Im Here If You Want To Talk
This is more of a direct suggestion, choosing something that you know the friend or loved one is going to be interested in doing. Maybe they just want to talk . Maybe they need a nudge to get up, get changed, and go out and just do something anything. You can be that person to help them get moving.
Continue Supporting Them And Respond To Emergencies
On a bad day, your friend might not want to leave their room. If they say something like Im going to cancel my appointment today, encourage them to follow through with the appointment.
Whether or not your friend has decided to get professional help, its important that they know they can get support from you, or other friends and family.
If you think your friend may be in danger or at risk of hurting themselves or someone else, seek help from a trusted adult or emergency mental health service immediately. Call 000 to reach emergency services and also tell someone you trust.
In more serious cases, its important to let an older/more responsible adult know whats going on. You dont have to be perfect all the time and making mistakes are inevitable and a good thing as we can learn from them. Anzelmo
What You Can Do
It is important to listen well and avoid defensive language. The objective is not to fix their problems or tell them what to do. Dr. Leaf explains, You are not giving your friend a solution to all their issues rather you are listening to help them process their pain and to not feel alone and out of control.
Try to see things from your friends perspective and show true concern for their suffering. Dr. Leaf says, This doesnt mean that you fully comprehend what they are going through and we should never presume to rather, its your compassion that validates their experiences by acknowledging that their pain is real. Doing this actually changes the resilience in the brain , which can help that person see their problems in a new light and start sorting through their issues.
Sometimes your friend may not want to talk and thats okay too. Dr. Saltz says, They may just want you to be there and sit quietly with them. Or offer to help them make an appointment for therapy and/or drive them to their appointments.
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How To Talk To Someone About Depression
Sometimes it is hard to know what to say when speaking to someone about depression. You might fear that if you bring up your worries the person will get angry, feel insulted, or ignore your concerns. You may be unsure what questions to ask or how to be supportive.
If you dont know where to start, the following suggestions may help. But remember that being a compassionate listener is much more important than giving advice. You dont have to try to fix your friend or family member you just have to be a good listener. Often, the simple act of talking face to face can be an enormous help to someone suffering from depression. Encourage the depressed person to talk about their feelings, and be willing to listen without judgment.
Dont expect a single conversation to be the end of it. Depressed people tend to withdraw from others and isolate themselves. You may need to express your concern and willingness to listen over and over again. Be gentle, yet persistent.
What To Do When You Are Depressed
There are millions of people who struggle with depression each year. Imagine how much lives could be saved if depressed individuals knew what to do and how to work through their depression. This type of mental health issue is very serious, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be overcome. One of the best ways to beat depression is to know how to handle it. In order to make that happen, you have to know what to do when you are depressed.
Setting plans may sound basic and redundant, but planning is an excellent way of giving yourself something to look forward to. One of the best ways to set plans is either using a virtual calendar on your phone or a physical calendar. Taking notes of what needs to be done when is always helpful and it can also prevent you from feeling overwhelmed or unsure of what to tackle next. Following through with plans has a way of keeping people focused and busy having something to do can furthermore take your mind off depression or additional triggers.
Interact with Other People
Soak up Some Sunlight and Fresh Air
Take it One Day at a Time
Embrace Positive Thoughts
Seek Professional Help
At the end of the day, the choice is yours. However, if and when you are ready to seek therapy from BetterHelp, we will be here to support and guide you.
Ways To Help Your Depressed Friend
Psychreg on Mental HealthWHAT’S IN THIS ARTICLE?
Depression affects many people and some of us have friends already dealing with it. Even though we want to be there for them, we dont always know what to do and say to support them. We are all different, and there is no universal way to support our depressed friend and thats another challenge for us. However, the mere fact that you want to help your depressed friend is fantastic, and our suggestions may help you figure out the best way to approach and support them throughout this challenging phase of their life.
How To Help When They Have A High Suicide Risk
Someone with an immediate suicide risk may need more help than you can provide.
