Handling a situation where someone who suffers from depression is hard and tricky. Here are 7 simple ways you can use to offer a helping hand.
People who have never been diagnosed with depression will never understand exactly what is going on in the minds of people who are diagnosed with it. It is one of the most common disorders in the world today and has various factors that lead up to it. Having someone in your life who suffers from this illness can make things a little bit tricky when they do get triggered and slip into a depressive state. It can be hard to make them feel better. They generally say that they are the only ones who can pull themselves out of the mood they have slipped into or only time can heal things. But you can try and help them out, you do it because you care but are often confused as to how to go about it. Well, here are a few tips for you to help them feel better and make sure that you aren't making the situation worse by doing or saying things that they don't need at the moment.
When you care about somebody a lot and they slip into a low mood, first, never ask them anything repeatedly, especially when it is related to what they were triggered by. Second, do not always think that it was something you did or said, they would tell you if you did something. Finally, most importantly, do not just assume that you can fix things. A person with depression is not going to let you fix things simply because you can't. Do not try to be hard and push towards making things better. Things get better eventually. Just have a normal conversation with them or be around. They will ask you to leave them alone but all you need to do is be around and not try to make their mood the main focus of the situation. Just being around is what really helps.
One very bad thing to do is constantly give them your advice or talk about your opinions. You need to allow them to do all the talking and let them talk about their problems or whatever they wish to talk about. Encouraging them to talk is good but you need to know the difference between encouraging a conversation and forcing them to open up during these stressful and difficult times. They will eventually start to speak about their emotions and that is when you need to show your support. If they talk about things other than their emotions then let them be, do not ever force the topic. Don't even bother to bring it up even after the episode has passed.
There are many people who will tell you to always remain positive no matter what the situation is but this advice can be used while losing a competition or when the not so personal things in life don't go your way. When it comes to handling a situation in which a person is having an episode, being overly positive about everything is never a smart idea. Being positive is good, but at the same time be realistic. They are in a very negative head space but they can tell when something is realistic and possible or not. Being super optimistic makes them feel a lot worse than they already do. They will then be under the impression that you don't understand them and that they are alone in this world (which is not true and not what the goal you were trying to achieve).
A lot of times, people suffering from depression feel like they are alone and it would not make a difference to anybody in the world if they died or didn't exist which is completely untrue. They tend to forget about everyone who truly cares for them and this is when they really need you. They just need you to be around and not do much, show them that you are there and that you care for them. It doesn't mean that you have to take them out to the movies or their favorite restaurants, they wouldn't want to go out. Order in and just hang around with them wherever they are. Just let them know that you are there no matter what.
A lot of times when people are having an episode they tend to feel guilty because they are under the impression that they are dragging you down or spoiling the fun or the general mood. They sometimes tend to feel like they have no reason to feel awful and it isn't right to feel this sad, which in turn puts them in a worse place. This is when they need validation for their feelings; they need to know that their feelings are real and not frivolous, and people care about the way they feel. They need to know that they aren't inconveniencing you or the others around them. They also need to know that feeling intense feelings is not wrong and that it is okay to feel this way.
Helping people who have been diagnosed with depression is not an easy task at all and will at some point take a toll on your own mental health. Make sure that your mental well-being is not being affected negatively while trying to help someone out. If you are affected too much then you're going to be the one needing help and you can't help them. This will make them feel a whole lot worse about things so make sure to take care of yourself first and then help them.
This is the biggest mistake people make when someone is suffering from depression, they tend to ignore the fact that such an illness actually exists. This is more common among the people from the older generations. Ignoring their problems will only make them feel more isolated than they already do, a lot more desperate, and at the same time, they will start to believe that nobody really cares for them. Be sensitive and open-minded, take the time to understand their illness and what they are going through and handle the situation with care.Disclaimer : This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.