It is extremely common to feel sad or down for some reason or the other and it happens with everyone at some point in their lives. Your spirits may go down if your favorite team loses the ball game or if you have had a breakup. In most cases people get back on track and move forward in a few days. However, it is different for people who suffer from a dreaded medical condition called depression. It is a medical condition where the mind gets filled with negativity and you seem to lose control over yourself. There is no reason for an individual to get depressed even though alcohol and caffeine abuse have been linked to it .
In most cases, it is just that an individual gets up in the morning and feels as if he or she is stuck in a deep hole unable to come out. There is no motivation within to do any work. These individual feel sad, helpless, and hopeless for no underlying reason. Some people even resort to crying to feel better. This over a period of time starts affecting the work or school performance. Even everyday chores become a challenge for the individual to do .
They tend to sleep very little which make the body feels that much more tired. Over time they tend to lose connect between loved ones. In most cases the family and friends of such individuals know what their friend or loved one is going through and they want to help but they just do not know how to do it. This article gives an idea about the dos and don’ts when dealing with depression .
Dos and Don’ts of Dealing With Depression
Below mentioned are some tips that can be followed to help an individual deal with depression:
Listen to Them. The first thing you can do is listen to them and do not judge them. Allow them space to talk openly about how they feel and what they are experiencing. Make them believe that you are there for them and will always be there to listen and sort out their problems .
Do not judge them or start advising them right away. Just listen to them with intent and if possible try and note their problems. This will make the depressed individual feel that someone is out there to listen to them and understand their feeling .
Provide Encouragement and Support. The best that you can do to help your friend in distress is to provide encouragement and support. Just letting them know that you are able to understand what they are going through gives them lot of encouragement. You can tell them that you will be with them through thick and thin till the time they get rid of the pain and hopelessness. You can tell them to call anytime they feel they need to talk .
Convince them to Seek Professional Help. Depression is a source of extreme distress for individuals who deal with it day in and day out. When your friend is going through this difficult phase and it is not getting better then convincing them to seek professional help is the best route to go .
However, this task may be extremely challenging as the patient may initially refuse to seek any help. You can help your friend by finding resources and support groups who help people with depression. A session with a psychotherapist can also be extremely helpful in this regard .
Be Realistic. There may be times when you may have to attend work and may not respond to your friend’s call. You can explain this to your friend in the best possible manner that it does not mean that you are not there for him and within no time he will be there for him .
Some of the don’ts that you need to be careful about when dealing with friends with depression includes
Be Careful With What You Say. Depression in our world is more often than not linked to being mentally unstable or weak. This is precisely the reason why depressed people find it hard to open up. Thus if you want to help your friend ensure you don’t speak something which may increase anxiety and a sense of rejection in them .
By telling them to be content with whatever they have or “everything will be alright” is not going to help them in any way. In fact, it may make them feel worse. They may start feeling ashamed of themselves just for being sad. In fact, the best would be to just listen to them and make them believe that you understand them and are with them .
Try And See If They Are Suicidal. it is not common for people who are depressed to become suicidal. However, if they are then it is a pretty desperate situation. This can be judged by the way they speak. They may come up with sentences like “There is no point in living” or “it is not worth living anymore.” There will also be a significant change in their behavior with them suddenly looking calm and trying to be happy .
They may even contact old friends. If these observations are made then it is better to ask the individual straight whether he is feeling suicidal. If you think that this will give an idea about suicide then it is not true. In fact, this will release the pressure from the mind of the individual .
If they agree that they are feeling suicidal then you should counsel them that suicide is not going to improve anything. You can also say that it is not uncommon for people battling depression to feel suicidal. You may not sound like a trained professional but it definitely will work .
Never Let Them Feel Neglected. Listening and empathizing with depressed individuals is the best way to get them out of the deep hole they think they are in. Ensure that they should not get a feeling that their words are being taken lightly by you. This will worsen the picture .
In conclusion, helping your depressed friend can be a daunting and emotionally stressful task. You may have to spend most of your energy and time with your friend and may not have enough of it to take care of yourself .
This is something you need to watch out for and avoid. It is always best to take some time off for yourself to keep the mind refreshed at the same time taking care of your loved one fighting depression .
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