How to support a loved one


It can be difficult when a friend or family member is living with depression or anxiety - knowing how to help can also be hard.

Mood disorders like depression and anxiety are illnesses that can affect anyone - sometimes triggered by life events like the loss of a job or loved one, and sometimes for no reason at all. To help, you can show patience and understand that it is an illness outside of the person's control.

People living with depression may isolate themselves, feel guilt and fear of letting people down, or believe they are being a burden to others. They may also feel it is hard to find motivation, making it difficult for them to take the necessary steps to improve their situation. Offering to help your loved one book appointments or attend doctor's visits is a great place to start.

Remember that while supporting a friend or relative with depression you may feel helplessness, frustration, guilt, fear or sadness. Showing compassion can be hard, especially when the person affected by the mood disorder is distant, negative or withdrawn. Supporting someone with an illness can take its toll, so it is important to remember to take care of yourself too. Support groups are a good source of support and guidance.

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Found a possible match to a clinical trial?

Have you seen a clinical trial for which your friend or family member may be a candidate? These are some of the ways you can help:

  • Talk to them about the option of participating in the trial
  • Read the information on the website together
  • Make sure to discuss possible participation with their treating doctor
  • Complete the pre-screening questions on the clinical trial page together
  • Offer to accompany your loved one to the clinical study center
  • Observe your loved one to see whether they feel well, has a new medical symptom that could be a side effect, and help to call the study center if there are concerns

Support him/her in remembering:

  • To take the study medication on time
  • To visits the study center on schedule
  • To complete study related activities at home (for example, questionnaires or collecting samples)

Other ways to support your loved one:

  • Be available to help out but do not insist on helping: help make and keep appointments, research treatment options, and maintain schedules for prescribed treatments
  • Have realistic expectations: patience will be required, and set backs may happen
  • Encourage activity: invite your loved one for dinner out or walks in the park

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Clinical trials are a valuable and required part of the research process. Every new medication is tested in clinical trials to ensure it is both safe an effective before it is approved for use. As a patient in a clinical trial, you can learn more about your disease while receiving medical care.