educated so that you know what you are going to say or do to them and you won’t feel helpless.
There are many ways how to help a depressed person:
Be a good listener. A depressed person feels like he or she is alone. He or she feels empty. If he or she opens up, listen. Don’t interrupt. Some are confused and talk slowly because their brain does not function well due to lack of sleep or not eating properly, so be patient. Let him or her talk and make sure you let him or her feel that you sympathize him or her. Let him or her feel that she is not alone, that someone really cares and willing to listen regardless of what comes out of his or her mouth.
Do the daily chores. A depressed person does not like to move or get out of bed. They may not be physically sick but you have to consider them as if they are. Do the daily chores and never complain. This is if you are living with them. Don’t let them think that you are tired of doing everything at home or that you think they are lazy, because it will just make things worse.
Read about depression. There are a lot of articles about depression online, and there are a lot of books about depression. You need to learn about it so that you can somehow understand who you are dealing with.
When the depressed person is talking about suicide, don’t laugh or ignore. Instead, take it seriously and call for help. Prevention is better than cure. Act before it is too late because a depressed person thinks life is unimportant and death is the best cure.
If the depression is getting worse, advice the person to seek treatment or professional help. If already on treatment, be there for him or her. Make sure he or she goes to appointments or takes his or her medication.