If your friend has a plan for suicide, access to what theyd need to carry it out, and a specific timeframe, youll want to support them by getting professional help right away.
If you believe your friend is at immediate risk of self-harm or suicide:
- Encourage them to reach out to the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or text HOME to 741741.
- If needed, call 911 or your local emergency number. If possible, you may want to take them to an emergency room or encourage them to go.
- Stay with them or on the phone until help arrives. If in person, remove any weapons or substances from their surroundings that could cause harm.
That said, the strategies below can help you offer support while you wait for professional help.
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I Believe In You Youre Awesome
Sometimes a person has given up hope that theyll amount to anything in life. Theyve lost all belief in themselves, and feel like nothing they do is right or good enough. Their self-esteem is, in a word, shot.
Thats why it can be helpful to reaffirm that you believe in them. You believe in their ability to once again experience hope, to be the person you once were or even more. That they are still an awesome person, if even if theyre not feeling that way at the moment.
What Is It Like To Have A Friend Who Is Always Depressed And Complaining
Depression doesnt happen in a vacuum. It causes a ripple effect that touches everyone surrounding the person. Family members and friends often feel helpless, not knowing how to reach out or what to do to help their suffering loved ones. It would be nice if the depressed person could vocalize their needs so that friends and families knew exactly what to say and do. On the contrary, communication becomes problematic because the person is embarrassed to say how they feel, anticipating judgment.
Seeing your friend in trouble and sadness makes your heartbreak. You start getting worried about your friend. Her sadness never seems to end. She is irritable and on edge, noticeably upset and preoccupied constantly. She is lifeless and uninterested, distant, and really not any fun to be around. Youre probably wondering what on earth got into this lively, cheery, happy, spirited girl you used to know.
You try to help. You ask her to talk about whats bothering her. You try to offer your hand and lend support. You try to tell her its okay, that whatever is going on in her life will work out. You have done everything possible but it seems like shes only getting worse.
You feel helpless seeing your closest friend suffer all alone as she starts to push you away. She stops answering your calls, drops from your weekly rituals, does not listen about your guy problems.
Dont Promote Any Medical Treatment
You may be tempted to try to promote medical treatment for your friend.
Medication can be helpful for some mental health sufferers. But, it doesnt necessarily work for everyone.
More importantly, youre not qualified to diagnose or prescribe medicine. You may also have personal beliefs in alternative or natural medicines.
You should avoid promoting any particular medicine. You need to restrict yourself to supporting your friends desire to get help.
If you want to give your friend the information they need to make their own decision about whether to receive treatment for their depression. Find out more about organic treatments for depression.
Dont Stress Out Too Much
Whether you recognize that or not, its only you who put some pressure on yourselves. You carry unnecessary worries and tension. You may call that Goals in life, but when you get too serious at it, without knowing your interest and passion, you end up being hard on yourself.
A simple approach is, stop expecting too much from yourself. You are worthy and unique enough for certain things in life. You dont have to figure out everything on your own, So relax. Just release yourself from those worries and tension youve been carrying along.
When youre feeling depressed and lonely, think about the things youre grateful for in life. Dont focus on too much of what you lose, Focus on something, you still have.
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Do Offer To Help With Small Tasks Around The Home
Many people who suffer from depression can find that even the smallest tasks become huge challenges.
But, with your friendship and support, your friend can get through even the darkest days. You can offer to help out with little things around the house.
Can you spare time to go grocery shopping? Could you do some laundry for your friend when theyll at a particularly low point?
Just simply asking if theres anything you can do to help around the house can really relieve your friends stress and pressure.
Dont Abandon Your Depressed Friend No Matter What
When your friend struggles with depression, he/she may not be in the mood to even get up from their bed. Even if your friend tends to skip meetings, you should encourage them to address their responsibilities.
No matter if your friend is looking for professional help, they should know that youre there for them, providing support without judgement. If the situation aggravates and you fear for your friends life, you shouldnt hesitate, and get emergency health service right away.
