By having an idea of how someone is affected by depression, you might be able to better recognize why they behave the way they do. Understanding more about depression might also help you separate the illness from your family member or friend, and realize that their mood and behavior might not be directed at you personally.
Put yourself first occasionally. As a family member or friend of someone who’s going through depression, it’s important that you look after yourself. This can be hard, and you might find that you feel guilty when you do something for yourself. But taking time out for yourself is an important part of taking care of yourself and your loved one.
Talk about what your loved one finds helpful. Make conversations about depression easy and open. Try asking what helps your friend or family member get through their depression. By talking openly, you are letting the person know that you love and support them.
Talk to someone. It might be helpful to talk to someone you trust, like another friend or family member, about how you’re feeling regarding your loved one’s depression.
Acknowledgement: This fact sheet was originally developed by youth and staff at ReachOut.com, a website that helps teens get through tough times.