Mental Health issues are pretty common in the United States. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, close to 1 in 5 adults struggle with some kind of issue related to their mental or emotional well-being. Unfortunately, even though such issues are very common, they are not something that most people in our society feel comfortable discussing.
Therefore, when someone you love is strugling with depression, you may not know what to say or how to help.If you have never been depressed, you may find yourself struggling to relate, or even making matters worse when you are only trying to be encouraging.
According to the Huffington Post article, "5 Ways To Love Your Depressed Friend" by Mary Katherine Backstrom,
"Your friend has an illness that merits professional intervention. You can't be their doctor, so don't try. Suggesting ways they could "feel better" is really a bad idea unless they ask. What you can -- and should do -- is be a shoulder to cry on, a hand to reach for, and a hug that is sorely needed."
When you do want to offer something tangible to a depressed friend, try asking them directly how you can help. The things you assume they need help with might not turn out to be their biggest concerns.
Express your loving feelings about them without making suggestions, or implying they need to try harder. Simply being available and willing to spend time with them, without passing judgement or having expectations of them, is a great way to be a good friend.
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