We all want to help someone who may be struggling with depression. But unfortunately, starting the conversation is not always easy. Where is the best place to start?
Opening communication channels is a great way to start. But before you do start the conversation, you need to spot the signs that your friend may not be handling things well. Any change in their normal demeanor can signal that they may be facing inner turmoil.
One sign is withdrawal from you and the things they normally do. Showing up late for work when they don’t normally, their productivity going down, their energy levels are low, and their levels of joy seems to be non-existence. When you do notice some changes in their behavior, it’s important to check-in on them. Ask them questions and see what’s going on in their world. Engage them in a conversation. One of the many reasons people get into depression is that they feel isolated. Let them know they are not alone.
Talk to them, ask them questions: What is going on? How are you? Are you okay? What can I contribute to you? As far as supporting them, if they open up, let them know you’re there and will listen with a non-judgmental ear. A lot of people feel judged for their choices and this leads to depression. So making sure you are sitting there listening with no judgment. When you are present with whatever they are going through, this allows them the space to be them, and also creates the possibility for change to occur.
This week is a timely reminder to check-in with a mate and ask them: Are you okay?
P.S. For more tools and possibilities, please visit my page here. I also have a free email series on overcoming depression & suicide awareness at www.drdainheer.com/nevergiveup. What if so many possibilities are available to us beyond our wildest imaginings? What if, as we navigate our lives and change, we could embrace our greatness even more?
P.S.S. For the full article in Australian Men’s Health, please visit here.