How we can help someone who is depressed

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As social beings, we are intertwined with other people in our lives. We are usually sensitive to the negative emotions and bodily reactions of the people we interact with. This sensitivity helps us to realize the situation they are in and to intervene in this situation. A friend or relative with whom we are in communication in daily life can sometimes experience difficulties emotionally. In such a situation, we may be faced with moments when we cannot predict how to act, what to say or how to support that person. Here are some suggestions that can be made in such cases;

Being by your side: It is very useful to be with our relatives who are depressed, to hold their hand, to touch their shoulder and to convey the message that we are with them. “Maybe I can’t relieve your pain, I can’t eliminate your problem, but I can be by your side. I am ready to support you to overcome your difficulties. Expressing that we will be with you by saying “I will be with you as much as I can” is very important for him to get rid of feeling lonely and powerless and to think that he is not alone.

Listening: Helping him to tell about the distress he is experiencing, the emotions he feels and the thoughts that occupy his mind, contributes to the decrease in the intensity of one’s emotions. When he starts to talk, it is necessary to listen without interrupting, judging, criticizing or blaming. It is also important not to suggest or give advice without asking or making a request. Because the most important thing that the narrator needs at that moment; It is to throw out the negative energy accumulated inside, to relax, to be understood and to be supported.

Avoiding Comparison with Others’ Pain: It is a common behavior and form of consolation in our society to show someone else’s pain as an example to someone else who is suffering. However, comparing the pain experienced with other pain can lead the person to think that the pain he/she experiences is underestimated, ignored and not understood. The fact that someone else is experiencing greater pain does not alleviate the pain that the person is experiencing at that moment. He or she may also feel guilty for being upset at the presence of greater suffering and suffering that is despised by others. He may blame himself, thinking, “I’m magnifying little troubles while others suffer so much.” For this reason, it is necessary to avoid comparing their pain with other pains, telling them what to think or what not to think.

Giving advice and avoiding advice: A person who is depressed or suffering has a weakened ability to reason and analyze. Because the amygdala part of the brain is active during depression. This section has two tasks; fight or flight. If a person sees himself as strong in the face of a problem or danger, he fights, if he sees himself weak, he flees. Sometimes escaping can also manifest as ending life, unfortunately. While the amygdala is active, the thinking and analyzing part is disabled. It is not healthy to make suggestions to the depressed person, to tell him what to do or what not to do, without reducing the emotional intensity.

Taking a Walk: Many scientific studies show that taking a walk and being in nature reduces sadness, depression and anxiety. For this reason, it is useful to try to get it out by entering the arm, even if the person does not want to.

Lightening the Burden: One of the things that makes a person depressed is the work and responsibilities that he should have done but could not do. For this reason, it is very important to try to do one’s work, to lighten the load, for him to feel good. In this way, he is freed from the burden of responsibilities until he recovers himself. Helping them See the Positive Things. Scientific research shows that we are more inclined to think negatively, even in normal times. In case of distress and depression, this situation reaches its peak. Although our brains tend to think negative things, we are 3 times more likely to encounter positive things in real life than we are to encounter a negative situation. Helping one to notice positive things that are encountered 3 times more can contribute to getting rid of the negative mood they are in and changing their perspective.

Referral to Support from an Expert: Of course, it is important to help someone in a difficult situation as a friend or relative. However, sometimes this support may not be enough. In order for the person to get more professional help, it is necessary to take him to a specialist and help him get treatment. Psychological health is at least as important as physical health and should not be neglected.

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