Depression is an awful illness, a whole world away from pure sympathy seeking. I would make sure that my cousin knows that I am on their side, and not trying to be against them with anything. I am just there to help and be someone who cares. It is important to give plenty of reassurance also. Many people suffering with depression feel unworthy of being loved. In a similar vein, they may have lost the ability to recognize their positive attributes. Something so small as reminding them of how wonderful a person they are can do so much for their mood improvement. If said repeatedly and with absolute sincerity then it is helpful to say, “If you ever need a friend, I am here.” Even if it is my cousin, they know I am still there to be a friend.
Someone with depression can spend a lot of time ruminating on his or her situation and feeling sorry for him or her. Pointing it out to them is not helpful. If I want to introduce a treatment idea, I would make sure to be respectful about the seriousness of depression. Not every treatment works for each person the same. I cannot just tell them I saw something in a magazine and it works that they need to try it now. I would reassure them that it is important to stay on their medications, and continue seeing their doctor. If I did read something in a magazine, I would mention that I found information and ask if they would be interested in looking into it with me. I would never try to push my cousin into anything. I would offer to go to the doctor appointments with him or her. I would also