All of your relationships, from acquaintances to romances, from friendship to lovers require mutual respect, honesty, support, trust, fairness, good communication, and reciprocity.
However, once in a lifetime your friend might suddenly clam up on you though you text, chat and speak to each other every day, you might suspect that there is something on her mind. But when you call her again, your phone call is straightly switched to voicemail.
This might be because your friend is in depression and she doesn’t want to hang out with you. You definitely want to cheer her up so that you can hang out with her. If you’re wondering what steps you can take to light up her world, this article is for you.
Depression is one of the most common mental disorders today. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression. It is a leading cause of disability.
Under stress from issues such as unemployment, the economy tanking and relationship issues, a growing number of people are facing stressors that intensify the likelihood of depression and other mental disorders.
The symptoms of depression include low mood, fatigue, loss of appetite, sleep apnea, physical complaints, loss of interest in previous hobbies, loss of hope. Here are 5 steps that will show you how to help a loved one experiencing depression.
Encourage Them To Seek Help
The first and foremost thing when you find out that your friend is depressed is to encourage her to seek help. It might be from her mom, dad, relatives, doctor or a professional mental health consultant.
Once she is depressed, she might feel like there is no hope for anything and she has very little energy to get help.
- Be honest and help your friend admit that she is depressed.
- Offer to take her to a practitioner or a mental health professional.
- Let her be aware of the seriousness of depression as a treatable ailment.
If she has already been treated but there is no improvement, ask her to see her doctor as soon as possible to evaluate the situation and change her medication.
Be There For Them
It seems obvious that since your friend is depressed, you should be there for her. But how do you do this when she doesn’t initiate conversations or refuses to respond to phone calls or text messages?
Those who suffer from depression usually lack initiative, and they might end up isolating themselves and ruminating over their issues.
Offer to take her for a walk in a beautiful place, such as a park, or to a funny movie so that she can start to feel better.
Try to listen rather than offer advice, and be as patient as you can rather than pushy.
Initially, your friend might not listen to you and not take your opinion into consideration, or she might think she is able to conquer her issues by herself.
Try not to dismiss her hopelessness. Instead, you can explain to her that these feelings are temporary and can be treated.
A friend in need is a friend indeed. You can support your friend with some concrete tasks that she doesn’t seem to complete by herself.
Helping with her daily tasks might strengthen your friendship and help mitigate her problems.
You could bring her favorite food or play her favorite games with her or simply offer to help her with housework such as laundry or cooking.
Be Prepared For The Worst
If your friend mentions self-harm, death or even worse, suicide, you should directly ask her whether she feels suicidal.
Whether she does or not, remind her about how important she is and how much people care about her, and that she requires immediate professional help.
Never let the burden of having an anxious and depressed friend be only yours. Ensure that you inform somebody else (her parent or her partner or her doctor) about the problems that you are facing.
Depression is a mental disorder that anyone can face these days regardless of age, gender, and income level. However the risk for women, previously married, unemployed, or those who are unable to work seems to be higher.
There are limits to what a friend can do and how involved one can be. Nonetheless, supporting a friend with serious depression all the way to a cure can mean the difference between life and death.
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