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Four things everyone may do to assist a depressed person

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I was as shocked as everyone else to learn that Robin Williams had killed himself. How could someone who made the world a happier and more humorous place feel so hollow on the inside that he took his own life? I think I didn’t realize how sincerely depressed he was or how simple it is to mask sentiments of hopelessness.

Unfortunately, people don’t realize how widespread this issue is; in 2012, an estimated 16 million American adults were diagnosed with depression.

When you consider the fact that 38,364 additional persons committed suicide in 2010 alone, it should be clear that people need help but aren’t receiving it in a way that is convenient for them.

I was inspired to learn how to assist someone with depression after watching tale after story about suicide and heartbreak.

So what can we, as regular people, do to assist those who are suffering from symptoms of depression and self-harm but lack the training to treat them?

There are at least four things you may do to support someone who is depressed, even though you might not be able to offer counseling.

1. SPEAKING WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT IS ONE OF THE EASIEST THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP SOMEONE WHO IS DEPRESSED. Over the past few years, I can’t recall a single day when I didn’t witness someone making a derogatory remark of some kind, whether it was online or in person.

When you stop to think about it, we’re all guilty of hurtful words. Unfortunately, we will never truly be able to tell if the person to whom we are speaking negatively is depressed, considering self-harm, or suffers from another mental health condition that we are not aware of.

Words have great power.
Can you envision how things could alter if you made the choice to support others rather than continue to criticize them?

This is crucial if you come across someone who exhibits symptoms of signs of depression , such as being perpetually down, lacking in energy, and losing interest in activities they once found enjoyable.

The least you can do is smile or wave at these people if you can’t say anything kind to them. Even the smallest actions can show someone you genuinely care about their wellbeing.

LISTEN TO THEM, second Did you know that by simply listening to someone who is depressed, you can help?

Over time, there has been a significant change in how we listen to individuals. Nowadays, when we have technology, it’s not unusual to see two people conversing while sending texts on their phones.

Even while you might feel like you are multitasking at the time, you are actually depriving the person you are conversing with of important attention.

This could come out as being insensitive if you do it to a sad individual who already feels useless and hopeless. Even worse, the individual can believe they are less significant than the phone you are texting on or the recipient of your messages.

For the upcoming few seconds, try to picture this:

Imagine you are presenting a brand-new product that you are incredibly enthusiastic about to 20 people. You discover that practically everyone in the audience has used their phones at some point while you are speaking. As the presentation continues, you start to feel more and more disheartened since no one is paying you their entire attention. You begin talking negatively about yourself as you leave the room since you don’t think your product was valuable or eye-catching enough.

If a person without depression feels deflated after something like this, how much worse do you think a person with depression will feel? Now, picture how a person with depression feels after something like this. It’s likely that it won’t make them feel better about themselves at all.

The moral of the story is that giving someone our FULL attention as we listen to them shows that we are prepared to ignore life’s distractions in order to concentrate on their unique wants and requirements.

Even if they simply exchange a few words with you, you still made an effort to give them the kind of time they may not have had in a long time.

3. Go with them when they visit a doctor or for a therapy session. A frightening experience might result from visiting a doctor or therapist, particularly if the depressed person is in such a deep slump and believes no one can assist. Additionally, it appears that receiving mental health treatment has a stigma, which frequently discourages people from seeking assistance out of concern that others would treat them poorly in return (e.g., “You’re too weak to repair this on your own”).

In addition to making the person feel more comfortable, being there again shows that you are willing to spend time with the person.

4. DISCARD ANY ADVICE THAT EXCEEDS YOUR KNOWLEDGE. Some of us have the innate desire to respond to issues with solutions. Despite our best efforts, our remarks sometimes come out as being judgemental or ignorant.

The truth is that we have no idea what someone suffering from depression is going through.
While there may be warning signs and symptoms along the road, we are unaware of the thoughts that are always running through their minds.

Try stating something straightforward like “I’m here for you” or “I care about you” if you feel the need to bring up their depression. In order to avoid doing more harm than good, stick to your capacity to offer support and a caring heart while letting the professionals handle the symptoms.

Final Reflections

Even though you might not be able to treat someone’s sadness, just by offering them support, you can actually have a long-lasting effect on their lives.

The least you can do is smile at a stranger, ask the grocery store clerk how her day is going, or do a random act of kindness since there are millions of people in our society today who are suffering from this dreadful mental illness.

I send you my best wishes for happiness in this life…

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