Some of the red flags of a mental illness are not something that we can easily notice. We ignore some details because we believe them to be part of someone’s personality and traits. We understand the complication of the sudden change in words, emotions, and reactions that can mean a thing. However, it does not guarantee a definite conclusion of someone severely dealing with a mental health problem. Not unless that person tells us everything about what he is going through emotionally and mentally.
The responsibility of helping someone with depression is different from helping ourselves fight the mental health battle. Our ways of handling ourselves are a bit overrated because we feel like the world owes us a lot. When dealing with a mental illness, we sometimes feel obligated to feel and think that we shouldn’t because we are indeed having a mental breakdown. We somehow push people to pay more attention to us because we want them to entirely get through the bottom of our emotional and mental struggles. But when it is the opposite of everything, we become insensitive and full of assumptions.
Realizing that someone we know has depression is quite intimidating. There are these “what ifs” that we pile up for them to answer. We constantly say we understand what they feel, but the truth is, we sincerely do not know anything about their struggle. Yes, we deal with our own mental health issues, but it does not give us a pass to become more knowledgeable about others’ emotional and mental health experiences.
Let’s take time to reflect on our actions and deeply understand how to help someone with depression. Here are a few guidelines to use from the frequently asked questions.
How do you help a depressed person to calm down?
To comfort and help someone to calm down, you need to be more specific on your role. It is vital that you understand the person’s feelings and not just witness them. You have to be the one that should validate their emotions and never judge them. It is okay to convince them not to think too much about their problems or stressors in life. But never attempt to minimize their pain or cheer them up. It would help if you allowed them to learn more about their feelings to manage them better once they experience them again. As someone concerned, you have to suggest action steps that they can take and offer your help if needed.
But note. Not everyone is happy that you are around. It will also help if you distance yourself from time to time to allow the depressed individuals to obtain their space. It would be much appreciated if you can be there for them without forcing yourself into their lives to avoid straining emotional and mental battles.
How do you help an individual who doesn’t want to be helped?
A depressed person often wants isolation, and he does not want anything to do with you or others. If you want to help them, do not force yourself into their situation. Allow them to validate their feelings so they can open up and express themselves. Listen and pay attention to their struggles and suffering. You don’t need to do anything at first. Avoid giving unsolicited advice so that you can try and fix things. Allow the person to ask for help before trying to explore options together. It is significantly important that you also take care of yourself and find support on your own if all hopes went down.
In case the person is entirely out of control and does not want anything from you, respect his space. Give him some time to emotionally and mentally recover, even for a bit, until he realizes that he needs someone to be there for him. Because sometimes, the only way you can thoroughly help someone with depression is by leaving them alone and allowing them to realize their potential.
What are the general methods used to treat depression?
There are a lot of techniques to treat depression. However, three of the more common methods used by professional experts include cognitive behavioral therapy. It is a goal-oriented psychotherapy treatment that focuses on problem-solving that aims to change thinking patterns or behavior patterns. Second is interpersonal therapy, or the idea of how a person deals with a personal relationship with other people. Lastly, psychodynamic therapy or therapy focuses on finding patterns in one’s thoughts, emotions, and beliefs to gain insight into the current self.
How do you make someone feel better?
Trying your best to make a person feel better should start with paying attention to his needs. It will promote a nice feeling if he knows you listen attentively to his every word. It would mean so much for the person because there is affection and support involve there. The time you spend with that someone, regardless of the purpose, makes everything okay. Simple appreciation works well too. You can tell the individual that his thoughts and feelings are worth sharing.
Honestly, there are so many ways that you can do to make someone feel better. You only have to avoid overdoing it. Because if you insist and push it too much, the emotional pressure might buildup. It will make the person believe that he needs to get better just because you think he should be and not because we wanted it.
How do you cheer up a lonely person?
Sometimes, loneliness is temporary. But you still have to be notably careful with your judgment because it might be a different mental health issue. If you have a chance to cheer up a lonely person, start by hugging him. It might sound like a simple thing to do, but it is worth it. Allow him to feel that you are physically, mentally, and emotionally available for him no matter what. Talk to him and take him out. Spend time with him and do not make him feel that he is not alone.
Helping someone with depression is a responsibility that requires a lot of considerations. Understand that not because you feel like talking to the person or think that your opinion matters, it does not make you entitled to invalidate his mental struggles. Do not assume you understand everything because mental illness is a complicated situation that not even you can easily comprehend.