Added: Deidra Violette - Date: 24.01.2022 15:53 - Views: 25149 - Clicks: 4189
Years ago, I had a friend who was going through a rough patch. I wanted to respect the boundaries she was putting up so I decided to give her some space.
Taking a little time for self-care can actually be therapeutic. But when you are suffering from clinical depression, withdrawing from friends and other loved ones can actually be harmful to your health. People that are clinically depressed tend to feel hopeless, worthless and exhausted by simple day to day functions. The depth of the pain of a person with depression pain can be frightening for their friends. This fear may result in friends pulling away. But a supportive friendship can be a huge help to people who are suffering from depression. Although depression is not contagious, it can feel like it is.
Some people over-identify with a depressed friend and this can make them feel drawn into a depressive state of their own.
This fear of becoming depressed makes them anxious and causes them to pull away even though they know their depressed friend needs them. Friends may find it difficult to see their friend in so much pain. It may feel like the depressed friend is pulling away from the friendship.
But this is usually a symptom of the depression itself. A person who is depressed may feel unworthy of friendship. Depression may cause a person to push away the friends that are trying to be supportive.
The benefits of friendship for people that are depressed are astounding. Friendship is all about supporting each other in good times and in bad. In fact, the friendship can be beneficial to both parties. This is why it is so important to try to be there for a friend who is experiencing mental distress on both the person that is ill and the supportive friend. You may still be able to enjoy good times and meaningful conversation.
Not like Facebook-selfie-with-Lady-Gaga-at-an-underground-party fun though.
One of the key parts of helping a depressed friend is to be sympathetic but not empathetic. When supporting a friend with depression, try not to take what they say or do personally. Understand that their actions or reactions to your kindness may be influenced by the depression itself. If you feel overwhelmed or that your friend is too reliant on you, resist the urge to abandon them. Instead, enlist the help of their friends and family to create a support system they can reach out to.
Friendship is important but it is not a substitute for professional help. It is important to listen well and avoid defensive language.
The objective is not to fix their problems or tell them what to do. Doing this actually changes the resilience in the brain through a genetic switchwhich can help that person see their problems in a new light and start sorting through their issues. A friend who is suffering from depression needs a safe space where they can vent and express their true emotions. If they react negatively, remain calm and just listen. Always keep in mind that depression is an illness. Go into an interaction wanting to engage with that person on topics that interest them, which builds up trust.
Doing this will actually help facilitate deep and meaningful conversations in the future, and can make the person more receptive to reaching out to you.
Photo: Unsplash, Matheus Ferrero. How to Connect With Depressed Friends. November Accessed August 27, Social relationships and depression: ten-year follow-up from a nationally representative study. PLoS One. Published Apr You may also like: What is Tardive Dyskinesia?Friendship and someone to talk too
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