Six Things To Do When Your Friend Is Depressed

Pratyusha Banerjee’s suicide has left all thinking of ways her untimely passage could have been averted. While the courts debate such cases, we must strive to save people around us who are victims of depression. A small-town girl with king-sized dreams, Pratyusha decided to end her life at a very raw but highly-productive age. Like her, many other youngsters flock to big cities to pursue their dreams. Away from the rock-solid support of their families, these young minds are struck by stress sooner or later. If not their families, their friends should come forward to help them. Find out how …


  1. Identify Depression

To lend a hand to a friend, one must first identify depression. Peculiar signs and symptoms point towards depression. Look out for irregular behavioral patterns in your friend. If your friend is behaving/ responding to situations in rather unusual ways, she may be battling some demons in her mind. Watch for such signs. He or she may refuse to do what they usually enjoy. Mood swings are a common sign. He or she may become very unpredictable and want to be left alone all the time. Your friend may suddenly speak less or not be interested in conversations at all. Sudden breakdowns, change in demeanor or dietary pattern are alarming issues. A patchy behavior is a sure-shot pointer that your friend is depressed.


  1. Get Her Talking

It has become normal to say, “I am depressed”. However, a person who is really depressed may avoid saying so but show all the above mentioned signs of being one. As a friend, you can take up the role of a primary counselor. Take your friend out for a coffee or away from her normal habitat and get her talking about how she feels lately. A long chat can help you gauge the level of depression. Perhaps, a chat can solve the matter for your friend. Sometimes, all that a person needs is a pep talk and a sounding board.


  1. Advice Professional Help

Remember, depression is serious cause of concern. Identifying the seriousness of depression is a professional’s job. Talk your friend into seeking advice from a clinical psychologist or a psychiatrist. Professionals have definitive tools to check the gravity of depression and thereupon decide the course of action. Some cases of depression only need counseling and psychotherapy while some will need both, along with medication.


  1. Stop Giving Dosage Of Over-Positivity

The depressed are often termed as negative people and are bombarded with doses of positivity. However, please understand, a depressed person has some serious ‘chemical locha’ (as they call it) in their brains. Certain chemical imbalances in the brain can only be corrected with medication. Kindly limit your unwarranted sermons of positivity. Pep talk does help but medication cannot be avoided in certain cases. The patient may be advised allopathic or homeopathic medication.


  1. Encourage Treatment

Psychiatric or any other alternative treatment can be an overhauling task for a depressed person. When on allopathic medication, it takes some time for the meds to settle inside the body. This may alter the patient’s bio rhythmic patterns. Besides the dreaded D word, the patient has to fight out the adjustment phase. She may want to quit the medication too. At such a time, she will need your moral and emotional support the most. When your friend is depressed and trying to get out of it, this period may seem the toughest. Be there for!


  1. Do Not Leave Her Alone And Encourage Her To Fight

Loneliness can add to depression. It can aggravate it to the next level. It is hence advisable to ensure that you speak over phone to your friend and visit her if she lives at an arm’s distance. Friends can also take turns doing so. Encourage your friend to pursue a hobby, join a gym or yoga class for stress busting. Indulgence in something she likes can divert her state of mind, increase her productivity, eliminate lethargy of the mind and show her a new path.

Pune was the land of dreams for this gutsy girl from Nasik. She completed her bachelorette in English before studying journalism from Pune University. It was natural progression for a girl who despised numbers. After having honed her journalistic skills and worked with several top media houses, she took a sabbatical to spend time with family. A search for true purpose of life led her to learning yoga. Rupa is now a certified yoga instructor.

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