What is the best way to deal with a friend who is depressed for genuine reasons?
What is the best way to deal with such a problem and help a friend who is depressed ?
I don't know about 'the best way.' I expect that lies in the realm of the Psychology experts. However, I've met with a few people who were depressed, even diagnosed as clinically depressed, and feel I've been able to help bring them through a lot of their problems and into a more positive way of looking at their lives.
First thing is friendship. Be a friend who is willing to meet with them over a cup of coffee - or even a day out somewhere. Do a lot of listening. Keep the conversation rolling but be aware if they just want you to be quiet. Let them lead the conversation and take a genuine interest.
Write them letters. Not just emails or cards, but genuine, indepth letters about your own feelings about life. They will then feel that they need to say their piece in writing to you, too. This will help them clarify a lot of things in their minds.
Keep it up. You don't have to do it a lot, but do it so that they feel they do have a real friend in you.
Hope this has helped.
Sundeep, the first step is to take him to an expert psyciatirsit if his condition is too serious. However, if there is a mild depression, it can be cured with a sincere guidance to the patient, like telling him to inculcate a right attitude to ups and downs of life for these are natural and nobody can escape from these in one's course of living. He can be provided with literature of this kind to savor and learn a true art of living. All his friends should approach him constantly and should not leave him alone. Listening to soulful music and songs will also give him a great comfort. Apart from these, I would suggest a curious way though it is related to the religious stuff. As per our religious texts, our body is like Goddess Shakti, the manifested form of God of the gods or Mahadeva and our soul is like Mahadeva Himself. With this body, we have to savor worldly comforts and sadness and with the soul, we have to see Mahadeva Himself. Now, tell your friend that if he is not appreciating this life in body form, he is not feeling a great energy that is Goddess Shakti, the most beautiful and divine form of Mahadeva Himself. Though this is a Hindu way of life. the symbols expressed for body and soul are really universal in nature. You would agree that every one of us irrespective of our belief, is greatly attached to our body and takes a great pleasure in the comforts given to it and when in prayer to God, our soul feels ecstasy.So, this way, he can be persuaded to appreciate life and face obstacles and hardships with courage as these will also pass as everything passes or parishes in this world. You yourself are a great teacher and counsellor and mine is a humble advice, it would be my great pleasure if you feel it a proper one to be parted with your friend.
Shut up and be there.
Our ears are the best medicine. (I reckon I should shut up now :-)
Once I had this problem. A friend of mine suddenly landed up to my house in a very depressed state. Of course her problem did not seem to be genuine to me at all. I kept on thinking how can one get depressed for such silly problem when there are too many problems around. Any way I gave her counseling showing many examples of problems faced by people around us. In due course of time she changed. Of course I would not take the entire credit as she took the advice of a psychiatrist also who put her on medication. I wish no one enters into such a situation as our mental courage gives us energy to fight with every problem.
Distract him or her from what is causing the depression. Take him to places, do fun activities like basketball, baseball and if you're into computer games, play DOTA, LOL, Starcraf2, help him find a distraction. He'll move on faster.
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