Presenting a gift to your depressed mom, dad, relative or friend shows your care, love, and gesture of goodwill. If that special person is having a rough time and needs your attention, a thoughtful present could brighten up his or her days. A small gift will show you are there to help without having to talk about mental illness and is likely to enlighten this beloved person’s mood. Read on learn which are the best gifts for depressed people to help them feel better in their health journeys.
Best Gifts for People Who Struggle with Depression
Winter holidays are supposed to be a time of giving. However, individuals who suffer from depression often feel like they are not deserving of gifts. Throughout this post, we will help you convince them they deserve to be celebrated.
What do you Give to Someone who is Feeling Depressed?
If you are considering buying your loved one a present, make sure it’s relevant to their current situation. People who suffer from mental illness often struggle to carry out basic tasks, such as cleaning the house or washing their hair.
Some individuals just put on a brave face and seem to function normally, even though they are dealing with major depression. Therefore, you should consider some aspects before buying them a gift:
- Focus on presents that will make their lives easier and more enjoyable
- Make sure the gifts will be enjoyed with one of their 5 senses
- Encourage them with presents that are related to their previous interests and hobbies
We have compiled a list of gifts, so be sure to pick the one that suits that special person’s personality and liking best. If he or she is feeling sad and hopeless, tell them that they matter to you and present them those gifts that are just meant for them.
Depression in the U.S.
Major depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States. In some cases, it can result in severe impairments that interfere with depressed individuals’ ability to tackle regular life activities, such as working, cooking, or having a shower.
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, over 7% of U.S. adults experienced at least one major depressive disorder in 2017. However, mental illness does not only happen in adults. Teenagers and kids can also struggle with depression. If left untreated, this condition can end up in suicide.
This does not mean that every depressed individual will try to end his or her life eventually, but you want to watch your loved ones closely, in order to monitor their symptoms and behavior. If that special person has been looking depressed or feeling lazy for more than two weeks, she or he may be needing your support. Presenting a gift to your parent, child or friend can be a good way of explaining you are there for them.
3 Thoughtful Presents for Depressed People
Thoughtfulness is key when it comes to gifts since we need to address the multiple layers of sadness: social, emotional, cognitive, physiological, and spiritual. Believe it or not, presents that target these areas can bring comfort to someone who is suffering. The following gifts can help shine a little light on someone else’s darkness:
1. Human Contact
When someone is severely depressed, chances are they won’t be able to carry out normal daily activities. Visiting them and lending a hand with tidying, cleaning, cooking, or shopping is the best gift one can offer. Physically showing up for depressed people reminds them they are not as lonely as they think.
2. Thoughtful Card
Receiving a little card when feeling down can help someone feel supported. Simply saying I am thinking of you, I love you, or I am here for you can go a long way. There is no right thing to write, so just be positive, offer support, or try to make them laugh.
One of the lifesavers for someone struggling with mental health is to have something or someone to take care of. Some plants are easy to look after, such as Aloe vera, Peace Lily, Boston fern, Spider plant or Money tree.
6 Self – Care Gifts for Depressed People
1. Essential Oils
Relaxing essential oils can help your loved one unwind at the end of the day, contributing to calming the mind and releasing tension. However, these oils should never be used as a substitute for medical and psychological therapy.
Some of the best essential oils for depression and anxiety are lavender, wild ginger, bergamot, ylang-ylang, and rose. Essential oils can help bring a person to the present moment, keeping that special person away from the depressive worries and concerns for a while.
2. Essential Oil Diffuser
A diffuser is the best way to enjoy essential oils. Not only because of the aromas but also because of the unique, cozy atmospheres it can create. Experts are not sure about how aromatherapy works. However, some evidence suggests that essential oils might have healing benefits. According to the Mayo Clinic, the chemicals in these oils might trigger smell receptors, which send messages to the part of the brain in control of the mood.
3. Weighted Blanket
A weighted blanket feels like a soft hug and makes the perfect present for people who suffer from anxiety, have trouble sleeping, or need some extra support. They need to be chosen depending on the body weight, so be sure to pick the right one.
4. Pampering Kit
Who does not like fancy toiletries? They can work wonders on our bodies, and their packages, colors, and fragrances are extremely catchy. Giving a pampering kit to a depressed friend or family member might be a great idea. This gift can consist of face masks, bath bombs, manicure or pedicure sets, body lotions, perfumes, etc., and can make your loved one motivated about self-care again. You can also add scented candles and a meditation playlist to the kit.
