How to Help a Depressed Friend

Depression and anxiety are common. However, as common as they are, a majority of the people don’t know what to do when someone their care for is struggling through depression or anxiety.

Here are a few tips on how to help and support a depressed friend:

Educate Yourself

The first thing that you can do to support your friend going through depression is not disregard and dismiss what they’re feeling because you’re uninformed. Study, seek guidance and help, and educate yourself in order to distinguish between regular sadness and depression. You don’t have to become a psychotherapist and know everything – even the most basic knowledge about the condition might help you be more understanding and empathetic towards your friend.

Be Present

It’s easy to lose touch with a depressed friend because more often than not, they don’t have the strength to hang out and are unlikely to initiate contact. Be present for your friend so that they know you’re available, should they need help.

Be Mindful Of Conversations

People struggling with depression are rarely in the mood to talk and discuss their depression or difficult things. You don’t have to be pushy or continue talking just to keep a conversation going. If you do have to broach a potentially sensitive topic, try to do so at a time where they’re feeling relaxed and are receptive to your discussion.

Listen

If you’re friend is willing to talk, be patient and let them speak.  Encourage them to open up to you and discuss their feelings and thoughts. Acknowledge and validate them instead of dismissing them as inconsequential or talking over them.

Encourage Acceptance

Depression is not a condition that goes away on its own. It needs to be acknowledged and people need to actively seek professional help in order to get better. As a friend, to support your loved one going through depression, you need to encourage them to work with a therapist that can help them cope with depression. Encourage them to accept themselves and to reach out to an experienced professional. If they’re hesitant to do so on their own, offer to go with them to provide extra support.

Therapy in Burbank can be a step to help your loved one find new ways of coping with their depression.