Are you approaching those with depression in the right way? Are they finding you helpful or are you just annoying the life out of them. Find out how to help someone with depression without being a know it all.
Knowing how to help someone with depression, especially in this day and age, is an essential tool to have. We are hearing time and time again that mental illness is on the rise and that there isn’t enough medical help to go around. So what can you do? As a normal citizen of this planet, what can you actually do to make a difference?
In this weeks ‘How to Help Someone With Depression’ video, I talk about 5 ways you can reach that person who is slowly falling down the rabbit hole. Find out how you can offer support and advice without coming across as a bit of a know it all and discover what techniques YOU can learn to help someone deal with their depression.
I think I’m right in saying that the mental illness issue is at crisis point. All you have to do is log on to Tumblr and you can see how many young people have formed strong communities, to help those struggling around the world. The fact is, the younger generations are more clued up about it than the older, and it is the older generations that hold the power to making actual, practical change (for now at least).
How do you talk to someone with depression?
As I say in the video, talking to someone with depression doesn’t have to be awkward or uncomfortable for everyone involved. Most of the time, it’s the person that doesn’t have depression that struggles with starting the conversation, because they are worried about offending or embarrassing the other person.
The truth is, the more honest and open you are about it all, the better the conversation will be. Mental health is an area that we shouldn’t tip-toe around. It’s important not to throw in a ‘trigger‘ for those strongly affected, but overall, sometimes it just takes a bit of bluntness and pure honesty to get the ball rolling.
How can you relate if you’ve never had depression?
Well, you don’t have to relate exactly. It’s more important to create an understanding, based on facts and research, than to relate and try to empathise with how someone is feeling. We can never truly relate to something we’ve never experienced, because every thought and feeling is different. Even the same thoughts that pop into your head on a daily basis aren’t the same as the ones you had the day before.
Conduct some thorough research around the symptoms and affects of depression, to really gain an understanding of what the other person is going through. Make sure you are keeping up to date with their thoughts, feelings, hobbies and interests, that way you’ll always have something to talk about that doesn’t directly relate to their illness.
Should you be actively coming up with a solution to help them?
No. It may be helpful to show an interest in their treatments and recovery, but it’s not up to you to force that person to get help. The unfortunate truth is that the person has to actually want to be helped to make it work, particularly in therapy. Unless you’re being pumped full of drugs to help with your mental illness, which may be the most effective treatment for some people, therapy only works if the patient puts the work in.
You can help them by giving them prompts to do their work, such as writing a journal or challenging negative thoughts, or even offer them resources and places to contact to get treatment, but on the most part, it’s all down to them to get the help they need.
That last part may seem harsh and it may not be the correct approach for every single case of mental illness, it is a pretty broad area after all. However, from my experience with depression and anxiety, it’s the truth of it.
If you want to see the full list of all 5 tips and tricks, give the video a little watch and make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel for lots more videos!