Advice Corner

10 Ways To Reach Out To A Depressed Person

10 Ways To Reach Out To A Depressed Person. Helping a person with depression is not a walk in the park, but we can always try. A lot of lives have been lost due to this conditions. Some of the deaths could have been avoided if support was there. Find out hoe you can help those who suffer from this life threatening condition.

1. Become Informed

Not totally sure what depression is or what it means for your friend? A really great first step in helping your friend is to find out more about depression. This will help you better understand what they’re going through.

2. Listen

If your friend feels like talking, ask them how they’re going. Try asking questions like, “What can I do to help?” and “What do you find helpful?” When you want to bring up a sensitive issue with a friend, try to choose a time and place when you’re both comfortable and relaxed. It’s a good idea to avoid talking to them about it if they’re upset.

3. Take Their Feelings Seriously

If someone is suffering from symptoms of depression, it isn’t possible for them just to ‘snap out of it’, ‘cheer up’ or ‘forget about it’. When you listen to them and validate their feelings by saying things like ‘That must be really hard’ or ‘I’m here when you want to talk’, they’ll know you’re taking their feelings seriously.

4. Don’t Judge

What you say can have a powerful impact on a depressed person. Avoid saying statements such as: “You just need to see things as half full, not half empty” or “I think this is really all just in your head. If you got up out of bed and moved around, you’d see things better.”

5. Avoid The Tough-Love Approach

Many individuals think that being tough on their loved one will undo their depression or inspire positive behavioral changes. For instance, some people might intentionally be impatient with their loved one, push their boundaries, use silence, be callous or even give an ultimatum.

6. Avoid Making Comparisons

Unless you’ve experienced a depressive episode yourself, saying that you know how a person with depression feels is not helpful. While your intention is probably to help your loved one feel less alone in their despair, this can cut short your conversation and minimize their experience.

7. Learn As Much As You Can About Depression

You can avoid the above missteps and misunderstandings simply by educating yourself about depression. Once you can understand depression’s symptoms, course and consequences, you can better support your loved one

8. Be Patient

Patience is a pivotal part of supporting your loved one. When you’re patient with your loved one, you’re letting them know that it doesn’t matter how long this is going to take, or how involved the treatments are going to be, or the difficulties that accompany the passage from symptom onset to recovery, because you will be there.

9. Let Them Know About Support Services

If your friend has already seen a GP or mental health professional, that’s awesome. You could let them know there are also online and email counseling services. The South African Depression and Anxiety Grup is always ready to assist. For counseling queries e-mail: zane@sadag.org. To contact a counselor between 8am-8pm Monday to Sunday, Call: 011 234 4837 / Fax number: 011 234 8182.

For a suicidal Emergency contact us on 0800 567 567

24hr Helpline 0800 12 13 14

10. Respond To Emergencies

If you think your friend may be in danger or at risk of hurting themselves or someone else, seek help immediately.

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