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How To Help A Friend Who Is DepressedHow to help a depressed friend. Do you have a friend who is slouching their shoulders and looking down at the ground? Does their response include words like, "I don't know", "I guess", or "fine?" Chances are your friend is depressed if they are exhibiting this behavior. These (and many more) are symptoms of depression. I don't know who your friend is. It could be your wife, your girlfriend, boyfriend, or just a really good friend who you care about. I know you want to do something to help them with their depression. Let's explore some options!
Spend Time With Your Depressed FriendWhen you're depressed, the initial reaction might be to get away from other people. This is going outside in the cold with no clothes on. You're just going to do harm to yourself. As you see your friend in their depressed state, simply be there for them. Talk to them and keep eye contact. Let them know you are there for them. Do this on a regular basis.
Bring Back Your Depressed Friend's Fondest MemoriesChances are, your friend has memories from the past that are very happy. Was there a time your friend was working with someone on a project that makes them happy? Ask your friend what makes them the most happy. Is it rap music? Is it watching a good movie? When you find what makes them happy, ask them to think back in the past to experiences where they were happy doing this. Have them relive those moments.
I once spent time with an older man in a restaurant. I could tell he was struggling with depression. I began to talk to him and told him I noticed he was having a hard time. He said he was. I asked him what had made him happy in the past. He said it was doing church service and being involved in helping out his neighborhood. I had him relive those moments. How was he moving? How was he walking? How did he speak? As he did this, his eyes began to light up. He was getting the urge to talk to people right then and there and start helping them. Reliving happy moments in the mind is a great way to get out of depression.
Engage In Activities That Bring Happy Memories To Your Depressed FriendOnce you find what your depressed friend's fondest memories are and what makes them happy - do an activity that recreates that moment. If it is roller blading, do that. If it is dancing outside and acting silly, do that. I believe we each have certain and specific activities that are most enjoyable to us. When we do them, it's very difficult to be depressed.
Use Music To Uplift Your Depressed FriendThere's a great type of music out there called "Trance Music." This type of music can be used to uplift and motivate your friend. It might even lift you up in the process. You can search for the words "Trance Music" on YouTube.com and you'll be greeted with a plethora of trance music. Here's one called, "Walk the Edge" by Alex Morph that I really like.
Engage In Physical Activity To Break the DepressionPlay a basketball game with your friend. Go for a run. Go rock climbing. Dance it up. Physical activity engages the mind and body, which makes it very difficult to wallow in depression. 30 minutes of any physical activity, and I'm certain your depressed friend will start to lighten up.
Stress and DepressionChances are, your friend is either feeling lazy and unmotivated, or stressed and overwhelemd. How many projects is your friend trying to complete right now? What is their work schedule like? If they don't have much going on, chances are they're on the lazy side. This means you can challenge them with additional activities and go out and make plans.
If, however, your friend has a lot going on and is feeling stressed and overworked, it's probably a good idea to sit down with them and see what they can remove from their life. What projects, friends, and work can your friend get rid of? This will help ease the strain and stress your friend is under and get their life back to a manageable level. You want a good balance of challenge in life, mixed with enough free time to not be stressed out.
Help Someone DepressedHow to help someone who is depressed? Maybe it's time to think about other people. I wrote an article about giving service. Helping someone who is depressed is a great way to get out of depression. Why not take your friend to a homeless shelter, or to a volunteer organization for an evening to assist someone who is suffering. Just seeing the smiles on the faces of those you are helping will help whipe the depression away. This is how to help someone that is depressed.
You have the power to help your friends who are depressed. Remember your friends brightest moments and get them focused on that. Be engaged in those activities that your friend has their fondest memories of. This is one of the ways you will help a friend who is depressed.