Depression has become one of the most common problems of people around the globe. It encompasses persons of different ages and circumstances.
What could be the reasons for having depression?
It is a mental or mood disorder that controls a person’s behavior and personality. Some of its symptoms are repetitive feelings of too much sadness, worthlessness, hopelessness, helplessness, pain due to loss of loved ones, and lack of interest in everything. A person can also have recurrent suicidal attempts. When all of these have become persistent to a person’s life, then he or she is suffering from depression.
Just how can we help people with depression?
We can help depressed persons we meet by doing the following simple ways:
1. Just listen to what they wish to say.
Be a shoulder to cry on and a real friend. We must control our tongue, avoid speaking harsh words or becoming preachy. Those are the last things they need. We don’t know the depth of their pain or what they’re really going through. That’s why it’s much better if we just listen, empathize and sympathize with depressed persons.
2. Let’s refrain from judging them and telling them so.
We should put our feet in their shoes so we can better understand their predicament. They didn’t want to be depressed and they’d even wish to get out of that situation, if only they could. If we scold them or tell them to get on with their lives, we’re being cruel to them. Because of course, they want to overcome depression. It’s a very difficult thing to do, so let’s avoid telling them things that could just add to their problem.
3. Avoid comparing our lives with theirs.
We shouldn’t start comparing our lives with theirs just to make a point. Sometimes, we do that to our depressed friends because we think that by doing so, they could learn something from our lives.
Comparing often only worsens the condition of depressed people. It’s already difficult for them to resolve their problems. So we’re actually being cruel when we compare lives and emphasize how we seem to effortlessly solve ours.
4. Just give advice when the depressed individuals want one.
Suggest medical treatment or psychiatric consultation if they ask for your suggestions on how to overcome their condition. They really need that as part of their healing process and remedial measure. But just listen to them or just be there for them if they want someone to talk to. Wait for the time when they can already welcome opinions or advice.
5. Be there when depressed friends ask for your company.
Our busy schedules often prevent us from helping friends who are undergoing depression. But we should find time for them before it’s too late. Depressed people often have suicidal tendencies. Many have already attempted suicide and died, including famous celebrities and singers. But things would have been different, if only they felt the presence of people who they thought could help them the most.
6. Avoid talking about faith and secretly pray for the depressed instead.
Depressed persons often feel offended when told to pray and ask for God’s help. Well, for one thing, they may be doing that already without our knowledge. They really don’t have to tell the world they’re praying to overcome their depression. But sadly, they often believe more in their doubts, negative thoughts and anxiety rather than in faith and optimism.
The best thing we can really do for them is to be there every time they need us. We can also include them in our prayers. As believers, we do acknowledge how prayers can move mountains. So instead of telling them to pray and ask for God’s help, let’s ask God to heal them. And we don’t have to tell them we’re doing so.