There are two simple yet main ways you can help a friend with depression. You may know someone that you suspect is showing signs of depression. The support of family and friends is extremely important as depression can affect everyone in the person’s circle of influence. It’s not an easy topic to talk about and often the person may not want to talk about what they are experiencing. If you don’t really know what to say or how to help read our simple tips but first make sure you look after yourself.
There are two main things to do that are extremely important when your close friend or relative is going through depression. The first is to listen. It is very important to just be present with the person. Having listening ears and being non judgemental is extremely important. While chatting you need to be encouraging, supportive and let the person know that its ok for them to trust you with what is being said.Depression is a sensitive topic that needs to be taken seriously and also needs to be raised at an appropriate time and place where both of you are comfortable. Building trust is a really important process that both of you will appreciate.
Listen to your friend or relative about how they are feeling and what they’re going through. Let them know that you are worried about them and care about their health. The second important point is to gently encourage them to get professional help. To talk to their GP, a psychologist or mental health professional. It is important to know that they don’t have to feel like this forever and there are support services and treatment available that could make them feel a great deal better. Both of you can do some research on this and find the right mental health professional to see. It may take time to get to this step and a great deal of patience but it will be worthwhile. You may also suggest to accompany the person to appointments so they don’t feel that they are alone and so they don’t back out of appointments once they are made.
These are just two simple but effective ways to help a friend with depression. It is important to remember that you don’t need to feel that you have any of the answers or solutions to help your friend but just being there is actually really helping. Even if they aren’t ready to seek professional help, you’re availability and kind listening ear will be very important in helping that person get the start on their recovery journey. Remember to also be informed by doing your own research on depression so you can have a better understanding of what the individual might be going through.
Read our other blog posts on depression at http://www.sydneytms.com.au/tms-news-blog/