In part 1 of this blog we explored some tips for helping a friend with depression. In this blog I will continue to focus on some other things that may help a friend in their recovery.
- Seek professional help
It is important to make sure that your loved one is receiving support and professional advice from mental health professionals. Together with leading a healthy lifestyle, the best treatment for depression is the combination of psychotherapy (where a person can explore their emotions) and medication (which may be helpful to manage the neurochemical imbalances that there might be.) Supporting a friend with depression might mean going with them for their appointments and/or encouraging them to attend regular appointments. You can also help by encouraging them to consider different options which can help them in their recovery.
- What you can say that helps:
- You are not alone in this. I am here for you.
- I may not be able to understand exactly how you feel, but I care about you and I will do my best.
- I am sorry that you are going through such a painful experience.
- You are important to me. Your life is important to me.
- Tell me what you need and how I can help you.
- I’m really proud of you for trying your best because I know that it isn’t easy.
There’s a natural impulse to want to fix the problems of people we love, but we can’t control a loved one’s depression. We can, however, control how well we take care of ourselves. It’s just as important for us to stay healthy as it is for the person with depression to get treatment, so please give importance to your own well-being as well. You might need somebody to talk to too and therapy is there for that reason also. Don’t put it all on your shoulders and keep in mind that recovery is possible.
Claire Borg is a gestalt psychotherapist at Willingness. She works with adolescents and adults. She has a special interest in mental health. She can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can visit her profile on: http://willingness.com.mt/team/claire-borg/