Category Archives: Relationships

Helping Someone Who is Depressed

Some things to keep in mind if you know someone who is suffering from depression:

  1. First of all, this isn’t a case of the blues.  It isn’t a passing mood.  Clinical depression does have its ups and downs, but the person suffering won’t just “get over it.”
  2. Second of all, the person may push you away.  People who are depressed tend, involuntarily, to isolate themselves.  They tend to think that they are affecting people around them and to avoid that, they push people away.  Don’t take it personally and don’t let it affect your relationship!
  3. Third, this is a disease.

Now then, to help someone who is depressed, you may actually have to drag them kicking and screaming (NOT literally!) out of the house.  Reach out to them, get them out of the environment that they are trying to hide in.  This may not be what they think they want, but it is very, very good to get them out, away from the environment for a while.  Many people who are depressed tend to retreat from the world and isolate themselves.  Help them fight this tendency.   Go for a walk, go to dinner, go shopping, go to a park.  If they complain, be persistant but not unkind – recognize if they truly aren’t ready but keep coming back.

When you are helping someone who is depressed, it is VERY important to remember to take care of yourself as well.  Take time to do things you enjoy, to spend time with people who are NOT depressed, to do things unrelated to depression or the depressed person.  Get your rest.

Be there for the person.  If they just need an ear, listen to them and let them pour it out.  Avoid giving advice – just be supportive.  If  you’ve done some research about depression, share what you’ve learned and emphasize it is not their fault.

Try to remain upbeat and positive and be patient.

Spend some time together around animals: puppies, kittens, at the zoo, whatever.  Animals can help reach someone who is isolating themselves.

Know the warning signs of suicide – and DON’T be afraid to ask if they are considering it.  Do NOT ignore talk of suicide; take them to the emergency room or to a doctor immediately.

Ask what you can do to help.  Perhaps you can help get the kids to school, clean the house, cut the grass.  Does the car need to be inspected?

One other thing to remember:  don’t do too much for the person.  I know that sounds silly but people do also want to help themselves.  Don’t overdo the care!

Sources of Information

If You Know Someone Who’s Depressed

Depression.com – Help Someone You Love

Depression

WebMD: Supporting Someone Who Has Depression

About.com: Relationships and Depression

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Filed under Depression, Family, Health, Relationships

52 Ways to Say I Love You

  1. Take the time to really listen to those closest to you.  Listen – don’t necessarily rush in to fix things;  sometimes people just need a friendly, attentive ear.
  2. If there is a chore the person really dislikes, take over doing it – permanently or for a set period of time.
  3. Cook a favorite meal.
  4. Leave love notes for your favorite person (people) to find throughout the day.
  5. If you have children, take a day to do things that they enjoy.  Do what they want to do: go to the park, the zoo, the library.  Make a special meal or allow them to chose what’s for dinner (or lunch or breakfast).
  6. Write a love letter to your spouse and describe all the things that you love about them.
  7. Write a thank you letter to your spouse’s parents, thanking them for sharing such a wonderful person with you.
  8. Be supportive – if someone you love is having a tough time, do what you can to make things easier.  Take an interest in their hobby and ask questions.  Run errands if it will lighten their burden.  Surprise them with a hot, home-cooked meal.
  9. Overlook faults!
  10. Cuddle together under a blanket while watching a movie.
  11. Take a weekend vacation at home – and really make it a vacation.  Discourage your partner to forget the chores for the duration of the vacation.
  12. Arrange a surprise weekend for your spouse – and arrange for grandparents to take the children.
  13. Make dinner reservations at their favorite place.
  14. Let him enjoy his favorite sports day – or let her enjoy hers – in peace!
  15. If she’s into musicals, watch “My Fair Lady,” “The Sound of Music,” “Funny Girl,” or other similar, romantic musicals with her.
  16. If he or she is not a car person, make sure the car is serviced for them.
  17. If she loves pens, buy her a nice fountain pen.
  18. For a gamer – if you aren’t one – ask friends which games would be good gifts.
  19. Admit it when someone you love is right.
  20. Get dinner from their favorite restaurant.
  21. Run a bath for your lover.
  22. Place chocolates on his or her pillow!
  23. If you love your partner, STOP trying to change them!
  24. Arrange for a weekend in a bed and breakfast, away from the buzz of everyday life.
  25. Hold hands.
  26. Take your partner – or your children – to lunch.
  27. For friend, find gifts that are really suited to their interests.  Take the time to go out of your way to do it.
  28. Change a bad habit that drives your partner crazy.
  29. Arrange a “midnight snack” by moonlight – wine, cheese, bread under the stars.
  30. Hire a maid, even if it is only a one-time thing.
  31. Hire a chef, even if it is only a one-time thing.
  32. Set up his or her tee time – voluntarily!
  33. Buy her a nice wrap – or something cozy – in the winter.
  34. Buy him tickets to a big sports event.
  35. Call in sick for them – and make sure they’ll have a peaceful day.
  36. For readers – buy them meaningful bookmarks, something that reflects their interests or something with a meaningful quote.
  37. Write a thank you card for your partner, or for your children or parents.
  38. For two weeks, spend one hour a night with your spouse.
  39. Learn to give a good massage.
  40. Learn to rub feet.
  41. For plant lovers, find an unusual plant that you know they would be interested in.
  42. Share funny things you find with friends.
  43. Reach out to those around you, in tough times as well as easy ones.
  44. Email, write letters, call people you don’t see often.
  45. Devote yourself to your spouse’s needs and/or wants for a night or a weekend.
  46. Rent a honeymoon suite for the weekend.
  47. Put “I love you” notes in your child’s lunch.
  48. Give yourself a weekend off.
  49. Stop the craziness of your life long enough to have family night once a week.
  50. Be kind.
  51. Empathize – put yourself in someone else’s shoes and respond appropriately to them.
  52. Try hard to be nonjudgemental for a week and see what happens!

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Filed under Family, Gifts, Relationships