It can be distressing to see somebody you care for or care about deteriorate under depression. Often depressed individuals are inclined to withdraw from their own cherished ones. As a result making it even more complicated for their associates and family to connect with out to them.
If you see somebody who is showing signs of depression. And you feel like you want to do something to help them. You need to first ask yourself a few important questions – Do they need help? Do they even understand they are depressed? What part do I play in their healing journey? In addition to the following recommendations; you might need to do a little investigation of your own. You will want to be sure you possess the tools necessary to deal with whatever may result of you stepping in. Our good intentions may not end with good results. Because with any health issues your role just maybe to play an impartial support and not actively perform a role. For your comfort, I’ve included a few recommended resources at the bottom of this article.
If you think as though you still need to do something. Then one last question you must ask yourself – What is my authentic motivation for needing to help? If it is anything other than standing and showing your unconditional love for a friend. Then in that case directing them to professional help may be all that is necessary. Now you’ve worked through some key questions. And your certain you feel: “I love my friend dearly and just want to make sure she appreciates I am here without judgment.” Then here are a few tips when supporting a friend suffering from depression:
One of the biggest hurdles a stressed out person needs to defeat is denial. Most people prefer to stay quiet instead of confessing the truth they are experiencing depression. The best way to assist them therefore is to encourage them to try to find counseling or treatment. You can also achieve that by offering to set their first consultation. Or by accompanying them to their first appointment. As you are working through this piece, make sure you are doing a self reflection along the way. You want to be sure you really have the skills to cope without getting pulled into something you are not able to deal with. Make sure you possess your own support group in place before embarking through this supportive position with your friend.
Occasionally, some individuals really need or wish is to be noticed and listened to. Giving them recommendations (not suggested unless you are a licensed therapist) or solutions may possibly rebound. But by simply being a excellent and patient listener, you may actually be able to draw them out of their shell. Open enough to see the right support so they can begin the journey to a place of being content. And the joy-filled person you once knew.
Nearly all depressed individuals find it tough to rely on someone. As a consequence internalizing their sorrow to the level they become totally sucked into the bleak dreary world of hopelessness. If you stand by their side patiently, you might ultimately be able to obtain their trust. And that can prove to be a enormous step towards embracing a positive point of view of life. Remember to be checking in with your own motivations along the way. Being the supportive element you want and they need. You need to remember to keep your intentions clear and to focus on their needs, not your own.
It is extremely easy to get influenced by the pessimism emanating out of a person suffering from depression. However, if you permit them to drag you into their darkness, you won’t be doing them or yourself any favors. Agreed it is difficult to stay helpful or positive around the depression. But in spite of this, you have to keep your chin up and stay at least neutral if not cheerful. Happiness is contagious, allow your optimistic character be the glow for them to follow.
Don’t ever dismiss any comments regarding suicide, self-harm or cynicism with life from a depressed person. Suicidal people make an effort to reach out in favor of assistance before they take the last step. If you ever learn a depressed friend makes a direct or passive comment regarding suicide; describe the exchange to their therapist, doctor and close family members. Yet if they do the abrupt cover-up comments of “I was merely kidding” or “Relax, I would never do that!”; suicidal tendencies hold the person continuously in flux. Moving from highs to lows with by no means in actuality recognize what might be the ultimate trigger. Be sure to always be actively listening when they are sharing everything with you.
Getting your friend moving and interacting with their surroundings can do a world of good for their psychological state. Getting their blood pumping allows their bodies to kick into manufacturing their endorphins which assist a healthy perspective. So go on and support or invite your friend out for ‘fun activities’ like shopping, movies or even a walk. They may perhaps not be extremely enthusiastic regarding taking you up on the proposal. And may well appear entirely disinterested when they are out with you. But stay the course. It may just might make the difference for them.
When all is said and done, you need to bear in mind that sadness is not a approach to life people choose for themselves. Hence be wary not to say to them to snap out of it or get over it. Because in most if not all cases, they can’t on their own. Depression is a manageable disease and needs to be viewed as such. My final suggestion – if your friend refuses to acknowledge their despair, or seek help, or begin taking any constructive steps towards healing then you cannot take this personally!
Here are a few resources:
Dial 911 when in doubt!
Depression Hurts: http://www.depressionhurts.ca
Mental Health Canada: http://www.mentalhealthcanada.com/
Mental Health America: http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/conditions/depression