The most important thing anyone can do for a depressed person is to help them get the proper diagnosis and treatment.
This may mean that you have to advise the patient not to stop treatment before symptoms can start to ease (several weeks). It may involve helping you get a different treatment if you don't see any improvement with the first treatment.
Sometimes you may require a family member or friend to make an appointment and accompany the depressed person to the doctor. Sometimes it is necessary to make sure that the depressed person is taking medication. The depressed person should be reminded to obey medical orders regarding drinking alcoholic beverages while on medication. Another very important thing is to give emotional support. That implies understanding, patience, affection and stimulus.
Find a way to talk to the depressed person and listen carefully. Do not minimize the feelings the patient expresses but point to reality and offer hope. Don't ignore comments or allusions to suicide. Let the therapist know if the depressed person makes comments about death or suicide. Invite the depressed person out for walks, walks, movies, and other activities. Persist with delicacy if your invitation is rejected.
Encourage the patient to participate in activities that previously gave him pleasure, such as hobbies, sports, religious or cultural activities, but do not force the depressed person to do too much too soon. The depressed person needs fun and company, but too many demands can increase their feeling of failure. Don't accuse the depressed person of feigning illness or being lazy, or expect them to get out of the situation overnight. With treatment, most people get better. Keep that in mind and keep telling the depressed person that with time and help they will feel better.
CONFIDENTIAL AND FREE