When a friend confesses that they have strong feelings of depression or that they’ve been diagnosed with anxiety, it can come as a surprise. If they open up to you about how they feel, you might feel confused and not know what you’re supposed to do. Before giving up on your desire to help, remember the following steps when dealing with your loved one’s depression:
There Are Physical Causes
Sometimes, a peak in emotional distress can be caused by forces that are clearly external. It takes a long time to truly see and develop an awareness of the symptoms of depression. However, you don’t have to wait for those to pop up before making a move to help someone you love. If they have a problem with their body, help them with their accountability diets and workouts. If they feel ugly and you know the reason is skin-deep, get them skin rash treatment at a nearby clinic in Provo. Your friend doesn’t have to suffer in helpless silence. You’re there to take them to the next step of recovery.
There Are Unseen Illnesses
Some disabilities are invisible, such as severe anxieties, PTSD, mania, and phobias. While they exhibit certain physical symptoms, people who live with them look like they’re perfectly healthy. Just because you can’t see that something is wrong doesn’t mean that nothing is wrong. Have they stopped communicating with you? Are they neglecting their hygiene? Do they skip meals? What seems like ordinary signs of stress can be a sign of growing problems.
It’s Not Imaginary
Have you ever encountered someone who dismissed everything with a wave of a hand? Did you ever grow up feeling unsupported by friends and family even if you were feeling unhappy and upset? Did you ever get told that your problems weren’t big enough to worry about? People who are living with mental illness don’t like it as much as you do. It creates and perpetuates ignorance when another human being suffers and no one takes them seriously. There are many ways to encourage someone without being disingenuous. Tell them that you believe them, share the moment in silence, and take a moment to thank them for still being here.
You Can Stay Silent
You aren’t expected to be the psychotherapist to solve their problems. You can be honest with them and say that you don’t know how to help them fix their lives. What you can do is be present when you can and listen to them talk. Some people just need to get it out of their system and hear their own thoughts said verbally. This will help them reconsider their stance in life and encourage them to take better steps in self-care. Hugs are free, and you can give as many literal and figurative ones in these quiet moments.
Healing takes time, and no one can truly do it by themselves. Be the friend that they need and spend a few minutes talking to them online or even just asking how they are in person. You don’t need to be the expert in their illness. You simply need to be there.