Depression 101: How To Handle The Victim
Depression as a topic gets a number of people rolling their eyes, asking why something we all face I given so much attention. Aren’t we all sad sometimes? They ask. Depression is not sadness. Victims of this illness exhibit more than just the occasional bad mood. A depressed person could experience long periods of a foul mood, frequent bouts of anger, suicidal thoughts, antisocial behavior, etc. Also, a depressed person could exhibit symptoms other than these. A visit to the doctor is the best to diagnose depression and start the journey of healing.
How do you deal with someone who exhibits symptoms of depression?
- Get details about their condition
It is easier dealing with something you have facts on than when you are only imaging details. Read on depression. Talk to a psychiatrist about it. Ask someone who has knowledge about the ailment. Read articles posted on the Internet. Educate yourself on depression as a condition first, as this information will equip you well in dealing with the depressed person.
- Accept his/her condition
It is important that you come to terms with the fact that your friend, colleague, relative, is suffering from depression. Once this fact sinks in and you have accepted, then you will be ready to deal with it.
- Listen To Them
You’d be surprised how much they need someone to just listen than talk. Of course, you will also need to talk to them, but most often than not, they just want you there.
- Stop Asking, ‘How Do You Feel?’
How do you think they feel? Have you ever asked someone who doesn’t look okay how they feel? What did they say? ‘I’m fine.’ Right? This is the automatic answer to that question. Do not ask a depressed person to tell you how they feel, rather, you could be more specific and ask them how they feel about a particular thing, a particular place, a particular person. Let the doctors ask the vague question, because in as much as it is irritating to the depressed person (and any other person who’s not okay), at least the doctor presents hope for healing.
- Do Not Join The Victim In Their Depression
It is normal to feel sad when our friends are also feeling sad, but depression is a totally different sphere. Do not join the victim in being depressed, because otherwise, how will you be able to take care of them? In as much as you might feel vulnerable to inheriting some of their symptoms, try and distance yourself from the whole emotional mess. Be the sober friend, mother, father, and sibling. They need you to stay sane. You will only depress them more when you start being a mirror of what they are battling with.
It might not be an easy journey dealing with people with depression, but if we learn the Dos and Don’ts, the journey together might not be such a daunting task.
Oh! And remember to always stay a friend to the victim. Be a friend, someone they can always talk to. Very important.