If your partner or someone close to you is struggling with depression, sometimes it is not easy to know how to show them that you love them. One day they may seem fine, and the next they are sad, distant, and may push you away.

Ways to show love to someone with depression

If you love someone with depression, you can learn how to accompany them in the best way so that they can get ahead feeling that they are not alone.

It is important that you know that as long as you are a person who is close to them and is trusted by them, you can help them make their battles shorter, and their depression less severe. The mental illness is as real as physical illness and that person needs you as much as having to be treated for flu.

Your relationship may seem like it is only going one way during that period, but by helping this person through a very difficult and painful condition, you are strengthening your relationship and their long-term mental health.

1. Help them keep their clutter at bay

When a person begins a spiral of depression, they may feel like they are slowing down as the world around them speeds up. Email can end up piling up more and more unread entries, dishes piling up in the sink, more unwashed clothes – all of this can cause the depressed person to start feeling more and more overwhelmed by their daily routine and unable to maintain rhythm. Help them sort the mail, wash the dishes or use paper plates, and keep the chaos under control – in general, you give them (and yourself) the gift of a calm environment.

2. Prepare a healthy meal for them

A person in depression can do one of two things when they are in a depressed state: they can eat too little, or they can overeat. In either case, they may find that going to a fast food restaurant or ordering pizza online is easier than preparing a meal. Eating this way, or not eating, will only degrade your health, causing you to go deeper into your depression. These articles can help you take some ideas: What are the nutritional steps to avoid depression due to lack of Serotonin You can also check which are the foods that may be causing depression.

3. Take them for a ride

The benefits of taking a depressed person out for a walk are enormous. And it’s possibly the last thing on earth you want to do. Take them to be somewhere in nature. Pack a picnic and lie in the sun, take a leisurely walk (exercise is a good mood booster). Or plant a garden.

Being barefoot on the ground helps ground the body and reverse the effects of living in a world of electromagnetism, and digging in the ground can actually act as an antidepressant , while a strain of bacteria in the ground, Mycobacterium vaccae , triggers the release of serotonin, which in turn elevates mood and lowers anxiety. The sun increases the production of vitamin D , which can help relieve depression. Going for a walk can be the key to curing depression and in one way or another it will always benefit the body

4. Ask them to help you understand what they are feeling

If that person is able to articulate what they are experiencing with depression, it will help them and you to better understand what they are dealing with, and can give an idea for an action plan to help your partner. Also, feeling lonely is common in a depressed person, and anything that fights that feeling will help alleviate the severity and duration of the depression.

5. Encourage them to focus on self-care

Depressed people often stop taking care of themselves . Showering, cutting your hair, going to the doctor or the dentist, everything is too difficult. This could quickly escalate into a greater sense of worthlessness since “now I’m a mess, no one could love me. Help your loved one to be proactive. Say: “I’m going to wash the dishes, why don’t you go enjoy a bubble bath?” That can give them the permission that they will not give themselves to do something normal, healthy and self-esteem.

6. Hug them

Studies show that a sincere hug that lasts longer than 20 seconds can release feel-good chemicals in the brain and elevate the mood of the giver and recipient. Depressed people often don’t want to be touched, but a heartfelt hug, not expecting anything else, can give your partner great encouragement .

7. Laugh with them

Telling a silly joke, watching a comedy, or watching a comedian will encourage your partner to laugh in spite of themselves. Laughing releases endorphins and studies show that it can actually counteract the symptoms of depression and anxiety.

8. Assure them that you can handle their feelings.

The depressed person may be feeling worthless, angry, and even guilty while depressed . They may be afraid that they will end up alone, because no one is going to endure their episodes forever. Reassure them that you are in a long-term relationship with them and that you are not going to be scared that they have an illness.

9. Challenge your destructive thoughts

The mind of a depressed person can be an endless loop of painful destructive thoughts. “I am unlovable, I am a failure, I am ugly, I am stupid.” Challenge these lies with the truth. “You are lovable, I love you. You are not a failure, here are all the things you have achieved ”.

10. Remind them why you love them

Look at the photos of the happy times you have had together. Tell them your favorite things about them. Remind them of the past about your relationship and all the positive things that have happened, and tell them that you love them and that they are going to get out of it.

Share with us what you have done with your loved ones to help them overcome their depression, or share how your loved ones helped you overcome it.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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