They are showing all the symptoms: sadness, irritability, lack of pleasure in activities they once enjoyed, fixation on past failures, changes in their sleeping and eating patterns, etc. Their depression is impacting their everyday lives, but you don’t know how to help someone who is depressed…and you feel as helpless as your loved one probably feels.

There is no step-by-step blueprint about how to help someone who is depressed, but encouraging your loved one to seek treatment is a good place to start. Many depressed individuals are so wrapped up in their feelings that they lack the ability to step back and recognize that what they are experiencing is depression. By telling your loved one what you have been observing about their behavior, explaining that there is no shame in being depressed, and suggesting that they seek professional help, you may open the door for their healing to begin. Helping them find a therapist, psychiatrist, or ketamine therapy center will help them realize that they are not alone on their journey towards health and happiness.

In addition to encouraging your loved one to seek treatment, you can also support them in the following ways:

1. Hold them accountable for sticking with their treatment, whether by reminding them about taking their prescribed medications or making sure they have a ride to and from their ketamine therapy appointments.

2. Just listen. Be a nonjudgmental ear for them to bend, and hold off on giving advice or sharing your own opinions.

3. Compliment your loved one so they can be constantly reminded about their many positive qualities.

4. Offer help with daily tasks that your loved one may be struggling with.

5. Reduce your loved one’s stress by helping them settle into a routine. Getting them onto a schedule of when to eat, when to exercise, and when to sleep, etc. can help alleviate the anxieties that subconsciously contribute to depression.

6. Find peer or support groups and encourage your loved one to join.

7. Join your loved one in meditation, yoga, or other mindfulness-based practices proven to alleviate the symptoms of depression.

8. Make plans for leisure activities with your loved one. Be gentle, though. Don’t force your loved one into doing something they don’t want to do.

It’s important to understand how to help someone who is depressed—but also that you cannot “fix” them. Offering gentle support as outlined above is the best way to “be there” for someone who is struggling with depression, anxiety, or another mental health condition.

At Vitalitas Denver, we offer ketamine for depression, as well as a full spectrum of psychiatric services. If you’d like to chat about your loved one’s symptoms, we are happy to help point you in the right direction of how to best help them on their journey towards recovery. Not everyone is a candidate for ketamine therapy, but we can help determine whether you or your loved one qualify, and get you started on the path towards happiness.

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