Little Ways to Support a Friend With Depression

Depression is a mood disorder that comes in all shapes and sizes and affects people differently. On a basic level, depression causes a persistent feeling of sadness or dread, a loss of interest and motivation, fatigue, and overall a constant force of feeling down. While depression is often managed quite well, either by medication, therapy, or other strategies, everyone that suffers from depression knows some days are better than others. Depression is hard to manage, as other factors can cause symptoms to get worse, and tactics that normally help fall short. When someone is going through a depressive episode, either engaged by the time of the year, a memory, or an event, it is difficult on them to function normally. So, if you have a friend who suffers from depression when they have a period that is hard on them or experiences a depressive episode, you might try some of these little things that will help your friend feel better and show your support.

One thing that is super helpful and shows you care is a note. Often people isolate themselves during a depressive episode or bad day because they feel like a burden, a drag, unwanted, and simply feel alone. By taking a few minutes to write a note, you show them that they are supported despite how they feel right now. The message can be an inspirational quote, an inside joke, or just a friendly message, anything helps. Whether it is a text message or a handwritten note, writing a little message to encourage or support your friends shows them that they are not alone.

Another thing that helps your friend, especially if it is a longer term depressive period, is cleaning and organizing. A lot of the time when people have multiple bad days in a row, they simply have no interest in everyday activities, and are not motivated to do things they enjoy, let alone the things they don’t enjoy. This means that they probably don’t care enough to clean or organize, meaning their room is a mess. Seeing that their room is messy also discourages them and makes them feel trapped and feel behind, making them think “what’s the point or trying when its already so much to do?” So, by helping them pick up their things, organize their desk, do laundry, or make their bed not only is a practical way of helping them get back on track and encouraging them it also gives them a sense of accomplishment that might help them feel more valued them they have felt lately. Helping them out by doing this gives them a great kickstart to getting back into things and a nice boost.

Often during a depressive episode people with depression feel lonely, unwanted, and like an outcast. Because they feel worthless or like a burden or unwanted, they push people away. By reaching out to them and spending time with them you show them they are valued and wanted. Sitting and spending time with them helps hem immensely, it also helps them a great support system and gives them an opportunity to open p and ask for help if needed. Even if you just sit with them in silence and you guys do your own thing, the presence of another individual greatly helps them feel less alone and less like an inconvenience. 

Another great way for you to support someone is with exercise. People with depression often have problems getting motivated, and feel fatigued and tired a lot. But, this exhaustion leads them to stay in bed all day, feeling sad. By getting exercise, you get them involved and engaged in activities and help motivate them to do things. Whether it is just a walk for fresh air, a workout class, or a trip to the gym, exercise is a great way to get your friend active. Exercise also releases endorphins that will make your friend feel better, and also help you feel good too.

Also getting them to go out is another way to support them during a depressive episode. Getting them outside takes their mind of the things that are troubling them, as well as gets them engaged in activities that interest them and reignite their passion and motivation. Going out the mall, a movie, for coffee, a hike, or any activity is a great distraction from the negative feelings that bring down many sufferers. It also gives them more energy and keeps them involved in activities and gets them to care and feel like they matter more as they are interacting with others, it helps them feel “normal” again.

Depression is a very difficult thing to go through, and often it makes people who suffer from it feel tired, sad, trapped, alone, or unwanted. These symptoms are consistent and hard to manage but during a depressive episode they can get worse and feel impossible. But, with support from their loved ones, a sufferer can be happy and healthy and make it through the tough days and difficult times. These were just a few easy ways to help and support someone who has depression especially during a difficult period of time.