Recently we did a article about the ‘Signs & Solutions of Anxiety’, which spelled out the symptoms of anxiety and how to deal with it. In this article we will go through what are the signs of depression, and how you can help a friend with depression.
Anxiety and depression are often linked, and a person can deal with both of these mental illnesses at the same time. But depression can actually be seen opposite feeling of anxiety, although they share similar symptoms.
Suffering from anxiety often entails the feeling of you can’t stops, and if you do stop working, you feel immensely guilty.
Depression has you feeling emotionally exhausted, useless, it destroys your confidence in a way that it stops a person from engaging with others. It can seem that someone who deals with depression is really lazy, but infact they are so overwhelmed with the war in their mind that they’re exhausted. Also people who suffer quite badly from it have zero motivation.
Know the Signs
“But what are the signs of depression?”. “How do I know it’s depression and not a bad day?”. You would be surprised to know even the most outgoing, confident person can be suffering from depression. Yes there are those who cry for help, and there’s nothing wrong with that if help is needed. Often you’ll find people with depression are the loudest, most confident people which is surprising once they’ve told you. The signs for depression include:
- Isolation – cancelling plans often, avoiding social gathering
- Little or no eye contact – a sign of a fall in confidence
- Change in behaviour – loss of interest in hobbies
- Seems distracted – can’t focus, or finding it hard to concentrate
- Complains about being tired all the time/or lack of sleep
- Appearing unstable – not knowing how to respond properly, seem distant
Take it Seriously
Depression is a very serious mental illness: it is not like a cold which can disappear over a week or two, but it lingers and can increase in intensity if it is not tackled. If your friend comes to you, or you discover their condition respect their privacy. Most of those who suffer from depression are ashamed about it. They see themselves as weak, and the thought of having anyone know about their depression is soul destroying.
This is the simplest and easiest thing you can do to help a friend with depression, even if you can’t understand what they’re going through, this is the one great thing you can support them.
Be A Shoulder To Cry On
Just being there is a fantastic way to support a friend who needs help for depression. Whether it’s listening to them on the phone, responding to that 3am “Hey, are you awake?” text or coming over to cheer them up when they’re having a down day.
Whether they’ve been bottling up their emotions and need to let loose, or tell you a little bit about what they’re thinking, listen.
Remember That Depression Doesn’t Define A Person
Depression is a mental illness, not a personality trait. So if you’re friend has been dealing with depression over a long period of time you might see it as another part of their personality. Depression can be genetic, it can be brought on by a traumatic event or spur from issues that have never been dealt with years ago. It can be a temporary state with the right support.
Remember your friend doesn’t want to be in the pain they’re feeling, although they may think they deserve it at times. This is a hard time they’re going through, so remind that the pain won’t be there forever and there are ways to help with depression such as counselling, meditation and getting active.
Remind Them How Wonderful They Are
In the darkness it can be hard to see the light. Your friend isn’t going to want to hear that they’re amazing, funny, smart etc. It’s not because they think that you’re lying, but you don’t see them for who they perceive themselves to be. They can see themselves are useless, worthless, annoying burdens.
It’s so important to remind your friend how wonderful they are; share great memories you’ve made together, remind of the great things they’ve done, and above all let them know the positive impact they’ve had on you as a friend.
Don’t Distance Yourself From Them
This is one of the worst things you can do to a close friend suffering from depression. It’s ok not to understand depression, it’s ok to have never been through it, but it is not ok to abandon your friend in their time of need. At times they can be difficult, isolating themselves from the world. Yes it may be hard to meet up with them. But you need to make the effort.
This can be anything from giving them a quick call to see how they are, or meeting up when it suits them. When you’re close to someone, whether a friend or loved one, and you cannot be there for them, it doesn’t go unnoticed and can be extremely hurtful to one hurting.
There you have it guys, a short guide to help you be a better friend to a friend in need of help for depression.