How Can I Help A Friend Who Is Struggling
Sometimes, even when our instincts tell us that something is off with one of our friends, we second guess our own feelings because we dont want to make a wrong assumption and offend them or push them away. Part of being a good friend is showing up when someone we care about is going through a difficult time. This includes trusting your instincts and taking the risk to be honest about what you noticed and why youre concerned.
What should you do when you notice a concerning change in your friends mood, behaviors, or what they say?
- First and most importantly, if you believe there is an immediate threat and that your friend might harm themselves or someone else, call 9-1-1.
- If you are worried about a friend and not sure how to help, you can text START to 741741 or call 1-800-273-TALK to chat with a trained counselor anytime.
- Read up on how and when to start a conversation with a struggling friend
- Learn more about how to help a friend who decides to reach out for support
- Learn the warning signs of suicide and speak up if you notice any of them in your friends behavior
Learn About What Your Friend Is Going Through
Not totally sure what depression or anxiety are, or how to help a friend with depression or anxiety? A really great first step in helping your friend is to find out more about depression, anxiety or anything else your friend is going through this will help you to better understand what’s happening and how they feel.
My friends try to learn more about what Im experiencing, especially asking for and going to sources of information I recommend. hellofriend
How Can Talking To A Parent Help
It can feel like a big relief to have someone listen, hear you out, and show they care. Talking together can help you feel more hopeful. It lets you know you’re not alone. Someone believes in you and has your back.
Sometimes, a parent can help you see another angle to a problem you’re dealing with. They can give good advice. When you feel their support, it’s easier to think of ways to help yourself, too.
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Getting The Support You Need
Give Them Time To Talk And Listen Without Interrupting
You must give people who are dealing with depression time to talk about their feelings.
You might be concerned that they are just getting worse, but if you listen to them, they will feel better.
Listening without interrupting them can help them feel better.
Its also important to remember that individuals may have different reasons for depression-like trauma or grief, so be patient with them and dont judge their experience.
Its best to say, I love you and its not your fault that youre feeling this way. You can take as long as you need and when youre ready to talk, Ill listen and understand you.
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Want To Beat Depression For Yourself Or A Friend
W. Nate Upshaw, MD
Dr. William Nathan Upshaw is the Medical Director of NeuroSpa TMS®. Since receiving training from the inventor of TMS Therapy nearly a decade ago, Dr. Upshaw has been a pioneer, champion and outspoken advocate of TMS Therapy. Dr. Upshaws holistic experience in the field has transformed him into Floridas leading advocate for widespread accessibility to TMS Therapy.
Depression is one of the most common psychological disorders, but that doesnt make it any less devastating or scary. Living with depression can be isolating and reaching out to others can provoke feelings of anxiety or even fear. Many people still feel embarrassed about having depression. Even though the stigma attached to mental illness has lessened, its still hard for people to disclose that theyre living with a taxing psychological disorder. Its a scary choice. To reach out and get the help we need, we have to risk disclosure.
However, its a risk worth taking. Talking about your depression with a trusted person is associated with better recovery outcomes. Getting social support from people you know is one of the most helpful ways to break the shell of isolation depression builds up. If youve asked yourself how to tell someone youre depressed, here are a few things to consider when preparing to have that important conversation.
- Better understand depression
How Many People Should You Tell
There is no right or wrong number of people to tell. In fact, the number will be different for everyone. Some people choose to tell just one person, and others benefit from telling many of the people in their life.
You are the expert on your situation and can decide what is best for you.
As you prepare to tell other people about your depression, it also can be helpful to consider how you feel about the diagnosis first.
In other words, what are your perceptions of depression as well as your expectations of yourself?
Understanding your feelings and coming to terms with your diagnosis helps you be more confident about sharing with others without feeling afraid or ashamed.
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Choose Who Youre Going To Tell
Although weve already gone over this before, decide who youre going to tell ahead of time. This conversation shouldn’t be casual unless youre okay with that. When discussing your depression, its a good idea to tell someone you trust – bonus points if theyre a good listener. But what happens when you have a parent, sibling, or friend who you want to tell but may not be as understanding? This situation can be scary, but sometimes the more difficult conversations are the most important. If you decide to talk about your depression with a not-so-understanding audience, you may need a little more preparation.
What To Say When Someone Is Depressed Or Anxious
You could start the conversation by asking questions such as: It seems like things have been hard for you lately. Whats on your mind? and: What can I do to help?
Something Ive learnt is to ask sincere, open-ended questions like, How does this feel? So the other person can feel supported, comforted and safe, rather than being told what to do. ayrc_1904
When you want to bring up a sensitive issue with a friend, try to choose a time and place when youre both comfortable, relaxed and theres some privacy. Dont push them if they dont want to talk, and be there for them if they become upset. You might not have an answer or a solution, but just being there to listen can be super helpful.
It might be difficult for your friend to accept your help continue to check in with them and let them know that you care about them, and that youre there for them if they need you.
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Who To Tell About Depression
If you want to open up about how you feel, then you may be asking yourself, who should I tell about my depression? One major thing to keep in mind is that you dont have to tell anyone about your depression if you arent comfortable with doing so. Dont let anyone coerce or pressure you into talking about this. However, as an inpatient mental health rehab, we do recommend that you speak to someone you trust about your condition. Whether theyre your parent, friend, or family member, you should tell someone you trust about your depression.
As a result of the many stigmas about mental illness, so many people are afraid to share their struggles with their mental health. This often perpetuates isolation and harmful forms of self-medicating, like substance abuse. The first step in treating your depression is accepting it and talking about it with someone else. Sometimes we have to say these things aloud to accept that theyre real and that we need help. When you do decide to talk to someone about your depression, it should be someone you trust or a licensed therapist. You do not have to tell everyone you know, nor should you tell someone who you dont trust. If you believe youre depressed but cant talk to anyone, call us at. Were here for you.
