Listen to Donna speak about helping a friend with depression:
There cannot be anything quite so frustrating as to want to help someone who is severely depressed.
- These are folks who can barely get out of bed in the morning.
- They often don’t want to eat. They don’t go to work.
- They neglect themselves and those close to them.
- They have sought professional help. That didn’t work.
- Logic doesn’t help.
- Advice from anyone is not heard.
- The words, “snap out of it”! do not help. (That is horrible advice)
- If this is someone you are living with or close to, you start with basics.
- You encourage them to talk. Have them tell you why they are depressed.
- It may not make any sense at all, but you simply need to listen.
- Just listen.
- If you have the chance, help them with meals. Healthy food.
No junk food. No sweets. No excess carbs. Easy on the caffeine. No booze.
Lots of vegetables, good proteins, good carbs. Lots of water.
Make it tasty.
- * Then, do your best to take them out.
- * First take them for a car ride. Drive to a park and get out and walk.
- * Breathe the air. This is so important.
- The more you can get them moving, the more progress you will make.
Ask them to help you. Say, if they are good on computers, ask them to help you (everyone needs help with computers, don’t they?).
They may be good at accounting, art, music – find something that is within their abilities and comfort zone and ask them to help. Often depression is a result of feeling worthless. Ask them for advice. If you’re facing a dilemma and you know they have given good advice in the past, ask them, “what do you think I should do in this case?” That validates their being, their opinions.
Sit down with them and have them express their feelings on paper or on computer. Maybe they’re good at writing philosophical bits. Post them on Facebook. Encourage Facebook friends to respond.
At first you will be frustrated. But stick with it. Be extra patient.
You know that person. You believe in them. You want them to get better. Whatever, don’t give up on them.
I have worked with people who are depressed, with depression. When my treatment is finished, they often say “I feel lighter”. That is a good first step.
Contact me if you would like help for someone who is depressed. It may take a while to recover, but it’s a beginning. We all need hope that that special person in your life will get better.