The very nature of depression means that someone who is depressed tends to withdraw from family at the very time they most need your love, support and understanding. At this time you may need to reach out and help them, show them you care. The following ideas may help.
Listen - This may sound easy, but even if you consider yourself a good listener, one problem is that someone who is depressed is not always abe to articulate their feelings. Ready to listen to them always about their feelings and thoughts.
Do not say - I know just how you feel, even if you think you do. And avoid constantly trying to chip in with examples of similar things you think have happened to you that have made you feel the same way.
Be affectionate - You can show your care, concern and love in so many ways. How you show affection will depend on the relationship you have with the depressed person.
Touch is a powerful way of showing you care - a hand on the shoulder, holing hands, a hug, can be of tremendous help.
Spend time with them - Sitting and spending time with someone who is depressed, even if you do nothing but sit together, can be incredibly valuable and really helps to show your support.
Talk if that is what they would like to do.
Help formulate goals.
Suggest that increasing routine tasks may be a good idea.
Have a good laugh with them.
Encourage them to keep a diary.
Help them to think of areas in their life that are positive.
Remember to encourage and praise when appropriate.
Encourage them to eat a balanced diet.
Do not try to chivvy them out of it.
Do not try to force them to engage in social activities if they do not want to.
Learn as much as you can about depression and treatments so you are knowledgeable.
Do not forget about practical support too.
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