Choosing a gift for someone with depression is a tricky task. When you ask them what would make them happy, “nothing” is the most common answer. But, in reality, receiving nothing for Xmas or birthday is no fun either… The problem is that someone who’s depressed very likely suffers also from anhedonia, and feels little or no pleasure when receives a present. So, what are the best gifts for depressed people that will lift your loved one’s mood?
Best Gift Ideas For The Depressed
I have prepared for you a list of some safe options – things that I wouldn’t mind receiving myself. My criteria was that gifts for depressed people have to be fun, show your affection, and help with recovery from depression at the same time.
If you aren’t looking for a gift for someone else because you are depressed yourself and have no idea what to ask for, don’t hesitate to share this list with Santa via email or social media! Even he cannot read minds, so that’s the only way to make sure that you will get what you dream of:-)
Something Custom Made Or DIY
When we have enough money to purchase ourselves what we need, we appreciate best the gifts that somebody invented and crafted just for us. Even if you suck at painting, crocheting or knitting, you can still get something custom made, for example, a custom-made calendar with your photos showing fun moments together. People with depression need to be reassured that they are loved and cared for, so I believe it’s a great way to do that.
Quality Time Together
Giving your time and attention is the best way to show that you care about your special someone. People suffering from depression feel very lonely and they will surely appreciate It doesn’t have to be extremely entertaining though. A dinner in his or her favorite restaurant is just fine, and it gives a great opportunity to talk and listen. If it’s a gift delayed in time, and you want to avoid coming empty-handed, you can make a fun DIY voucher and give it to your friend or partner.
A Good Book
I love receiving books, especially when they are entertaining and well written! Self-help or good psychology books make a great gift for someone with depression. There are plethora of inspiring books to choose from.
Don’t you forget about writing a heart-warming message inside! Personalization matters.
A Coloring Book For Adults
Coloring is not only for children. Adults love it too! It reduces stress, helps to manage anxiety, and boosts creativity and self-esteem. And, on the top of it, it’s fun, which is why so many people got addicted to it. You can read more about benefits of therapeutic coloring in this post.
There is a great variety of coloring books for adults available on the market: beautiful flowers, oriental patterns, animals, mandalas, Harry Potter themes… Even nasty SWEARWORDS that will let you color out your rage and frustration. In addition to a coloring book, you can get a set of crayons, coloring pens or gel pens.
In the middle of a serious depressive episode it’s hard to concentrate… An audiobook may be a great alternative to a traditional book for those who have trouble focusing on anything.
A Meditation CD
Mindfulness meditation is a great and effective way to beat depression naturally. Whether you are a beginner or a regular practitioner of meditation, you will surely appreciate 21 Days Meditation Challenge by Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey. The CD includes 21 guided meditations with beautiful, soothing music. It really helps to calm down and achieve deep relaxation. I have one myself and I must confess I’m a great fan of Deepak & Oprah!
A Light Therapy Lamp
A light box in not only a nice gift for someone with depression, but also a very effective treatment. The importance of sunlight exposure in recovery from depression cannot be overlooked, especially in winter, which makes it an awesome gift for Xmas or Valentines day.
Why is it one of the best gifts for depressed people? Well, they don’t have to do anything to benefit from it. It’s enough to put it on the desk or shelf, and switch it on for 30 minutes a day.
There are many different models varying in size, price and quality. I have examined all the options and chosen this one for myself.
Verilux HappyLight Liberty 10,000 LUX Natural Spectrum Energy Lamp
- Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds
- Product Dimensions: 2.1 x 6.2 x 13 inches ; 2 pounds
- UV protection
- Two options: 5,000 lux and 10,000 lux
- Nice, modern design
- Flicker-free technology (eye-friendly!)
WARNING: Make sure your special someone doesn’t suffer from bipolar disorder, because light boxes may trigger manic episode.
For more information on therapeutic light boxes, read these posts:
A Little Something With An Inspirational Message
A gift doesn’t have to be expensive to tell someone how much you care for them. On Amazon you can find many inexpensive items with inspirational messages that touch one’s heart: mugs, posters, jewelry…
What Not To Buy: Worst Gifts For Depressed People
Okay, we’ve already seen the gifts for depressed people that are highly desirable. Now, what about things to avoid?
Under no circumstances you should give a depressed person:
- Socks & Ties: It’s the kind of gift that tells somebody you don’t bother.
- Gift Vouchers: Depressed people have trouble to make a decision… and also, it conveys a message: “I don’t want to spend time trying to find something just for you”.
- Clothes in general: Depression affects eating habits. There is a great chance that someone with depression has gained or lost weight, and the clothes won’t fit.
- Useless sh*t: Things that I neither beautiful nor useful. They simply occupy one’s space. In this category of worst gifts for depressed people we can find candles, fluffy wine warmers (I got one a couple of years ago… no comment), giant teddy bears and lots of other related stuff. I won’t list it all, but you get the idea.
- Pets: Having a pet is a great responsibility for years. Even though contact with an animal alleviates depression, you shouldn’t take for someone else the decision to adopt a pet. No, not even a turtle.
- Alcohol: Drowning one’s sorrows is a very short term strategy to cope with depression. You don’t want your friend to develop an addiction, do you?
What are you going to ask Santa for? Is there anything else you would like to add to this list? Drop me a comment below, I’m dying to read you gift ideas for the depressed!