Listen to this story
Depression: What to do to support a friend who suffers from it?
We usually use the term depression in our day to day to refer to a person who is sad or down.
Sadness is a normal and necessary emotion, however depression is not just sadness, it is a mood disorder.
This type of mood can include various signs and feelings much broader than feeling sad, so we teach you a little more about what depression is and how to accompany that person in their process of overcoming depression.
There are external factors such as stress, lack of support, changes in dynamics and chemical factors that can be related to the causes of depression.
Keys to understanding depression
As we said before, this is a mood disorder, that is, there is a permanence in a feeling of sadness, anxiety and negative thoughts without any concrete reason at first glance.
Depression needs medical monitoring and treatment, it is a real condition.
Among the symptoms that people with depression can have is low self-esteem, neglect of self-care, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia and irritability.
These can occur in different intensities and frequency, they can also be accompanied by changes in character.
There are some risk factors that we can be aware of, such as the levels of stress that that friend with depression is subjected to.
Hormonal changes such as menopause or postpartum disturbances in appetite or sleep, can be part of the indicators of depression.
A high percentage of people with depression tend to isolate themselves, this does not happen in all cases, but it is important to maintain good communication to be able to be with your friend with depression.
Types of depression we face
There are some types of depression, which are classified according to the degree and which are influenced by the level of anxiety. They stand out from them:
Major depressive disorder: This is the one that presents the most symptoms, the person will be down, apathetic and will probably do fewer activities than before, and if they do, they usually do not enjoy them, this can lead in severe cases to a depressive stupor in which they refuse to eat, drink, and even move.
Dysthymia: It is characterized by a fluctuating mood, with changes in emotions and a feeling of hopelessness in life and low self-esteem.
Seasonal affective disorder: It occurs repeatedly during the seasonal changes, in general it is more common in winter, this has been associated with light changes, it can be accompanied by drowsiness, a feeling of fatigue and an increase in carbohydrate consumption.
Bipolar disorder: Episodes of depression alternate with manic episodes where they feel high-energy, hyperactive, insomnia and irritable.
Cyclothymia: It is characterized by mood swings that occur over the course of several days, it is milder and usually occurs in people with instability.
How can we help someone who is depressed?
There are no activities to get out of depression, each person and each process is different, but we do have some keys for you with which you can support a friend who is depressed.
When people with depression feel accompanied and supported, this will be very helpful for them, you can talk with him about how he feels without judging him and tell him that you are there for him.
In many cases the mere presence is a relief for people with depression, you are still their friend, and you have not left them aside.
You can accompany him to therapy sessions or do activities that he feels he can do together, getting out of depression is a complex process, but not impossible.
Let him know that he is counting on you and your company in this situation, that it is treatable, and that you will be there in the process.
Ask him if there is anything you can do for him, the recovery is not immediate, but you can do activities together that make him feel better.
It is important to listen to our friends with depression, even if they are complicated or painful issues, let's not forget to validate their feelings, and thus we will be aware of their therapeutic process, and we will know how it is evolving.
If we see that there is no change and your life may be in danger, we must make it known to the adults or therapist involved.
Depression is a complex disorder full of different symptoms and characteristics that make it difficult to combat, however it must be remembered that it is treatable.
And as friends we can do a lot for a person with depression simply by being there without judgment to speak and accompany.