Tuesday, May 21, 2013

How To Help Someone Who is Depressed?

While most of the people visiting this blog are likely to be suffering from depression themselves, we know for a fact that many people who take interest in this subject do it because they're looking for a way to help a close friend or relative who is suffering from depression. If that's your case, this article was written with you in mind. Here, we're focusing on practical strategies that you can use to actually help that special someone. Understand their premise: to begin with, you can't really help someone who is depressed unless you can understand what they're going through, at least on an intellectual level. To this effect, you should do your own research in websites like this one. The accumulated knowledge will help you better related to someone who's struggling with depression, and it will also help you notice the warning signs. Having knowledge of their predicament will increase the chances of you connecting with the person in a way they feel comfortable opening up to you. Listen, and be prepared: often, a depressed person will endure through months of years on holding back on their depressive feelings, and keeping them bottled with fear of being misunderstood. So when you offer to listen to their problems, be prepared to really listen... and make your best effort not to pass judgment, no matter what you hear them say: a person suffering from major depression will likely speak in terms that will seem a little strange or crazy you, assuming you’re someone who hasn't suffered from this sickness. Be prepared for that. Take the person seriously: if the person you're trying to help claims they're enduring unimaginable suffering, or even if they bring up suicidal thoughts... do not assume they're just exaggerating. Those are very real, very common feelings among people suffering from major depression, and the chances they'll actually follow through with suicidal attempts are actually considerable. Show the person that you realize they're going through hell, even if you've never personally experience quite the same feelings. Prompt for treatment: try to encourage the person you're helping to seek the help of an accredited therapist. Offer to accompany them on their first couple of sessions, if they find the support beneficial. Make a point of telling them how treatments for depression are quite effective these days, and explain there's absolutely no embarrassment in seeking treatment for a mental disorder. Be there: do not patronize; never tell a depressed person to just "shake it off". Never make them feel you're thinking too light-heartedly about their condition. Most importantly, do not in any way let them feel inferior to you. Just be there, willing to listen and fully receptive. Focus on listening more so than on passing advice.

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