I recently came to the understanding that depression is more common than I had thought. It's hard to see someone going through such sadness, but it's especially hard when it is one of your friends. It's common knowledge that someone who is depressed feels alone. As someone who has been through depression, it's difficult to deal with all of the emotions and numbness by yourself. Depression is hard on those experiencing it and it's hard on the ones who care about that person, especially when this is a new concept in one's life. Learning how to handle depression can be easy, but its the recovery that is difficult; which is why everyone needs a friend. It can be hard being the friend that helps another with a mental illness, especially if you don't know exactly how to help. This list consists of some of the things I do for my friends who are in need of TLC. Although depression can be tricky, it can be cured.
1. Learn about depression
If you don't know much about how to handle the situation, read about depression. Learn about how it works and how you can help. It's important to be educated on a topic that you are helping someone else with so you are able to help them more accurately. If you don't understand it, then that's okay too, just communicate that with your friend.
2. Be there for them
Make sure that they know they have someone to talk to or at least they have someone to listen to them. A lot of the time, people feel alone so its good to know when they have someone they can talk to. However, sometimes this can be a difficult task. Remember that you do not have to be their therapist and it is okay not to take on that role. You can still be there for them in other ways if this one seems overwhelming.
3. Offer advice
Not only do people usually need someone to talk to, they often want an outside point of view on their situation. It's best to be sympathetic and kind since the advice is being given on a sensitive topic. If they decide not to talk about it, they might open up to you later about it. One thing you could say to help them feel better is "you won't always feel this way." Let them know that the pain will pass.
4. Bring them snacks
Something I like to do is bring my friends snacks or extra food that was made. Doing this lets them know that you're thinking about the. Plus, who doesn't love it when their friends bring them food?
5. Leave nice notes
You can write on sticky notes, notebook paper, a mirror, or any form of communication, really. You can write a nice message like a quote, advice, inspiration, or something personal that you think would help. Seeing these usually makes my friends' day, giving them a mood boost.
6. Help them find ways to cope
Hear them out on what they think might help and offer coping mechanisms that you think they would benefit from.
7. Check in on them
Usually people who endure depression don't like to bother other people about it. So, if you ask them they might be more inclined to tell you.
8. Make them a playlist
You can make a playlist of happy songs, sad songs, jams, or even your favorite songs. Since music is commonly used as therapy, there is no harm in creating a playlist that your friend will appreciate.
9. Spend time with them
Spending time with your friend will only help the case. Whether it's just playing video games, driving around, or getting out of the house. Whatever you decide to do, your friend will appreciate the time that you spent with them.