Do you want to know how to support your friends with depression?
Depression is a state that can affect anyone due to any reason. It is an illness that many people don’t understand and even if they do, most of them either try to hide it or do not seek proper treatment. Nowadays, there is an increase in awareness about mental illness. Although there are psychologists and psychiatrists available to provide the right treatment, a stigma is still attached to mental health. This stigma stops a lot of people from being open about their state of mind and talking about what they are going through. Due to this, it becomes very difficult to even help your close ones with depression.
For instance, you know that your friend is having suicidal thoughts but you don’t know what exactly they are thinking, in such situations, calmly tell them about your concern and help them by taking them to a psychologist. Show them that you are there for them in such situations, and make them feel safe and secure. Ask them something like, “I’ve observed that you’re going through a really hard phase. I am concerned that you may be considering suicide. Are you ?”
It may be a hard conversation that you will have with your friend, but it is necessary.
Following are the pointers on how to support your friends with depression
1. Do Not Take Them Lightly
Depression is not a joke and you should never take that person lightly who is going through this. Talk to them and create a space for them so that they can talk about their feelings. Let them know you understand what they are going through and how badly they are hurting.
2. Seek Help If Situation is Getting Worse
If you have a hunch that your friend is having thoughts of suicide, they might feel like they need to keep their intense thoughts a secret but it will not help them in any way. Ensure that they seek the help in the right manner, i.e. seek proper treatment from a psychologist or a psychiatrist so that your friend will be able to help themselves in an appropriate way.
It is also important that you encourage them to tell someone themselves which means someone from the family also.
3. Become a Good Listener
When people are depressed, they generally feel extremely alone and aloof. They mostly feel that nobody will understand what they are going through and that they have no one they can talk to about their problems. We all have to understand that it is very easy to tell someone if we are having a fever or if we are hurt physically but it is extremely difficult to tell someone if someone is going through something internally. In such cases, it is important that you become a good listener as it’s difficult for a depressed person to talk about how they are feeling. Always make your presence feel to your friend and let them do the talking. Encourage them to talk about their illness, but don’t try to offer any solutions immediately because your support is the most important thing that you can offer.
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