Sometimes, you may feel overwhelmed by the whole situation, and its perfectly acceptable to look for professional help for better management. We all make mistakes, and we all have our limitations.
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Take Their Feelings Seriously
If someone is living with a mental health concern, it isnt possible for them just to snap out of it, cheer up or forget about it. Acknowledge that what’s happening must be difficult to handle don’t tell them that their feelings are weird or unfounded.
Try not to approach your friend like theyre a patient or someone who needs to be fixed…this might make them feel embarrassed and belittled, and can make them close themselves off to you. Anzelmo
If youre not sure how to help someone with depression or anxiety, ask them. You could also offer them some options and let them choose what suits them best. For example, you could offer to listen and let them express their thoughts, or just to hang out, without serious conversation.
Try to be caring, compassionate and curious, and let them know that they matter to you and you are taking them seriously.
Dont Get Impatient & Give Up
Do you find it frustrating talking with your friend?
Its common to get annoyed and impatient with depressed people. This is particularly the case if you dont fully understand the condition.
But, remembering that your friend suffers from a mental illness can help you feel sympathy for your friend.
They may never be totally cured of depression. But, with your support, theyll stay determined not to give up.
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Instead Say: I Am Here For You What Can I Do To Help
The idea is to center the needs of your friend and let them know you care about how they are feeling.
Get their input on what would be helpful instead of suggesting what you like to do to lift your mood, Bespalova says. This way, the focus is on them and not you.
If your friend isnt sure what will help, there are some tried and true options. You can drop off nutritious, easy-to-reheat dishes see if there are chores you can do for them to make day-to-day life easier or, if they are open to it, share some helpful resources.
Theyre Not Showing Up For Things They Used To Enjoy
Has your friend stopped turning up for activities they used to enjoy? Does it feel like you never see them anymore? This could be a sign theyre not feeling like their usual selves. Not wanting to spend time with the people they love and losing interest in the activities they used to enjoy can be a telltale sign of depression.
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Do Some Mindful And Positive Activities
Thinking about failures or recent loss, wont solve your issues anyway. Its just putting yourself in a low moment and nothing else. You can not expect to get better, simply by thinking over it. You need to divert your mood and thoughts from such a frustrating situation, first.
Do something to uplift your mindset. Your negative thoughts and emotions wont let you think in positive aspects. Remember, low moments are temporary, and you always have the option to try again and succeed. But, for now, you need to do something to keep yourself up.
Spend time with your friend, take a vacation, watch your favorite movies, or even develop new hobbies , do anything that supports you to feel good about yourself.
Help Your Loved One Get Treatment For Depression
Somebody with depression may need help seeking care, both because of a sense of stigma or shame and because their illness makes it harder for them to manage tasks like finding a mental health provider or scheduling an appointment. Suggesting that you can do these things for them, remind them when the appointment is coming up, and accompany them to the visit can help them get treatment sooner rather than later.
If theyre hesitant to see a mental health professional such as a psychologist or psychiatrist, see if theyre willing to visit their primary care doctor, especially if this is someone they already know well and trust, Thienhaus says. Although its best to see someone specializing in mental health, the important part is getting connected to some form of help when needed.
You may also have to rethink the words you use to talk about depression treatment because different people may have distinct ways of viewing the condition, Thames says. Some people, for example, may not know to use the word depressed to describe how they feel, and might instead perceive their symptoms as being stressed out or not myself, for example.
Matching the language that the person can identify with is important when attempting to intervene, Thames says.
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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.
Remind Them You’re There For Them
Depression can feel as though no one understands what you are feeling or even cares enough to try to understand, which can be isolating and overwhelming.
Research has shown that people tend to withdraw when they are depressed, so reaching out to a friend in need is an important first step. If your friend isn’t ready to talk, continue to offer your support by spending time with them and try to check in regularly, either in person, on the phone, or by text.
When you reach out to a friend, letting them know that you are going to be there every step of the way can be very reassuring.
You may not quite know what this will look like at first, but know that just reminding your friend that you are someone they can lean on can mean the world.
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