Helping a Friend Struggling with Depression

Dani’s Case

May 9, 2020

TRIGGER WARNING: Article contains sensitive topics of depression

It’s really painful seeing one of your closest friends go through something as difficult and uncertain as depression. Depression is something that affects people directly and indirectly. Having a loved one suffering from clincal depression can be a dark time for you as well.

We all go through our ups and downs, but it’s important to know when things are serious. Depression is serious, and signs and symptoms should never be brushed off and/or taken lightly.

To get a deeper insight on the subject, I’ve dragged a fellow Aesthete writer, Iman, in who has suffered from depression herself.

Symptoms of depression vary from person to person and range from mild to severe. Here are a few of them that you should keep in mind when trying to comfort a depressed friend:

Feelings of prolonged sadness

Individuals suffering from depression tend to have feelings of sadness for long periods of time. While “sadness” might seem like the most obvious symptom, some people tend to hide their melancoly rather well. Some may not even realize that they’re sad. Iman had described this feeling as feeling “not quite herself”.

Loss of interest in activities they once found joy

People experiencing depression may lose interest in things they once loved doing. They may start to view activities as pointless or meaningless.

Changes in appetite

“I ate like an animal at the height of my depression. It was not normal at all,” Iman said. Overeating or undereating are both common signs of depression, and changes in weight may accompany these actions.

Change in sleep patterns

People suffering from depression might sleep too much or too little.

Loss of energy

Peopl suffering from depression may experience a loss of energy. They may feel like small and simple tasks such as washing dishes or tasking out the trash is taxing.

Feelings of worthlessness or guilt.

Some may have feelings as though their existance does not mean anything. They may feel as if their existance is only a nuisance to others.

Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions.

It may be difficult for people who are diagnosed to focus on one task without having ruminating thoughts, or no thoughts at all.

Thoughts of death or suicide.

This is very common among people diagnosed with depression and should always be watched out for.

To be clinically diagnosed with depresseion, you must have at least five depression symptoms once a day for at least two weeks. Depression is not just “feeling sad”, nor is it something that can “just go away”.

Depression can affect anyone at any given time and can be triggered by emotions, family issues, low self esteem and low perspective of subjective well being.

Before attempting to help someone with it, it’s a good idea to do some research on it because not everyone who is depressed wants to explain what and/or how it is.

It is important to let anyone struggling with depression know that they are not alone. Being clinically depressed is an entire rollercoaster of emotions. Some turns are more sharp than others. Always assure your loved one that no matter what, you will forever be there to lend an ear or a shoulder to cry on.

Another thing that might help them is helping to keep their thoughts positive. You can always remind them of the great times and the happy memories you shared. They should know that there are people who love them and are ready to help any time.

Even though no one likes to talk about their problems in too much detail, it’s always good to know that there is a choice that you can go to for help. Sometimes the smallest deeds are the most appreciated ones.

Don’t panic if your friend is going through depression or anything else, the tips work for many situations. If you’re not well educated about depression then get to it. Look it up because it’s always good to surround yourself with knowledge!

You never know, maybe you will need that information one day.

Always remember to contact a professional if the issue appears dangerous or seemingly out of control.

Mental Health Through Difficult Times

#aesthetestogether


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