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How to Help Your Depressed Friend

It is a very noble decision to help a depressed person; still, it is a very challenging task as well, even if the one who needs help is your beloved, friend, or relative. The matter is that one has to get ready to really hard work and to arm himself with patience. However, the first thing absolutely necessary to do is to learn a lot of things about depression, its signs, treatment options, and ways to help a sufferer overwhelm the disorder. 

Indeed, helping one with mental illness requires much knowledge and skills to do everything right, not to exceed a limit, not to make one’s suffering still worse. Therefore, here is a number of tips, which may be of help for those who want to help the others.

  1. Read the Signs

First of all, it is necessary to timely understand that a person is depressed, that he or she is not just in low spirits. This may prevent one from misinterpreting the behavior of another person. The available signs will help to define whether it is really a serious disorder you deal with.

  1. Learn About Depression

However, interpreting the signals can be done only after thorough learning from the available sources what depression is, its symptoms and signs. Comparing them to those your friend has will hopefully help to make a conclusion and evaluate the situation correctly.

  1. Give a Hand with Seeking Professional Help

It goes without saying that a depressed person will need professional help and medicinal treatment in the first place, because such problems are next to impossible to eliminate with the only self-care at home. Nevertheless, many depression sufferers refuse to admit that they are really ill and have to see a doctor. Thus, this step may require some efforts, patience, and persistence to be done.

  1. Help with Medical Treatment

Depression makes a person indifferent and sometimes even hostile to everything and everyone. As a result, the necessity to take pills and attend counseling or support groups may be given a hostile reception. The possible side effects of the treatment may worsen the situation. Thus, a depressed person will, probably, need much help in this aspect too.

  1. Help with Everyday Activities.

Fulfilling everyday tasks and usual activities is hard for a person, suffering from any disease, including depression. Consequently, an unobtrusive help with dish-washing or cleaning may become a real ray of light for a depressed one.

  1. Engage in Pleasant Activities

The way to lessen the feeling of despair and frustration is to divert one’s attention from these sensations and thoughts. Going for a walk, to the movie, theatre, or elsewhere will be a good means to make him or her forget about the feeling of the approaching Apocalypses. If your depressed friend has or used to have a hobby, try to return his interest in it. However, do not insist too much if he or she refuses it all flatly – give your friend some time.

  1. Get Rid of Bad Habits

Giving up such bad habits as smoking or drinking alcohol may seem to be “mission impossible”, especially if a person takes this staff for the only things that buoy; however, they actually aggravate the condition; thus, they should be erased from the patient’s life. You will have to be a real psychologist trying to find the ways of eliminating bad habits, which would be invisible for the sufferer. Use all your imagination, engage your friend in some activities, leave him or her no time for bad habits.  

  1. Emphasize the Progress

Even the tiniest step towards depression-free life should be treated as a real breakthrough. Encourage your friend showing him his progress in the treatment. This will definitely increase his/her self-confidence and give hope for better.

  1. Beware of Suicidal Intentions

Be sure to monitor your friend’s feelings, emotions, and thoughts noticing the slightest changes for worse, which, if left unnoticed, may turn into dangerous intentions of harming him-/herself or committing suicide. Remember, the help of a doctor is the first option in such case.

  1. Help Naturally

The key to successful communicating and helping your friend is in your sense of proportion. Excessive love and care may seem as difficult for a depressed person as the disease itself. You should feel the limit, know when to stop and give your friend some free space. Remember, helping somebody with something does not mean doing everything instead of him. Your help should be natural, not overwhelming, almost invisible – only this way both of you will obtain the obvious result.   

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Much patience, understanding, sympathy, love, and care is what you will need to make depression back down. You will have to learn to listen, to put yourself in your friend’s shoes, to give a shoulder to cry on, to be there for the one you care of whenever he or she needs you.

Nonetheless, you should not forget about yourself: depression is so to say contagious, and so much strain can also negatively affect your state of mind. Therefore, you should take care of yourself, have some rest, and sometimes change the surrounding and activity. Only a strong and healthy person can be of help for the others.


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