How to help a friend dealing with depression?
Depression is exhausting, and if your friend has been diagnosed with it, you will be there for him/her if you’re a true friend. But the issue is you will be sitting there thinking what you can do for your friend. Because it’s really difficult to support someone dealing with depression. As you don’t know what to say to them or what might upset them or what you can do for them. So here are some things you can pick and start helping but don’t forget to take care of yourself.
The first step is to be informed. If you don’t know what is depression or what it feels like, then do read about it on the internet or in books, to know better how your friend might be feeling or going through and how you should you start talking to them about it.
Be a good listener.
If your friend wants to talk about what they are feeling, sit there with them and just listen and ask what can I do to help you? When did you start feeling like this? Did something happen to you that made you feel like this?
Go for questions like these and listen to the answers.
Understanding is the key! just be there and understand them that they’re in a difficult position. The depressed persons might show moodiness or be harsh or reckless to you, so don’t take it personally or blame them but try to understand them. And try not to judge them, support them, ensure them that they will be fine.
Take their feelings seriously
We often are so sarcastic around our friends that we forget someone might be so sensitive about some issue that we’re joking about. So when they are sharing their depressed phases or feelings, take them seriously. Validate their feelings by saying “must be tough” but ‘I know that you will be fine soon’ ‘you can cope with anything as you so strong’.
“Just snap out of it”
“It’s all in your head”
“I thought you’re better now”
“Look at the Bright side”
These will not help them but will break them even more.
Let them know that they can get some help
While they are sharing their experiences about their depression, let them know that they can go to a psychologist/psychiatrist or some mental health clinic to get some medicated help too. Encourage them to seek professional help, so they can recover fast out of it. Help them find a good therapist.
So these were the easiest ways to reach out to your loved ones dealing with depression. But with that do take care of your own emotional health too. Be there for yourself too.