It is a difficult situation where a loved one or a friend is in a deep state of depression. It is not always easy to help especially when you don't know what to say and what to do to be able to appease her mind and emotions. We all experience a situation like this and there were times we were caught tongue-tied and struggling to think on what to do next.
There was a time when my friend's father died of cancer and she was very depressed. Her mother died of cancer too couple of decades ago and that was the time when her depression started. When I heard the news that her father died it took me an hour before I was able to gather my courage to call her and talk to her. I just did not know what to say that I had to compose myself and my thoughts first, make myself emotionally strong so that I can encourage her to be strong for herself too.
I, myself was diagnosed and suffered depression six years ago. I know how it feels to be in that state.
Here are some tips on what to do when a friend or loved one is in a state of depression:
Talk to the person. This is the best way to let the person communicate her thoughts and express how she feels. It is very important to pour out feelings rather than keeping it to herself.
Listen to what the person is saying. A person who is depressed needs someone who is willing to listen. Listening to her makesher feel that she is not alone and that there is always someone to confide her thoughts and feelings with.
Maintain eye contact and sit in a relaxed position. This will give you the chance to connect with the person's feelings and at the same time let her know that you are really listening and is willing to spend time to give her comfort and moral support.
Encourage the person to converse. Some people who are suffering from depression opt to keep quiet and refuse to talk which is nt good for her emotional and mental health. In trying to encourage the person to speak, use open-ended questions which are not answerable by simple 'yes' or 'no'. This is for her to be encouraged to initiate the conversation and talk more.
Stay calm. If the person you are talking to gets angry and starts to show temper, stay calm and firm.
Spend time with the person whenever you get a chance to let her know that you care and you are willing to help. This will also allow you to understand what the person is going through.
Encourage the person to seek professional help if she feels that she needs it. Not all are open about this idea especially when they hear the word "psychiatrist". Let the person understand though that seeking professional help is for her own good.
Support from family and friends is very important for people who are in a state of depression. It is very important to help them keep in mind that they are not alone in their struggle to fight this condition. For help regarding depression www.beyondblue.com is a website that renders online support as well.