Helping a Friend with Depression
If you know someone who is suffering from depression it can be difficult to know how best to help. Perhaps you feel they should talk about their problems but then find they won’t open up to you. Or maybe you think getting out of the house will make them feel better but find they turn your invites down. Well, the truth is that depression can be very complicated and often there isn’t a simple way in which to help so you shouldn’t take it personally if they reject your company or refuse your assistance. There are however some practical steps you can take to help a friend with depression.
If your friend hasn’t already spoken to professionals about their depression, you can encourage them to seek advice. Some people are worried about asking for help but you can reassure them that a GP or counsellor will have seen lots of people suffering with the same issues and will be able to provide practical support.
Simply being available is important. Even if your friend is shutting themselves away from the world they will feel reassured to know that you are there so continue to offer to chat even if they turn you down. If they won’t pick up the phone, perhaps send a card every now and again to let them know you are thinking of them.
If a friend is struggling with daily life, they may need practical support such as help with grocery shopping or laundry. You may want to offer to help with small tasks but be ready to back off if they would rather be alone.
For more advice about depression, visit: www.mind.org.uk
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