Ø The message to the depressed is, ‘You are not alone.’
Ø Understand, accept, affirm and love... Romans 8:1
Ø Help the person think and perceive accurately.
Ø Be with, listen and empathize “Suffering is not a journey to be taken alone.”
Ø Be a source of strength, faith, trust and hope to others when they are unable to be this for themselves.
Ø Cushion the depressed person with ‘persevering love’ (Depression, A Stubborn Darkness, Edward T. Welsh), loving and caring even when someone is unable to love and care in return. Plan to love regardless.
Ø Partner with the person in their healing and to persevere in that partnership.
Ø Affirm them in their identity as a beloved child of God.
Ø Challenge self-defeating interpretations of reality about themselves, others and God.
Ø Be an instrument for instilling structure and meaning in his or her life.
Ø Affirm that they are valued and needed. Affirm their gifts and competencies.
Ø Foster thankfulness and joy.
Ø Assure them that God’s grace has the last word in everything, including their struggle with depression.
Good reads are Edward T. Welsh referenced above and Neil T. Anderson, Overcoming Depression
I invite your insights. If you are willing, share your experience as a person struggling with depression or as one who has come alongside another who is dealing with depression.