If you have a friend who is suffering from depression, you can help this person in many ways. This kind of psychological problem can lead to more serious issues, such as suicide or complicated psychiatric conditions, and therefore, support is important. If you can ease a person’s sadness, then you can save a life or change someone’s daily existence for the better.
Take Your Friend Out To Relax
When you have time to spare, give your friend a call and invite him or her for a night out. You do not have to have some extravagant night or go beyond your financial means to cheer someone up. Watching a nice movie, not a sad film, can entertain your friend and help them forget about his problems for a short time. You can also ask your friend out for dinner or coffee and talk about positive things over a meal or cup of coffee.
Don’t Pretend Everything's Okay
Ignoring the fact that your friend is depressed will not help. The best approach would be to acknowledge that you know your friend is depressed. After acknowledging this fact, you can ask your friend to open up about the problems affecting him or her. Help your friend accept and admit that they are suffering from a psychological problem. Encourage them to seek professional help from a therapist.
Have a Heart-to-Heart Talk
Once you start to have a heart-to-heart talk with a sad friend, find out what the basis for their depression is. Their condition could be caused by a bad break-up, loss of a family member or close friend, or loss of employment, to name a few. Once you know the real reason for the depression, ask your friend how you can help.
Watch Your Words
When trying to talk to a depressed friend, be careful about your statements, questions, and answers because saying the wrong thing might make your friend even more upset. Be cautious about rejecting their request right away if you have asked what you can do to help. If you immediately say that you are unable to help as you had expected to, this could lead your friend into a deeper depression.
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Don’t Joke About It
Never joke around about your friend’s condition, whether you do it in front of your pal or behind his or her back. Your statements may eventually lead their way back to the subject of your joke. Never belittle someone’s problems, even if you don't think it is a grave or serious dilemma. Some issues may not mean much to you, but they could be very important to someone depressed about it.
Listen More And Speak Less
Try to understand your friend’s point of view, and give advice that is tailored to your friend’s present situation. It is always best to leave this part to a professional, and it should be your responsibility to suggest that your friend see a professional for therapy or treatment. Make your friend aware that you are there for them when they need you, but that at the end of the day, know that you are not qualified to give the best help or advice.
Encourage Your Friend To Seek Professional Help
Accompany your friend to a therapist or doctor if you have to. The first trip to a psychologist or psychiatrist is never easy for the patient. Your friend may make all kinds of excuses not to go see a therapist. Assure your friend that you will be there throughout their professional treatment, and you may actually be able to convince him to seek counseling.