My friend is depressed. What should I do?
After hanging up the hours long call from your friend, who called you in the middle of the night to vent on “some nonsense”, you may have felt annoyed, frustrated, sleepy and upset at your friend. But the person is your “friend” whose “nonsense’ is something absolutely critical to them and you are the only person that they have at that moment… When you know that your friend has a depression, you have no choice but to pick up the call and listen.
Anyone who has who has a friend with depression must experience the downward spiral situation.
How to recognize a downward spiral?
For example, your depressed friend was the last one to arrive at a meeting point. All other friends were a bit annoyed. All that was expected from this friend was a simple apology and then the group could move on with the plan. Instead, this friend felt extremely bad, could not get out of the upset mood and told everyone that they should no longer be friends, so no one would be upset because of him ever again. The whole group was shocked about what happened. They were puzzled as to how this very small issue could become a big issue. Sometimes we think “This is over thinking for no reason”. Believe it or not, this is how a depressed person think.
Then, the whole group would try to comfort the depressed friend. But the more they tried, the worse the person felt. The person suddenly felt guilty that his friends now had to comfort him. He did not want to feel this way, but he also did not understand himself.
If you have a friend who has depression and he/she decides to trust you and feels comfortable enough to tell you things including their concerns and worries (even though most of their worries make no sense to you), please listen to them. Just listen. There is no need for you to help them find a solution to their problems. Their problems will become lighter once they have someone to talk about it to.
If you feel that it is too much for you to deal with, try to convince your friend to go see a psychiatrist. Explain to them that you do care about them, but sometimes, this is too much for you. Tell them that you know that they would not want you to be exhausted and you know that they do not want to feel this way. Assure to your friend that you will accompany them throughout the process and will always be there for them.
If you can do this, it will help your friend to get better.
Your friend has a depression but is still your lovely friend who understands you. It is normal that your friend needs you during this difficult time. It is when your friend needs you the most, to hold their hand and fight the depression with them.
Good news: students in public universities may register to receive a free online consultation session with a psychiatrist on Ooca Application. For registration and more information, please visit www.wallofsharing.com