incredible-marketing Arrow

How Can My Friends Help Me When I’m Depressed?

During times of depression, we rely heavily on the support of our friends. It can be hard for them to know how they can be of the best help for us when we aren’t entirely sure what we need or how to break out of the sadness.

The last thing we want is to lose these connections and friendships. The negativity that we experience when we are depressed can be hard for our friends to handle or understand. Those who want to help us may not know where to start.

Even if it seems like there isn’t much they can do, there are a few things that can be a great help and support when we are feeling our most vulnerable and alone. 


1) Learn About Depression

One of the best things a friend can do is to educate themselves about depression and how it presents in many different ways. Not everyone experiences the same symptoms. Some people are overwhelmingly sad or negative. Others are completely numb and don’t feel much of any emotion. Sometimes people lose interest in things that once brought them joy, find that they have no energy, or can no longer find passion in their job or schoolwork or hobbies. Encourage your friend to do a little reading and research. Medical journals and The National Institute of Mental health can be great resources to look into. Ask them to read a bit about the causes of depression, the symptoms, and treatments. This will help them get a better understanding of what you are experiencing, and make them more equipped to help you through it. 


2) Be Patient, Be Present

Sometimes, one of the most beneficial ways a friend can show support is to remind you that they are there. Remind them that they don’t need to cure you completely. Offering an ear to simply listen is a great way to be there for you. Ask them to include you in on plans, and extend an invitation, even if they know you may not attend. This is a way to reach out and remind you that you are loved and that your friend is thinking of you. You are still included and welcomed, and hopefully, it will allow you to feel comfortable returning to social situations when you are ready. Request that your friend is patient with you. Depression isn’t glamorous, and it isn’t a pleasant time. Laying in bed and avoiding responsibilities isn’t fun, it damages your ambition and self-esteem. During this time, ask your friend to just be patient with you as you work towards feeling better. 


3) A Few Things Not to Do

Although there are many ways that your friend can help you, there are a few things you can gently remind them not to do. Ask them not to minimize your experience, it can feel very invalidating and worsen your depression. Caution them not to take things personally. This isn’t their fault, and your emotions aren’t reflecting anything they did. If you are isolating, it’s not because you don’t want to see them, or are avoiding them. Any advice they give may be wonderful, but you may not be ready to take it. Hopefully, they can understand that this is a hard time for you and cannot be fixed overnight. 


If you are a friend of someone who is suffering from depression, try to be the best supporter possible. Your friend needs you, even if they can’t show it, and it may make all the difference in their recovery. 


No matter how great your depression has become, there is a solution. If you’re interested in healing your past for a better future, our experienced staff can help. The Guest House is a welcoming and supportive recovery home where you will be met with open arms, wherever you are on your journey, without judgment or expectation. Call 855-483-7800 today for more information.