Helping a Depressed Person
Depressed people lock themselves into seclusion and isolation because they feel that people do not understand what they are exactly going through, no one can help them, and that they have to depend only on themselves for dealing with this condition. As much as they deny need for support, the truth remains that they need empathetic and supportive people to help them to cope.
The emotional needs of depressed people are very high. If the emotional component is taken care of, other things will fall into place. Understanding and empathizing is what they need most. They will confide and open up to you only if they feel that you feel their sentiments and hurt, their frustrations, their helpless and hopelessness at this point of time.
They need to know that you do not think of them as just a sentimental person who cannot control his/her emotions and feelings. It may hurt them even more and push them into isolation if they feel unappreciated and if critical judgments are passed on them.
Do not be in haste to give advice or force the person out of depression. Listen to them and be patient. Try to acknowledge their feelings and say that you understand their feelings and insecurities. You need to be more proactive but not pushy.
Slowly try to bring them around and taking some kind of control of their situation. For example, if you notice that the person doesn’t eat well, offer a surprise lunch treat to him/her ordering food that he/she likes to eat most. Initially the person may make excuses or show resistance; however, they will go ahead with the meal and may also feel better after it. More importantly, they will feel valued and taken care of.
Try to turn them towards the activities and hobbies that they normally follow. For example, if the person has stopped going out, plan a small outing or accompany them say for a walk every morning or indulge them into some sports or hobby activity so that they get a break.