Could Family and Friends Help the Depressed Person?


The most
important thing anyone can do for the depressed person is to help him or her
get an appropriate diagnosis and treatment. This may involve encouraging the
individual to stay with treatment until symptoms begin to abate (several
weeks), or to seek different treatment if no improvement occurs. On occasion,
it may require making an appointment and accompanying the depressed person to
the doctor. It may also mean monitoring whether the depressed person is taking
medication. The depressed person should be encouraged to obey the doctor’s
orders about the use of alcoholic products while on medication. The second most
important thing is to offer emotional support. This involves understanding,
patience, affection, and encouragement. Engage the depressed person in
conversation and listen carefully. Do not disparage feelings expressed but
point out realities and offer hope. Do not ignore remarks about suicide. Report
them to the depressed person’s therapist. Invite the…

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