Depression is a critical and a serious disorder that may happen to anyone at any age. It is treatable with the help of a medical provider and of the family. The signs and symptoms of a depressed person include irritability, feeling sad or down, loosing appetite, wanting to be alone, feeling guilty or getting drunk often. Helping or comforting a depressed person can sometimes be critical too because he/she may react negatively to your approach. They might get angry, feel insulted, or feeling more self pity which causes a worse depression.
If a friend, a loved one or a member of the family is suffering from depression, your support and care for them is always necessary. But the problem is how to approach them properly because depressed people tend to deny that they are depressed. Here are some body language or approach examples that may help your depressed loved one feel better.
- Try to approach him/her with a light conversation
Try to approach him/her by telling what you’ve noticed about his/her actions lately. You can simply say “Do you need someone to talk to?” or “I’m just here if you need to talk to somebody”. If he/she resists talking about it, do not insist. Talk to him/her some other time. However if you can still push a bit to talk without making him/her react negatively, it's better. Do not delay too much because the depression may worsen if left not attended.
- Be ready to accept what he/she may say without judgment
Being the comforter of the depressed loved one, be ready to accept whatever feelings he/she may express, without judging or blaming him/her. Listening is a good way of showing comfort. Be gentle and avoid confronting. You can ask follow-up questions about what he/she is saying to help him/her untie the complications of the problem. Prepare your shoulder if he/she tends to cry. Hugging and pampering at the back are a body language which heals in a way no one can explain.
- Ask them what help you can offer
Depressed persons mostly feel they are alone, guilty or hopeless. Ask them what you can do to make them feel they are not alone. If you can’t handle the depression well enough, try to ask them if they want to consult a professional but be careful in suggesting it because they may think you view them as insane.
If they resist, better be the one to consult a doctor knowing the whole situation so that you may help with the proper way to heal the depression.