Helping a depressed friend
Your encouragement and support to a friend or a person who is suffering from depression can be very essential in his or her recovery. If you notice that that friend or family member needs psychological help, it is high time you take the necessary steps. The first step is to learn about the psychological problem your loved one is going through.
The best way to do it is to simply talk to that person face to face while encouraging him/her to talk about her feelings. You should be ready to listen without judging that person.
How to effectively reach out and help your beloved one
It is not easy to talk to a psychologically disturbed person because you might not know how he or she will react. Maybe that person will ignore your concerns, get angry, or you might not know exactly how to tackle the situation. If you don’t know how best to start the conversation, start by being a compassionate listener.
You can start off the conversation with some of the following questions or statements. Remember to actively listen to your friends responses
- I have found myself concerned about you lately. Can we discuss about what you are feeling? Or who are you close to that you can talk to?
- When did you start feeling like this?
- Have you managed to get some help?
- I am a very caring person. I wanted to check what is happening with you lately because you don’t seem okay
- How can I help you find help on what you are going through?
- How have you dealt with this issue in the past?
During this time, keep on encouraging and giving your friend hope. Remember your beloved one is in a depressed state hence use simple language that he or she will easily understand.
Your support will include giving positive statements such as:
- I’m with you, I care about you and I want to help you get over this feeling
- You are so important to me that’s why I want the best for you
- This feeling will end and you will a different person all over again
- What do you desire that I can do to help you?
When you notice your friend has suicidal feelings and thoughts, talk openly about it. Then seek professional help immediately to save your friends life.
Seeking professional help
While talking to your depressed friend, it is important to encourage him or her to get help from a professional. It is not easy to get a depressed person into treatment. People with psychological problems think negatively and thus he or she has no motivation to find a doctor. They tend to believe that they cannot get help whatsoever.
If the situation gets worse and your beloved one does not want to get help for depression, you can: Suggest that he or she sees a general physician who will diagnose him or her of depression. The doctor’s referral to a psychiatrist will make a difference.
Lastly, since your beloved friend has already low motivation, help him or her find a doctor and even accompany him on the first visit.