If you or someone you are close to has ever suffered from depression, you might be keenly aware of the toll that it takes on both physical and mental well being. Supporting a friend or loved one who is struggling with depression can be a delicate process, one which we might think can be fixed easily with some fun activities and beautiful days. However, being a friend and being there for your loved one requires a level of understanding beyond just trying to make him or her happy again. Consider the following ideas when working to love and support your friend who is dealing with depression.

–Ask your friend what is most overwhelming for him or her and help to accomplish what is weighing him or her down.
–Understand that depression is a chemical and physical illness that cannot just disappear. Be patient and kind.
–Offer your presence with zero expectations.
–Celebrate small efforts. Affirmation and encouragement can make a big impact.
–Know your own limits and the fact that you are not their doctor. Be there for them and know when to seek additional support from professionals.

Click here to read the full article by Mary Katherine Backstrom for Huff Post Stronger Together.