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Depression and Suicide If you or a loved one is feeling depressed or suicidal, you are not alone. Talk with other users about your feelings here.

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Question How do I help somebody get through depression? - August 5th 2010, 01:09 AM

My best friend in the whole world ever has had depression for over a year now. I really don't know how to help her. If anybody has any ideas or tips of things that help/helped them get through it, I'd love to hear them. Anything at all. Even tiny little things


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Re: How do I help somebody get through depression? - August 5th 2010, 01:35 AM

Hi there Liadan (very pretty name!). I have suffered from depression for a number of years now, and one of my best friends has really struggled with trying to help me through it, so I sympathize with the position you're in. The best thing my friend can do for me is to just listen, honestly. When she hugs me while I cry, and forces me to tell her things I try to keep from her, it actually helps some. I still don't tell her *everything*, but it really helps knowing that she's open to hearing even the things that make her uncomfortable. Sometimes I just wish people would ask me if I was okay more often, you know? Ask your friend how she is, if she looks sad, try to get her to talk.
There's no way you can solve her problems, even though I'm sure you want to help. It helps so much just to know there is someone willing to listen. Maybe encourage her to talk to a therapist if she isn't already? Honestly the best thing you can do, in my opinion, is just to be there, and do your best. That's all I can hope for in my friends. Tell her that you care about her, and that you need her. It's nice to be needed

Hope this helps a little bit! PM me if you ever want to talk.
   
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Re: How do I help somebody get through depression? - August 5th 2010, 02:34 AM

Hey,

You sound like a very supportive friend and I am sure your friend is happy to have you. I know it can be hard to see friends struggling especially when it seems as if you cannot fix it but just by showing her support you are helping.

When people are struggling with depression a good deal of it is stuff they have to handle on their own but some of it is just knowing they are cared and loved. Let your friend know that you are there for her no matter what; she might not always take you up on the offer to help but words go a long ways sometimes.

Another thing that helped me is when I would/do get random texts, cards, etc from friends and family. I know that in the past my mom and grandma would randomly get me a card and just say I love you and it made my day. As for friends; they would text me and ask how I was and just remind me that they cared. It helps a lot because it reminds me of all the good things in life that I have.

Also, if you can encourage your friend to seek professional help. Don't push it on her but just make the suggestion and see what she has to say. No one should have to fight depression on their own and it is great that she has you but sometimes people need a little more help then friends and family can give.

I hope this helped and if you need anything please feel free to pm me.

Jenna


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Re: How do I help somebody get through depression? - August 5th 2010, 02:57 AM

When I was struggling with depression, I appreciated friends who could be there when I needed them, but could also understand when I wanted my space. I can't tell you how many people have been offended when I told them I wasn't in a mood to talk. Don't "spam" the question "are you okay?" It generally makes the person feel self-conscious, as if there must be a reason you are asking. Be open to listening when she wants to talk, but don't feel guilty if you end up doing most of the talking. When I'm feeling down on the world, sometimes hearing about a friend's successes, trivial failures, funny situations, and life in general can help me feel calm and reassured. Try not to "give up" on her if, for example, she doesn't want to go out on weekends. Nothing made me more upset than not getting a call on Friday night, even if I had blown my friends off the weekend before.



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Re: How do I help somebody get through depression? - August 5th 2010, 09:45 AM

Thanks guys. I'm trying so hard to be there for her but I just don't know what to do. Today, for instance, I spent all day talking to her online and trying to make her feel better and it just did nothing... At 4.30pm I decided I was going to go over to the University (which is a 20 minute walk followed by 25 min bus ride) to take her to her youth group, because she didn't want to go (however, I know she used to love this and I'm pretty sure her depression has stopped her wanting to go). I got to Uni, walked her to her youth group and stayed there with her for one hour (until 6.30) before running back to the bus (15 mins) to take a bus to my dance class, which started at 7.45pm. I did all that just for her. I had no intention of going over to uni at all or to that youth group but I did it 'cuz I wanted to help her. But she didn't even acknowledge the fact that I'd done it... She didn't say thanks or anything.... I just feel a bit hurt I guess. Is this a normal thing for someone with depression to do? Should I just let it go and focus on helping her?


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Re: How do I help somebody get through depression? - August 5th 2010, 08:08 PM

I'd let it go, but I don't think depression gives people a right to be ungrateful in general.



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Re: How do I help somebody get through depression? - August 6th 2010, 01:39 AM

There could be a lot of reasons for it. However, I think you should sit down and let her know how it made you feel. Even though she is struggling does not mean you can't confront her about the things that are bothering you especially in relation to the relationship. Talk to her and go from there. Maybe she doesn't even realize she didn't say thanks.


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