Question of the Day – No. 423

What’s the best way to approach a depressed person so he/she can feel better?

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75 thoughts on “Question of the Day – No. 423

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    1. Two days after posting this question I had to interact with someone who tried to commit suicide because of depression. I must say, it was a tough discussion and it’s very hard to normalize things and in the same time to validate those extreme feelings…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Let him/her talk to you and let him/her tell you everything that is in her/his mind..
    And you just have to understand and give her console..
    Depressed people need special care, love, protection and respect.. 😊😊

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yeah, I agree. But at what point must a person decide for themselves what they want? I used to be depressed, a cutter even back in High School. It was really bad. But I had to get out of a funk by positive self talk and wanting the change for myself. It doesn’t really matter how we approach a depressed person. It’s up to them what they want and they usually decide before people try to lighten their mood. I was relentless in self pity for awhile. Not everyone is the same of course and I do want everyone happy!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Treat them like regular people.
    No comments. No recommendations. No comforting. No special care, except the one of true professionals. No thoughtfulness that might result in additional feelings of guilt (simply live your life). Provide them space for retreat. Do not have any expectations. Accept them like they are – even with their depression symptoms. Do not take issues (depression-driven behavior & words) personal. Stay cool and provide an example or vision how life could be without depression – acting like a light house.
    In case of suicidal thoughts of the patient, seek professional help immediately.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly. The patient shouldn´t be reduced to its disease. Even with a depression, you are much more than this admittedly serious handicap. It would be no helpful at all to identify yourself with your disease. In fact, many patients utilize diseases to stay in their comfort zone (in psychology, it is called benefit of disease) avoid to resolve their issues in life…and they prefer to be pampered and being in the centre of attention.

        Even if somebody is suffering from a deep depression and is hopeless, this approach to treat him like anybody else might be better in my view, because in worst case scenario: chronic depression, the challenge will be to learn how to manage your disease / symptoms to minimize the impact on your life. The target is to stay (high-)functional despite of downs and other symptoms.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I experienced this recently with an individual who is suicidal. I asked her if she’d mind sitting down with me and her husband for a few minutes. In front of her, I asked her husband if he could remain silent while she spoke. He agreed and I said to him, “if you speak, I will ask you to stop.” He reluctantly agreed. I asked her a single question, “please tell us why you want to die.” She remained silent for a couple of minutes and we waited. When she started to speak we just listened and we listened and we listened. Her husband did interrupt her, but I asked him to please just listen. After a minute she started to speak, scream, weep; she did this for 90 minutes. After it was over she slept. Since this experience about two months ago, with the help of a good therapist, who continues to listen, she is feeling better. My best guess is that she just wants to be heard.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It seems that sometimes people just want to be treated like people… they have feelings, thoughts, desires, fears, difficulties and so on. The problem probably appears when people are not treated entirely as people and their humanity doesn’t get expressed or listened to…

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  4. Just give them a hug and let them share what they want to share. Ask questions where they leave openings. Try and help them see their own solutions to their problems, or point some out. Show them where they’re being their own worst enemy with the thoughts they have spinning in their heads and help them with their mind game. Remind them that they’re the key to their own happiness.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think that “not excessive” is key here because they’ll tend to think they’re worse than they actually are just because they see too much kindness… They could also get pissed of by this.

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  5. I know its wrong but the first thing that came to mind was to offer them a beer. I usually just try to listen and offer advice or suggest something fun. Also to find something positive that they might get a hold on to snap out of it.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. …No, in my view it is not wrong..sitting side by side…without need to talk or listen…might be of more value than anything else.
      People, who are depressive, feel not understood and disconnected anyway…and socializing is regarded as an excessive demand. It is part of of depression. In most cases these symptoms are covered up…and are sometimes overcompensated. It is no incident that many comedians are suffering or had suffered from depressions.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. What’s really helped when my friends approach – don’t go in trying to “fix” them but just be there to support them. Understand balance so that you know when to just listen and when to offer advice – with that being said, understand the difference between giving advice to someone who’s sad and giving advice to someone who’s depressed…the kinds of words used can have a positive or negative impact. Check-ins here and there go a long way, too!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. …provided that they want to talk.
      In many (or even most) cases, they don`t want to talk or let their shield down if it is a more severe depression.
      The right timing is critical…and in most cases a matter of incident. it is about utilizing the slightest upswing and reinforce it as much as possible.
      Actually, it only person concerned who is capable to help himself. He/she has to activate the switches. Depressions are an internal affair. Others can only keep their doors open.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. …or maybe it might make them step back and consider what’s this suicide thing really all about. What is the point of suicide? Is it a form of rebellion? If it’s about depression and not some biological matter, then suicide is a statement and maybe not the most effective way of getting one’s point across. If your point is “you just can’t stand it anymore”, then don’t. Put a change of clothes in a bag, head out the door, keep walking and don’t look back. You have nothing left to lose and someone called that freedom.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. …provided that they want to talk.
      In many (or even most) cases, they don`t want to talk or let their shield down if it is a more severe depression.
      The right timing is critical…and in most cases a matter of incident. it is about utilizing the slightest upswing and reinforce it as much as possible.
      Actually, it only person concerned who is capable to help himself. He/she has to activate the switches. Depressions are an internal affair. Others can only keep their doors open.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve suffered from depression for a very long time and I’ve never hidden it from anyone, I’ve always been very open about it and because of this I’ve had friends and people I’ve not known very well come to me to talk.

