How To Help Somebody Who is Depressed
Depression is a common occurrence in today’s world. We all have a friend, family member or a colleague who is suffering from depression. But as much as you try to help, often people don’t want to accept support. This can make you feel helpless and frustrated.
Firstly, let us understand why a depressed person refuses to accept help. There could be a number of reasons for this:
- Accepting help can make them feel weak or dependent.
- The societal stigma attached to depression can be a hindrance.
- They do not believe that someone can help them.
- They are so used to feeling depressed that they lose the perspective of everything.
One of the most common things we do in an effort to help our loved ones is to push them to seek counselling or therapy. While our intentions are noble, we have to be careful NOT to put too much pressure or force somebody into seeking help. Pushing them into something they are not willing to do can make the situation worse. Everybody needs one’s own time to be ready to seek help.
While your friend or family member takes time to be ready, here’s what you can do to make them feel better –
- Make yourself available and listen to them closely. When they see that you are available in their times of distress, they learn to trust you. And once they have enough trust in you, you can convince them to seek help.
- Talk to someone with a positive aura. When you are helping your friend, there are chances you can feel burdened and depressive too. So keep talking to another friend or family member who has a positive outlook and can motivate you further.
- Show genuine compassion and offer suggestions. While you can’t completely pull them out of depression, you can guide them. Don’t try to solve the problem, just be there, listen and share their grief.
- Be persistent but gentle. Many a times, a single conversation won’t lead to anything. There have to be a series of follow-up conversations and discussions before you can convince them to seek help. Depressed people often tend to go back into their shell and isolate themselves. You have to be persistent and show your willingness to listen to them. But you also have to be tactful about it.
- Nothing is permanent. Make them realize that this is a phase and, eventually, they will start feeling better. Nothing lasts forever. Depression is temporary.
If none of the above helps, it is better to visit a professional psychiatrist and seek advice on how you can help your loved ones.
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