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15 Jul 2020, Edition - 1828, Wednesday

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Health & Lifestyle

How To Be A Friend To Someone Battling Depression


“I don’t feel like coming out tonight.”

“But why? Come out, you will feel better. It’s just a mood swing.” “It’s not a mood swing. I don’t feel like I can come out and socialize.” “You will be fine.”

How many of us have had this conversation with a friend? It always ends in one person being disappointed and the other feeling confused. I know because I have been in there.

Battling depression isn’t easy at all. It’s exhausting, hard, and a long journey. But what makes it a little easier is a constant flow of support from your friends and family.

Anyone who has battled a mental illness will tell you that much. But sometimes family and friends aren’t as prepared or educated about the subject of mental health as to deal with it. It requires conversation to change that. So if you have a friend or family member battling depression, here are a few things you can keep in mind.

1. Listen

…to what the other person is saying. Hear them out, and hear them out well. Listen to them to listen and not to offer anything, until asked. The chances are you don’t understand what the other person is going through but you will if you patiently listen to that they have to say. A person battling depression sometimes just wants to be heard out, without any judgments or advice.

2. Ask

…when you have a question about what they are telling you. Ask rather than assume. Ask because that’s shows you care about what the person is trying to get through to you.

3. Don’t push them

…into doing something you think is going to be a good way forward. A person battling depression is vulnerable and faces a lot of volatile emotions. They might be okay one day and in a very bad condition the very next day. So one needs to be patient and not overbearing. Go with them, guide them – but everything at their own pace.

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