Some people struggle with deep depression, past failings, or past tragedies. Some people just get depressed because of the way they are wired. Sometimes there are medical conditions that cause depression; sometimes there is no clear explanation as to why a person is depressed.
I am a person who has struggled with some deep depression, and I want to share five ways to help depressed people that have consistently benefited me:
1. Make sure they are physically healthy.
Some people need to see a doctor. A good physical checkup is always in order if a person is going through tough times. I had a brother who was incredibly depressed. His problem turned out to be that he was vitamin D deficient.
2. Allow them to grieve (Rom. 12:15).
There is a place for mourning and sadness in the Christian life. Grieving is a good and right thing to do when there is a legitimate reason.
3. Spend time with them.
Don’t let depressed people spend too much time alone. Even if depressed people want to be alone, the presence of friends and family doing ordinary things can be welcoming and extremely helpful.
4. Remind them that there is some goodness in the world.
Sometimes people who are depressed can only see their problems and all the evil of life. It takes an outside perspective to help them recognize that there is goodness, truth, and beauty in the world.
5. Help them get back into a routine.
It is never a good thing to fall out of an ordinary routine in life for too long; and that holds true for everyone, but especially for the depressed. Routines keep people from focusing too much on things they can’t control and provide comforting patterns in daily life.