    The first things I say to people is that yes I suffer from depression and yes I’m on the Happy Pills if you need anyone to talk to feel free to talk to me at any time. What you tell me will never be judged or talked about with anyone else apart from you. I’m a good listener and the advice I give people is:

    Be kind to yourself
    Go and talk with your GP if you haven’t all ready done so
    Try and take some time out to pamper yourself like a nice long bath where nobody can disturb you
    Try and look in to meditation
    If your going to drink alcohol don’t drink too much as it will bring you down even more
    If you need to cry you go ahead and cry or have a scream as we need a way to release our feelings.
    Try adult colouring.

    One of my friends has been struggling badly this year with depression and I’ve listened to her given her the advice as above and tried to give good advice about the other things that trouble her.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Well we now make sure we meet up every week and just talk about anything and everything. It’s brought us closer and she has said to me that she is so glad we are friends and that she can talk to me about anything and not feel judged.
        We met up this Saturday as I could tell from her text msgs that she was struggling so we went out for a few coffees and a 5 hour chat. It was a nice day so we spent it outside in one of the gardens in out town. She keeps thanking me all the time and I tel her she doesn’t need to keep thanking me as we’re friends and we’re there for each other.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It is great that you could prove your qualities as a loving and caring friend.
      I think., it is necessary to differentiate the response to Bogdans questions according the severity / degree of depression, co-morbiditiies and causes for depression.
      Advises like to meet friends, do sports, enjoy hobbies or wellness or any other kind of quality time can be perceived as slap in the face, frankly speaking.
      Because if you are severely depressed, you are not able to do exactly these things – and if you are able to painfully force yourself, you cannot enjoy it, which makes your depression, negative thoughts and exhaustion usually even worse.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes I agree with that, the severity of depression has to be handled carefully if someone was really down I’d offer to help contact their GP and even take them so they know their not alone.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Yes, sometimes it can ease the burden of a crisis if somebody stays cool down to earth and delegates responsibility.
        It always depends on the single case and circumstances. You are very kind…and your friend certainly appreciate your support.

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Tell them you’ve noticed their melancholy.

    It’s essential to be sincere, gentle and openminded so that when you ask them if they want to talk about it they would feel safe and even validated, that someone is finally listening and that they might not be judged or have their confiding in you at risk of compromise.

    I have depression and anxiety, (for four years) confirmed by my recent doctor. And it’s utterly miserable when you think you’re alone, useless and irredeemable. It’s hellish to articulate everything that’s going on. I’ve been given pills to help with my shit quality of sleep but as for the rest, it looks like I am on my own.

    If you are willing to approach a depressed person it means you are investing your attention and interest in their well being, so you need to be consistent. Not a babysitter really, just don’t leave them hanging after they would have spilled all their inner turmoil.

    Even if you can’t understand them, try to, and be kind.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you. They come from a mixture of issues that I’m trying to disentangle, but mostly they come from a sense of not being enough and that I never will be, and I’m in the family business, in a role the anthesis to my nature.

        As a result, I’m losing pieces of myself and am becoming numb. These things are not simple to explain to most people. However, recently I’ve finally seen a doctor, given pills for my lack of sleep, seems to be working. Thanks for asking, Bogdan. I hope you are well.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Great to see all the compassionate answers. I like someone to listen (without trying to interrupt or fix it), and receiving hugs from friends is nice. In my opinion, the very nicest thing you can do for a depressed person is bring them a cooked meal or groceries.
    Thanks for the question. -Rebecca

    Liked by 1 person

  10. In my experience the best way is just show up. Sit in the same space with that person. Lie on their bed with them. Say nothing. Maybe don’t even touch them. Just be.
    Resist the urge to speak. Just breathe with them.
    Once they feel more comfortable with your presence they may begin to feel safer.
    Be present. Be still. Be quiet. And above all, open your heart. Love will spill out into the space and they will soak it up.
    No one can ‘fix’ depression. Just show up, sometimes knowing one is not alone is enough

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I have bipolar, affection works. Sometimes when the person or me is too withdrawn, put them on a suicide watch and take them to the doctor for medication review. Remarks like… get over it, tomorrow will be better. somewhere there must be a silver lining, the light in the tunnel is not a train light. Now that might get you a punch on the nose or a further withdrawal. It also depends on severity of depression. Some people just get depressed for a time and others like me battle that black dog always.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. After reading the comments of others and writing a couple of comments by myself, I`d like to highlight…That it might be most helpful to really “see” the person as unique personality (behind his mask and behavioral patterns) with his / her needs “here and now” (next time the needs can have changed) …and to respond to it carefully.
        There are no cooking recipes…it always depends on.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. I love this question because:
    More than half of the U.S population are either depressed or have experience depression, meanwhile we are still struggling with finding “the right approach”
    I think depression is a need to be heard and/or understood. Instead of a diagnosis that needs to be cured with Zoloft

    Liked by 1 person

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