5. Heating Pad / Massage Cushion
Depression does not come alone. Individuals who struggle with this condition often experience aches and pains, so a microwaveable heat pad or pillow can make a great gift, especially in Winter. If you do not have a limited budget, get your parent, relative, or friend an electric massage cushion.
6. Spa Voucher
Massage therapy is showing some promise in helping people better handle mental illness. The physical experience of massage can change the sensation of heaviness to something lighter, restoring the feeling of living in one’s body. Medical research has also supported the use of hot and cold baths for the treatment of depression, proving that hydrotherapy can help balance the feel-good neurotransmitter called serotonin.
4 Gifts Ideas to Improve the Daily Routine
- Cute Mug
Although it may seem cliché, a mug can bring a smile into someone’s life. Waking up to this gift will cheer your friend or relative up every day by reminding them they can count on you. If this special person is struggling with anxiety, do not offer him or her coffee or regular tea, but rooibos, a caffeine-free drink made of bush leaves.
- Food Subscription Boxes
Cooking when feeling sad can be a real challenge, so this is the perfect way to show someone you care. Do some research in your area to find the best delivery services and pick the one that suits your depressed relative or friend best. Our gut is directly connected to the brain, so the experience of eating may help wipe out their negative thoughts. In addition, a proper meal will provide your loved one with sufficient energy to carry on.
- Cleaning Service
The symptoms of depression take many forms and can be misinterpreted by others as laziness. Severely depressed people do not generally care about the messy place they are staying in, because they can’t simply find a reason to clean it. If that special person belongs to this genre, a regular cleaning service might be a good present. Clearing their depression nest up can provide him or her with a new, fresh start.
- Light Therapy Lamp
Depression can get worse in Winter when individuals battling this condition get less sunlight. Many studies have proven that light therapy can reduce the effects of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), so this gift will help uplift your parent, child, or friend’s mood.
4 Entertaining Gifts for Depressed People
Although not every depressed individual has the ability to focus on reading, some can still enjoy a good book. Literature can serve as a safe place for your struggling friend or relative, so here are a few recommendations:
- Reasons to stay alive by Matt Haig
- Lost connections: Why You’re Depressed and How to Find Hope by Johann Hari
- Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David D. Burns
- The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle
- The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression by Alex Korb
Jigsaw puzzles require full attention and therein lies the magic. They exercise both sides of the brain at once and work as great stress and anxiety relievers. After all, focusing on a single image for a long period of time, without any thoughts entering the mind, is in itself meditation. Completing a jigsaw puzzle also provides depressed individuals with the perfect situation to connect with the people who love them.
Knitting and crochet are habits that offer the opportunity for deep relaxation. Turning into a craft project can help your depressed mom, dad, kid, relative or friend get into a calm space, leaving worries and negative thoughts behind. Mindfulness crafting includes focusing on each stitch, counting them, and paying attention to the breath.
Invite your depressed friend or relative over for a movie night or take him or her to the cinema. Severely depressed people struggle to follow films or series by themselves, so the simple act of sitting by them will help them relax and enjoy the story on the screen.
Therapy: The Best Gift for Depressed People
The best present a depressed individual can get is the encouragement to visit a mental health care facility. If that special person is feeling sad, be sure to remind him or her about the benefits of talking therapy and medication, as only professional help can put them on their way to recovery. Remember that, if left untreated, a major depressive disorder can end up in suicide.
What Does Therapy Entail?
Talk therapy or psychotherapy has proven to be effective to treat clinical depression. On its own, it may not be enough to treat severe conditions, and that’s where medication comes in. Experts recommend a combination of both to recover from major depression, a very common but generally silent mental illness. In order to determine the best possible treatment, patients are asked to fill a form to assess their moods and particular situations.
Talking therapies also referred to as counseling, can help all sorts of people in different situations. While medication is generally prescribed to help short–term, talking therapy is meant to provide the patient with coping mechanisms for the rest of their lives.
Sometimes, it’s easier to talk to strangers. Therapists give their patients time to speak, cry, and think, helping them find solutions to their problems without judging. Although the consultations generally happen face – to – face, online appointments are also available. Even though there are lots of types of counseling, all the methods have the same purpose: to help depressed people feel better.
How to Approach a Depressed Person?
Your encouragement and support can play a key role in your loved one’s recovery. If you don’t know where to start, remember that being a compassionate listener is much more important than giving advice. If you are willing to help, encourage that special person to talk about his or her feelings, and listen without judging. Depressed people tend to isolate themselves, so be gentle, but persistent, while expressing your willingness to listen.