How can I help a friend who is depressed?

Being around someone who is depressed can sap your energy, try your patience and put great strain on your relationship with them. Typically, all your attempts at cheering them up will be rejected.

Women with depressed husbands often feel that they are failing as wives and can become depressed themselves. Men living with depressed wives may try to help by giving advice or suggestions and become frustrated and angry when their recommendations are not acted upon.

The first thing to understand is that depression makes people behave in ways that don't fit with their normal personality.

The depression keeps them keenly on the lookout for anything that suggests that people around them don't take it as seriously as them, or for people trying to cheer them up.

You can avoid trying to cheer the person up, and even perhaps complain a little about your life to them. This can have the effect of making them feel a little less alone. You can try to convey to them that depression is a temporary state and that it is curable.

If they are able, having them complete the Depression Learning Path would be a very good idea, as it shows them what is happening to them and gives them a way forward.

Most importantly, you need to show them that you understand how bad they are feeling, and perhaps help them find professional help if appropriate. Completing the Depression Learning Path will ensure that you get the right kind of help.

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Take the Depression Learning Path for answers to all of your depression questions.