Handling a patient with depression

CLICK to Email E-mail
CLICK for Print Version Print

People with depression feel exhausted, worthless, helpless, and hopeless. They often feel like giving up. They need gentle encouragement. Here are some things you can do to help them handle their low energy levels:

  • Assume a reasonable amount of responsibility. Gently insist that the patient do some things for him or herself.
  • Set realistic goals. Do not push the depressed person to undertake too much too soon.
  • Balance the need for diversion and company with too many demands, as this may cause a sense of failure.
  • Break large tasks into small ones. Set priorities, and ask the patient to do what he or she can.



Editor's note: This excerpt is from Stressed Out About Difficult Patients. Check out our most popular nursing resources here.