Join TSR now for chat about life, relationships, fashion and more…Sign up now

How do I support someone with depression/ anxiety issues? Watch

    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    So I'm asking mainly so I can more accurately help the people around me who suffer from depression and to an extent who depend on me for emotional support. Not just friends but family aswell. I'm not really experienced with depression and anxiety issues so I would really appreciate some insight from current sufferers as to what I can do to make it easier for someone who currently has this. I understand that this is a sensitive subject for most so I don't mind if you go anonymous if it makes you feel more comfortable, I'm just looking for insight on how to better help people with depression and anxiety issues.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    IMO, as you would if a person had a physical illness. Be there for them if they need something. Don't try to solve their problems either just like you wouldn't try to cure someone's diabetes.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by RainbowMan)
    IMO, as you would if a person had a physical illness. Be there for them if they need something. Don't try to solve their problems either just like you wouldn't try to cure someone's diabetes.
    Thanks

    Have you had depression in the past or are you struggling with it now?
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by AngryRedhead)
    Thanks

    Have you had depression in the past or are you struggling with it now?
    Have had it in the past, still struggle with it though I'd consider it 2 be in remission rn, I still take 2 antidepressants (Entact and Mirtazapine if anyone's interested)

    I assume you were looking for a more "informative" answer but, again, IMO, that's the only thing you can really do to people with mental disorders. Be there for them. If you try other things, I guarantee you'll be disappointed.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by RainbowMan)
    Have had it in the past, still struggle with it though I'd consider it 2 be in remission rn, I still take 2 antidepressants (Entact and Mirtazapine if anyone's interested)

    I assume you were looking for a more "informative" answer but, again, IMO, that's the only thing you can really do to people with mental disorders. Be there for them. If you try other things, I guarantee you'll be disappointed.
    :console: I hope you get through it, I'm sure you will

    No, not at all, I asked for advice off people with or who've had depression and that's what I got so thank you
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Not a sufferer but found this book really interesting.

    I guess for me it was more relevant in terms of my existential angst.


    https://www.waterstones.com/book/rea.../9781782116820
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by AngryRedhead)
    :console: I hope you get through it, I'm sure you will

    No, not at all, I asked for advice off people with or who've had depression and that's what I got so thank you
    I won't unless OCD goes into remission which, as far as I know, is highly unlikely. My depression is secondary to OCD.

    Fun times.
    • Community Assistant
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by AngryRedhead)
    So I'm asking mainly so I can more accurately help the people around me who suffer from depression and to an extent who depend on me for emotional support. Not just friends but family aswell. I'm not really experienced with depression and anxiety issues so I would really appreciate some insight from current sufferers as to what I can do to make it easier for someone who currently has this. I understand that this is a sensitive subject for most so I don't mind if you go anonymous if it makes you feel more comfortable, I'm just looking for insight on how to better help people with depression and anxiety issues.
    Be there for them as a shoulder to lean on and mak yourself aware of what sort of stuff they may be experiencing and what things can help (mind.org has good info). You don't need to fix them, but if they seem lost you can give them some advice (like seeing a doctor or talking to a charity) and you can have a better idea of what might be going on. A lot of mh problems can make people distant and it can be good to know that so you kknow that it's not that they dislike you, they just feel off. You might also find they like if you talk to them a little more or invite them to do things. Even if they don't feel up to it it can remind them that you still care about them. Listening is big part.

    If you are really concerned about them, be willing to step in and do what you need to make them safe. This would mean things like calling an ambulance if they are suicidal even if you're worried about breaking trust. They may not be in the best state to look out for themselves so you may need to do it for them. This is unlikely to come up in most circumstances, but it could.

    Don't make it all about their mh though. Be therre to distract them and show them that whatever they are going through they are still normal and can do normal things. Maybe movie nights would be better than going out, but you can still do normal things with them if they feel up to it. Message them stupid smily faces on fb, tell them stupid stories and bad jokes, talk to them about your day. Just give them somebody to be them with. Just be a friend.

