Depression is a psychological state that can leave an individual feeling hopeless, helpless and without purpose. It is more than simply having the blues or feeling sad. When someone you know is dealing with depression, you may be left with a feeling of helplessness as to how to approach him. However, if a person is depressed, it’s important that you reach out and try to talk and help him out so he can seek help for himself.
- Don’t pretend there’s nothing wrong. The worst thing you can do when someone you know is depressed is to pretend that there’s no problem. Ignoring it won’t make the problem go away. When you talk to the person, you can ask what’s wrong and let him know that you are there for him should he need anything. You can let the depressed person know that you notice there are some disturbing changes and you care for him.
- Take the initiative. You need to reach out to someone who is depressed. Don’t wait for the other person to make the initiative to talk to you or get help. In many instances, you may need to confront the person and let him know that there is something wrong. Give him a counselor’s phone number or tell him where he can go to seek help. You can even offer to drive him there.
- Take the person out. If you know that someone is depressed, you can be a friend by offering to take him out. Go outdoors and get some sun. Many depressed people choose to hide in isolation in their own homes, further making things worse. It can be as simple as taking the person out for lunch or going out for a walk together. Sometimes, simply changing up the scenery can be enough to help revive a person and help him get out of his stupor. One great activity that you can engage in together is exercise. Exercise can help alleviate depression because it releases endorphins in the body.
- Be patient. It can be frustrating to deal with someone who is depressed, especially when he is in denial. However, set aside your anger and frustration and remember that it isn’t about you. Rather, it’s about helping out your friend or loved one in need. Be patient and listen to him when he tells you his feelings or decides to share with you what is wrong.
- Offer suggestions on what he can do to deal with the depression. If your friend is clinically depressed, he will need to get professional help. Give him the name and number of a counselor or therapist. You can have him talk to a pastor at your church. Remind your friend the value of his life and all the other good things he has going for him.
Listen to your friend who is depressed and take the time to help him out. Use physical contact to let him know you care. It may not always be easy but you have a responsibility to see to your friend’s well-being.