Tips for Friends: Depression

According to a Google search , depression is “feelings of severe despondency and dejection.”  There are a number of different kinds of depression, including (but not limited to) Major depression, Persistent Depressive Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, and ‘Situational’ Depression.

Major Depression: is when someone feels depressed for long periods of time, and someone may experience a loss of interest in activities, weight loss or gain, a loss of energy, feeling of worthlessness, and thoughts of suicide.

Persistent Depressive Disorder: is when someone suffers from depression for two years or longer, and someone may experience chance in appetite, a lack of energy, low self-esteem, and sleeping too much or too little.

Bipolar Disorder: is when someone experiences episodes that range from extreme highs of energy to low depressive periods, and when in a low mood someone may experience symptoms of major depression.

‘Situational’ Depression: though it isn’t a technical term, someone suffering from this sort of depression may be having problems dealing with a stressful event in their life.

Depression, in any form, can affect anyone that is any age. When someone approaches you with concerns about depression, avoid saying some of the following: ‘it’s all in your head’, ‘we all go through tough times’, ‘just snap out of it’, ‘whats wrong with you?’, and ‘shouldn’t you be better by now?’

Tips if a friend approaches you with concerns about depression:

-Remind them that they are not alone in their struggles, and that you are there for them. Tell them that they matter, and to keep holding on.

-Encourage, or offer to help, them to find help. Depression can’t be beat through willpower, and by reaching out for help your friends journey can begin in a healthy way.

-Ask your friend a lot of questions, as they can help you understand your friends situation and learn what they have been dealing with. Some good questions to ask include: how long have you been feeling this way? Can you think of anything that may have made you feel this way? Is there anything that makes you feel better or worse?

-One of the best forms of medicine is laughter, and making a friend laugh at the right time can do a lot for them.

-Listen. Throw away any judgements you may have about depression, and just listen to the concerns of your friend. Your friend is reaching out to for a reason, and it’s because they trust you enough to open up to you about their deepest worries and fears.

For further information on depression please visit the following websites: Help guide, 9 Ways to help and Types of Depression.


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