You Dont Walk This Path Alone Im Here If You Need Me
When a person is depressed, one of the feelings many people experience is an overwhelming sense of loneliness that no one can understand what theyre going through. They are all alone.
A reminder from a friend or loved one that, indeed, theyre not alone and they are loved can be invaluable. It also reminds them of the reality that people in their life do love them and are there for them if they need them.
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Signs That Someone May Be Depressed
Depression has lots of possible symptoms.
You may notice that someone:
- has lost interest in doing things they normally enjoy
- seems to be feeling down or hopeless
- has slower speech and movements or is more fidgety and restless than usual
- feels tired or does not have much energy
- is overeating or has lost their appetite
- is sleeping more than usual or is not able to sleep
- has trouble concentrating on everyday things, such as watching TV or reading the paper
When Good Intentions Go Wrong
It’s possible that you can say all the “right” things and your friend will still become upset with you. Every person is an individual with unique thoughts and feelings, and being angry and upset is the nature of depression.
Sometimes people will lash out at those trying to help them because they are hurting and don’t know where to direct those bad feelings. Whoever is nearby becomes a convenient target.
If this happens, try not to take it personally. Stay calm and continue to do what you can to love and support your friend in whatever way they will allow.
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What To Say To Someone Who Is Depressed
Do you know someone who is depressed? Depression is a serious problem in todays society. It can affect anyone, regardless of age, race, or gender.
In fact, depression affects 1 in 6 in any given week in England alone.
If you have a friend or family member that suffers from depression, it can be difficult to know how to help them get better.
To help your friend or family member to feel better as quickly as possible, this guide will show you exactly how to do just that!
Youll find out everything from what to say to someone who is depressed to what you cant say to avoid hurting their feelings.
This guide will give you all the information necessary to provide the best support and to help your loved one recover from depression as quickly as possible!
Ask Them If They Want To Talk
Sometimes the most important thing you can do for a depressed friend is to just listen sympathetically while they talk about what is bothering them, allowing them to relieve the pressure of pent-up feelings.
Make sure to listen without interrupting. We all wish to fix things for those we care about and often offer quick fixes to cope with our own feelings of helplessness. Sometimes people who are depressed just need to talk without having the conversation taken over with well-meaning advice.
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Minimizing Or Comparing Their Experience
If your friend talks about their depression, you might want to say things like, I understand, or Weve all been there. But if youve never dealt with depression yourself, this can minimize their feelings.
Depression goes beyond simply feeling sad or low. Sadness usually passes fairly quickly, while depression can linger and affect mood, relationships, work, school, and all other aspects of life for months or even years.
Comparing what theyre going through to someone elses troubles or saying things like, But things could be so much worse, generally doesnt help.
Your friends pain is whats real to them right now and validating that pain is what may help them most.
Say something like, I cant imagine how hard that is to deal with. I know I cant make you feel better, but just remember you arent alone.
How To Tell Your Best Friend You Are Depressed
This article was co-authored by Trudi Griffin, LPC, MS. Trudi Griffin is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Wisconsin specializing in Addictions and Mental Health. She provides therapy to people who struggle with addictions, mental health, and trauma in community health settings and private practice. She received her MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marquette University in 2011.There are 17 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, several readers have written to tell us that this article was helpful to them, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 142,292 times.
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Some People Dont Understand Depression
People may want to help you but are not sure how, or they may believe some of the myths that society buys into about depression.
For this reason, you need to be aware of the fact that not everyone will understand what youre going through.
Couples Therapy TribecaNew York City Therapist Carolyn Ehrlich focuses on learning how we share space with each other. In therapy, both parties are given the opportunity to speak, guided by a therapist. And most importantly, both will be heard. 56 Leonard Street, Apt 17AE, New York, NY 10013
Consequently, you may want to carefully choose who you disclose this information to and when.
Start by making a list of the most supportive people you know. Typically, these people are the ones you should tell first. Remember, not everyone knows how to offer emotional support though.
If you have friends or family members who lack this skill, it doesnt mean that they dont love you. It just means that they may not be the best ones to invite into your journey. In fact, telling themparticularly when you are vulnerablemay be counterproductive.
Kathryn McNeer, LPC specializes in Couples Counseling Dallas with her sound, practical and sincere advice. Kathryns areas of focus include individual counseling, relationship and . Kathryn has helped countless people find their way through lifes inevitable transitions especially the mid-life crisis. Kathryn draws from Gottman and Cognitive behavioral therapy.
How To Talk To A Friend About Depression
Whilst its impossible to predict exactly how your chosen person/people will react when you’ve told them you’re depressed and struggling, it can help to weigh up the different possibilities so you can prepare:
If your loved one has never experienced depression, its entirely possible that they wont understand what youre going through, and why you just cant stop feeling sad. They might feel like its their responsibility to try and fix you and try to suggest things that will cure your depression
Other people may become upset. They may be worried about you and could even blame themselves for not recognising your depression
Some people may simply not know how to respond to the news, having never experienced a situation like this before, and therefore, they may try to change the subject and avoid talking about things
The person may respond really positively. They may ask you questions about your depression, ask how they can support you, and reassure you that they will always be there for you when you need them
It may turn out that the person you confide in has personal experience of depression, as 19% of adults have been diagnosed with depression at some point in their lives. They may also know someone else knows someone who struggles with low mood or another mental health condition. They may therefore be able to empathise with you, or offer words of advice and wisdom that can help you on your recovery journey
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