Have you ever been here? Whoever has had it does not forget easily …
Even trivial tasks become terrible monsters, impossible to win. Brushing your teeth may seem like a challenge. Sunlight is almost “offensive” and rainy days worsen the situation.
My best friend suffers from depression, it breaks my heart. At first, I wanted to pull her out of the house, leading her into a world of light and happiness. I was hoping he might have felt better if he only tried. I talked to her about how wonderful her life was and how lucky she was.
I thought so I would solve everything!
Actually, I did not help; I did not have the petty idea of what to do.
Depression does not originate in laziness or ingratitude.
Even though my actions were well-intentioned, I realized that I was just trying to feel better about her problem. So I spoke to them, asking them openly: What should you do for a loved one who is suffering? What can be of help?
We talked about his feelings, his point of view, and his pain. Together we understood how I could really be a better friend. Today I would like to share it with you.
1. Ask and act
First, ask: What do you feel more crushed at this time?
Is she tired because of a too demanding child? Washing dishes seems an impossible thing? Maybe the clothes in the laundry have almost reached the ceiling and this makes them want to hide under the blankets. Act. Take the baby so that he can get a shower and sleep. Engage in dishes and laundry. Even a small gesture can be supportive for those who suffer so much.
2. Understand that depression is a disease caused by a chemical, physical alteration
Most “invisible” illnesses are caused by chemical imbalances in the brain. You would never tell a friend with a broken leg to walk on. Likewise, even a depressed person can not make the pain disappear magically. Be kind and patient. Your friend is sick, her suffering is grounded and needs a hand.
3. Offer your presence without any conditions
Sometimes the little things can make a difference. Call your girlfriend, introduce yourself with a cup of coffee and a hug, and just take care of her children.
But do it without conditions, without any expectation. Your mood may not seem to be as good as you are together but it does not mean you’re not helping. Remember her sadness is her illness; do not take it on the staff.
4. Note and celebrate your little efforts
Is she gone out? Is your hair good? It may sound trivial but tell it. Little encouragement is like confirmation for someone who is struggling with depression.
5. Recognize your limits
Your friend has a disease that is being treated by a professional. You cannot do it from doctors, do not try it. Suggesting ways that could help you to be better is not a good idea, if not required. What you can (and should) do is be a shoulder to cry, a tense hand, a painfully needed hug.
Depression is tough. Not only for those who suffer, but also for the people who care. As friends, you have a great opportunity: bring the sun to a person in the rain.
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