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What should I avoid doing if a loved one has depression?

It's hard to see someone you care about going through depression. Here are a few don'ts:
  • Don't take your loved one's depression personally. You didn't cause it. You can't cure it. If a depressed person says something hurtful, keep in mind that they're suffering. They're prone to saying things they don't truly mean.
  • Don't ignore remarks about suicide or signs of worsening depression. Help your loved one by calling a doctor for advice.
  • Don't try to nag someone into feeling better. The more you tell someone what they should be doing, the worse they'll feel. Instead, give affection, encouragement, and compliments.
  • Don't do too much for your loved one. When someone's depressed, their self-esteem takes a nosedive. So don't "help" too much or take over too many responsibilities for them. If you do, they'll feel even more unproductive.
  • Don't let your loved one's illness consume you. No one will be helped if you become overwhelmed. Respect and value your own mental health first. You'll be a good model.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.