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8 Ways to Help a Friend with Depression

Mental health is just as important as the physical one; it is a fact that not everyone happened to be aware of. Going through a rough patch or experiencing sadness at some point through life is just part of living. In fact, it is healthy; you have to experience different forms of emotions as a healthily developed person. But, what are the signs that indicate a serious mental issue? Being sad is one thing, but being diagnosed with depression is a whole different story.

Depression has no boundaries; it can hit anyone at any time in their lives. It may sound frustrating to learn about a friend who’s going through such a depressive phase in their life. You desperately want to help them, but, sometimes, your support seems to sabotage the recovery process instead. Depressed people need to have support from their loved ones. If you have tried to talk your friend out of depression, you will realize how it is an unsuccessful attempt. Since you are looking for undeniable ways to help your friend get over their sadness, you have come to the right place.

1 Educate Yourself about Different Forms of Depression

Not all depressed people go through the same symptoms; however, most of the signs are quite common. Before taking the lead of helping a friend out, you first need to educate yourself. Learn about the meaning of depression and how it is triggered. You also need to inform yourself of the obvious signs of the illness. We are not claiming that your friend’s cure is all in your hand because it is not. Educating yourself will help you be more in control and more understanding to the situation.

2 Always Be Patient

Once you inform yourself about the disorder, you may find yourself more tolerating in confusing situations. The mood swings that depressed people experience are a bit unusual. They can be out of control and hazardous sometimes. While you may get frustrated at times, you need to learn to be patient. Your friend needs your support, but not your sympathy. Even if they don’t admit it out loud; they don’t want to walk alone through this dark tunnel. So, patience should be one of your ultimate skills.

3 Be a Trustworthy Friend

Well, since you are already friends, your friend certainly trusts you. However, through their rough patch, they may lose their self-confidence. They begin to question a lot of things and lose interest in life. This may eventually escort them to isolate themselves completely to avoid being hurt again. At this time, it is your role to regain their trust. Be always there and let them know that you are not letting go no matter how hard it gets. Once you establish your bond again, dig for the root cause. Let them speak up their darkest thoughts and bare themselves. Knowing the reason behind their depression can make it easier for you to better things out.

4 Encourage them to Seek Medical Assistance

You are doing your best and, of course, your efforts always count. But, as previously mentioned, depression is a mental illness. It is not any less dangerous than physical diseases. If your friend was diagnosed with, for example, cardiovascular disease or a kidney failure, you’d have encouraged them to pay a visit to a physician. So why not do the same with depression? Your support is needed in all cases, but for a full recovery, a medical consultancy may be needed to weigh in.

5 Remind them of Their Strength

They may think that such talks are sugarcoated, but being able to survive such depressive episodes is a sign of real strength. Give them examples of popular figures who had been through the same, but still managed to be who they are/were. Above and beyond, let them know that they are plenty of people around the world who go through the same. Urge them to join support groups. Those groups are incredibly helpful. Your friend will meet people who go through the same. Knowing that you are not alone is equivalent to seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

6 Laughter is a Quick Healer

Laughter makes you live longer; they said. No matter how true this phrase is, laughter is an incredible emotion that everyone loves to experience. It can be a top method of beating depression. Take your friends out and always give them a reason to laugh. You can either do that by learning good jokes to crack, take them to a comic movie, or introduce them to your funny friends. Their sense of humor will start reviving once they get involved with people who always find a reason to laugh.

7 “It is Just a Matter of Time”

That is exactly what you should be telling them. Keep saying it until it gets carved into their subconscious and they eventually believe it. Most people who go through depression and episodes of anxiety think that is how they’ll be living the rest of their lives. Such thoughts can worsen their condition significantly. So, be there to tell them that their minds are playing tricks on them. Let them know that most of the negative and impulsive thoughts they receive are unreal. Encourage them to put their worst nightmares into rest.

8 Make Time for Yourself

This may sound selfish, but it is beneficial for both parties. Negative energy is contagious. Your friend’s depression can put aggravate your mood. If you want your attempts with your friend to work, you need to take care of yourself first. Take time to release the stress and unwind, so you can recharge and have the energy to do it all over again.

Being depressed is not easy; being the one in the receiving end can be quite devastating as well. Life is too short to spend it in sadness, so pull your friend out of their black hole. There will be days when your attempts don’t turn out the way you wanted them to. Forgive yourself and move on. In the end, be a good listener. That is the greatest favor you can do to your friend.