5 Ways To Help A Friend Overcome Depression


Worried for your friend’s behaviour lately who is not the usual chirpy happy person as before? There might be a chance that your friend is suffering from depression. Though this disorder does not seem to be very devastating from the outside, internally it can inflict a lot of pain. Thus, it is very important to gather proper information about this disturbing disorder and then start helping the person who is suffering. If you really want to help out your friend who is fighting depression, here are 5 ways that you can use:

1. Offer A Shoulder To Cry

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If your friend is suffering from depression, it is very important for the repressed feelings to be vented out. In such a case, a supportive friend like you can act as a medicine. Increase your accessibility and be more available. Always be ready to lend an ear to the sad woes. The depressed friend should be comfortable enough to call you any time, day or night. There might more sadness within, more than you had expected. Offer your shoulder to lean on. Encouragement should be given to talk more and thought sharing should be made comfortable. Ask more questions to dig into the sadness so that you can have a better insight about the depressing factors.

2. Get Medical Help Accessible

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Although depression is increasing in prevalence by leaps and bounds worldwide, it is still not accepted as a medical disorder by many. Medical help in the form of medicines and therapy is quintessential for its treatment. Give this advice to your depressed friend at the right time. The social taboo attached with mental problems discourages such patients to seek medical help. Be the catalyst and help in finding a good Doctor who can handle the case efficiently. This might need a lot of coaxing and family support too. Later, keep talking and checking persistently whether or not, the required follow ups with the treating Doctor or therapist are being done.

3. Be Supportive, Not Critical

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Depression brings along a sad and lonely feeling which always makes the person insecure. Don’t let your friend feel alone. Show him or her that you are there and interested to help out. Stress is the most neglected and least thought about depressing factor working behind the scene. Discussing about stress can actually reduce the burden. Help the person in identifying the most stressful things that are disturbing in life. Bring in an array of possible support systems that can be available. It could be a life partner, some other near relative, a group of friends, or even an online social support platform. Avoid making judgemental statements that are derogatory and accusing. As a supportive friend, listen with all your attention. Care about those words empathetically. Also, do not always pressurise to talk about depression. Just spend time together if that is what brings in comfort and solace.

4. Use Humour

laughingPhoto by Alan Cleaver, CC BY 2.0

Laughter is the best medicine. Maybe your depressed friend hasn’t had a hearty laugh since a long time. Struggling through the multiple emotional conflicts brings in deep rooted sadness. Show them hope that it is a passing phase and it won’t last forever. Share lighter moments and use funny conversations as a part of your regular talks. Watch funny videos or movies together. Looking at old photo albums and remembering funny memories also tickles up most of us. Laughing will at least make them forget their depression for some time, though effects may be temporary.

5. Bring The Sunny Side Up

PositivityPhoto by MartaZ*, CC BY 2.0

Remind them of their strengths. Fighting with negative thoughts is a great strength in itself. Say that aloud and appreciate the effort being taken to fight back. Sometimes, they just need someone to say that to them to realise it. The fact that they have not succumbed to their negativity itself proves that they are a fighter. You can also highlight certain accomplishments and victories achieved in the past. Such talks are what they need to hear to boost up their morale. Keep telling constantly how well life has been managed till now and as a person, what good qualities have they reflected. Shouldering multiple responsibilities and tackling with all of them is a commendable job, after all!

Relationships aren’t for getting things. They are for giving things. So, start giving happiness to your friend by supporting immensely during depression. That ways, you can contribute in doing something good in this world and in making someone else’s world happier.