Depression is one of the most common mental health conditions affecting people today. However, most people have little understanding of the realities of the illness. That means it’s often difficult to help friends and loved ones who begin to suffer from depression and associated disorders. What to do if your friend becomes depressed? At the end of the day, nobody wants to see people they care about losing interest in life. So, it’s vital that we all educate ourselves about the best ways to help. The information on this page will make a great starting point.
Give them your time
When people become depressed, they can often feel like their world is ending. No matter how many times you tell them to pull themselves together, their mood doesn’t seem to improve. That is because the depression doesn’t come from adverse events or social circumstances. It’s a chemical imbalance in the brain that causes all the problems. Instead of telling your friend where they are going wrong, just sit and listen to them. In most instances, people suffering with depression will get a certain level of relief when they can discuss their feelings.
Make sure their family is aware
Most people don’t like discussing their depression with people who are likely to provide a negative response. So, your friend might not have told their family about the situation. You should encourage them to speak with their parents and siblings as soon as possible. It’s not fair that you should deal with the issue alone. If nothing else, they might offer you some support in helping your friend. Also, you can find out a little more about the family medical history, and whether your friend is prone to such conditions.
Encourage them to seek help
There are many support groups and clinical psychologists who could help your friend to deal with their condition. Sometimes it’s easier to get back on track when you’re dealing with people who understand. With that in mind, you should encourage your friend to seek professional help as soon as possible.
The doctors and support workers they encounter will know about techniques that can ease the strain. They will also help you to gain a better understanding of the situation. Most people with depression end up taking medication to keep their moods under control. However, many talking therapies are known to work well. It’s essential that your friend gives up all their bad habits like smoking and heavy drinking because they will only make things worse. Explain to your friend that they don’t have to take drugs if they don’t think it will help.
It’s impossible to say when depression will strike and someone you know might deteriorate. So, make sure you keep your eyes open and look for the warning signs. Depressed people often withdraw from social activities and work during the early stages of their condition. They can also exhibit a lack of interest in the things that used to bring them joy. Some people don’t know they are depressed, and so they need friends like you to help them out. Never give up on someone who’s going through a hard time. You might be the only person with whom they want to communicate.
Do you have someone close to you suffering from depression? How does it affect your life?