Depression: Ten Ways To Help

Tuesday, 10 January 2017


With January blues about to set in, I believe it is very important for everyone to look after their mental health this month. But what I also think is more important, is being aware of others suffering and knowing what we can do to help. 

After a lot of research and knowing how to help my friends that suffer from depression, here are 10 facts and tips to consider when helping someone in need:

1. Depression is not a choice. No one chooses that state of mind. Just remember that the person suffering doesn't want depression, they want to be out of this crippling state too.

2. Your go to words are probably 'it's fine', 'don't worry' and 'stop thinking so much'. None of these are helpful at all. 

3. Instead tell them 'I'm here for you', 'We can get through this' and 'I have faith in you'. They help by confirming they have support and the strength rather than highlighting the negative.

4. Depression is perfectly normal. Everyone gets frustrated every now and then. They/You are not alone.

5. Sufferers can get overwhelmed by even the smallest tasks, so help them out where every you can. Even the smallest gesture can be the biggest help.

6. Know that the situation is not about you. A person suffering is going through a mind battle not a personal one with you. You are not the cause of it, you just need to be there.

7. Never compare your suffering to theirs, they and you are not in the same mental state and never will be, so don't compare. Everyone is different.

8. Don't cause more stress, if you can't be there to help or be on the phone to listen, don't make empty promises. Don't make the situation worse and cause more stress.

9. Depression is being overpowered by your mind and not being in control of your thoughts. Just because they are depressed doesn't mean they are weak. Knowing this will help you understand what the sufferer is going through.

10. It doesn't last forever. Stay by them. 

As actors it's easy to slip down the road to depression, so I hope by talking about it we can make each other aware of what to do when you notice someone who needs your help. There is nothing nicer than knowing you have a friend who will be on the end of the phone or will come around and support. Be that friend to yours because you never know when you will need it either.

Have you got any other tips or stories on how you overcame depression?

Much love,

Joseph

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