Got a Depressed Friend? Here’s What to do

Depression is a state where a person feels very sad, hopeless, unimportant and often unable to live in a normal way.

From the definition above, it is obvious that we all have someone, somewhere in our life exhibiting characters relating to the definition above. Sadly enough, someone who is depressed doesn’t even know they are in such state, they just find themselves retreating and deteriorating slowly all alone with no one to confide in or help them out.

According to research, major causes of depression among teens are Academics (result grades), Peer pressure, Bullying, Sexual Abuse, Loss of a loved one, Relationship and Emotional trauma and the endless list goes on but all goes down to one major factor which is “Low Self Esteem”.

{Related: The Two Chief Sources of Depression}

How then do you help a friend to combat depression? Let’s see Four great ways to do that:

1. Identifying the Problem

You don’t walk up to a pharmacist and expect him to dispense drugs without knowing your ailment, same way you can’t find a solution to depression without first identifying the problem. This is the hardest and provoking stage, as you might be forced to opt out or unlikely end up becoming a victim when you are supposed to be helping the person out. You won’t see someone walking with a placard with the inscription ‘I’m depressed’ boldly written. So, you need to watch out and get prepared to identify the cause of the person’s depression, which could range from academics to peer pressure or sexual abuse, and so on.

2. Proximity

Most depressed persons are lonely with nobody to beckon on, that is why after identifying the cause, you need to get closer to the person. By allowing a huge gap, you give room for the person to find solace in negativity, such as becoming a drug addict, alcoholic, or worse, suicide. You really will not like to give a memorial speech on “If I had helped him earlier”. This is why against all odds you need to get close to the victim.

3. Be a Cheerleader

A cheerleader in this sense deals with giving out your time and sacrifice. After passing through the proximity stage, you ought to have won the person’s trust and should make him/her see reasons to believe in life and why giving up is not an option. This can be done by taking the person out to a cinema, park and talk shows. You can also go on a walk, take meals together, or even tell the person about TMO. But above all, a daily phone call and messages will go a long way to help out.

4. Pray for them

Finally, if you belong to any religion, you sure know about the existence of a supreme being, so saying a word of Prayer(s) would go a long way to help out.

To help against depression isn’t an easy task but in the long run, the positive effect always overshadows the negative. You never can tell if the person you are helping out is the next Barack Obama, Michael Jordan or Chadwick Boseman of our generation and even if you might not get any reward, remember that you are leaving an impact for eternity to come.

{Related: How to Help Your Depressed Friend}

I will conclude with a short story about a lady who was shattered and abused not only sexually but mentally, emotionally and verbally by her father from her childhood days till when she was 18 years. The exploitation left a deep imprint on her as she developed a low sense of self.

Though she looked perfect to onlookers, She had become a victim of multiple personality disorder. She went to school but could not concentrate neither was she allowed to participate in any after-school activities. At a young age, she was filled with a sense of self-pity. She was hardly manageable and developed a controlling, manipulative, insecure and harsh behavior with a feeling of guilt and a negative thinking that was powered by suspicion. Worst was that she never felt safe anywhere.

Despite being a victim of maltreatment, she did not give up on her studies and completed her studies. Following her graduation, she went into wedlock but they divorced just after five years. She then married again but this time the husband had an influential effect on her, with his support and encouragement she calmed down a bit.

This young lady eventually turned out to become Joyce Meyer, owner of one of the largest Christian ministries of the world (Preaching the message of Christ redemption) with 4.5 billion viewers and is being broadcast in 40 languages on 900 TV and radio stations and she is currently estimated to have a net worth of $25 million.

Depression is a phase and hurdle which one is meant to scale through and not fall into only if we let go of our fears and see that there is a brighter side to life and there is always light at the end of a tunnel.

Help a friend today and if you are depressed, do open up to someone.

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