    Mind.org has some great info for how to help people with mh issues and knowing more about the conditions in general can help too. Check out some sites like sane, nhs, mind and samaritans if you want to do some reading.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    Involve them in your life.
    Make them feel like they are a part of your life.
    Do not encourage obsessive behaviour.
    The best thing you can do is to be there for them. You didn't cause it, you can't cure it, you can't control it. Remember that you need to also focus on yourself, as that's a big trap with dealing with other people's mental health issues. I know, for at least myself, I put a lot of the emotional baggage onto myself when being there for friends, and it takes a toll. You need to take care of yourself first and foremost, so you can help other people even more. It's like putting on an oxygen mask before putting on your child's in a plane.
    Spoiler:
    Show
    Source: have had depression (medicated) and anxiety and have had many friends suffer from the same.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Kindred)
    Be there for them as a shoulder to lean on and mak yourself aware of what sort of stuff they may be experiencing and what things can help (mind.org has good info). You don't need to fix them, but if they seem lost you can give them some advice (like seeing a doctor or talking to a charity) and you can have a better idea of what might be going on. A lot of mh problems can make people distant and it can be good to know that so you kknow that it's not that they dislike you, they just feel off. You might also find they like if you talk to them a little more or invite them to do things. Even if they don't feel up to it it can remind them that you still care about them. Listening is big part.

    If you are really concerned about them, be willing to step in and do what you need to make them safe. This would mean things like calling an ambulance if they are suicidal even if you're worried about breaking trust. They may not be in the best state to look out for themselves so you may need to do it for them. This is unlikely to come up in most circumstances, but it could.

    Don't make it all about their mh though. Be therre to distract them and show them that whatever they are going through they are still normal and can do normal things. Maybe movie nights would be better than going out, but you can still do normal things with them if they feel up to it. Message them stupid smily faces on fb, tell them stupid stories and bad jokes, talk to them about your day. Just give them somebody to be them with. Just be a friend.

    Mind.org has some great info for how to help people with mh issues and knowing more about the conditions in general can help too. Check out some sites like sane, nhs, mind and samaritans if you want to do some reading.
    This is so much more comprehensive, thank you so much
    • Community Assistant
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by AlexFam)
    Involve them in your life.
    Make them feel like they are a part of your life.
    Do not encourage obsessive behaviour.
    The best thing you can do is to be there for them. You didn't cause it, you can't cure it, you can't control it. Remember that you need to also focus on yourself, as that's a big trap with dealing with other people's mental health issues. I know, for at least myself, I put a lot of the emotional baggage onto myself when being there for friends, and it takes a toll. You need to take care of yourself first and foremost, so you can help other people even more. It's like putting on an oxygen mask before putting on your child's in a plane.
    Spoiler:
    Show
    Source: have had depression (medicated) and anxiety and have had many friends suffer from the same.
    This is great advice, especially the part about taking care of yourself.

    The one thing I will add is although you shouldn't encourage any obsessive behaviour you shouldn't constantly be trying to fix it. I say that because it is very easy to do since you want to fix them and know that those behaviours are bad for them. It can add stress though and make them less trusting with you. It's a long process and you need to choose your battles.

    Personal experience time:
    Spoiler:
    Show
    When I was suffering with OCD the biggest thing my (now) bf did to gain my trust and help me was accept my obsessions and to a small extent humour them. I had an issue with doors and them having to be fully open or fully closed so he made sure they were like that whenever he did them. He also just let me do my thing when I was walking funny so I could step on each part of pavement an even number of times. Doing this didn't have much harm since they weren't harmful obsessions, but did a lot to make me feel comfortable with him and like I wasn't some crazy person. Long term I was actually able to manage better getting rid of my rituals since there was less stress associated.
    Another person was less accepting and it meant I never spoke to them about it again and was always more stressed with it around them- which just fed it more.


    It basically comes under not trying to fix them and being accepting. If you try to stop every little thing you're just setting up for failure and that's going to lead to more stress. If you know they have obsessive behaviours it's best just to let them get it out and gently suggest therapy. If it's a dangerous obsessive behaviour it's a bit different and you do need to try tour best to help them stop that, but do it WITH them. There is often a lot of failure behind progress and you will not win every battle. Remind them if they do slip up or are having a bad time that it does not erase progress they have already made and try to make them feel good about something.

    Anyway sorry for going on for so long. OCD stuff is a personal topic for me so I like to chip in. Good advice from Alex though, not trying to contradict or anything, just add my bit.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by AngryRedhead)
    So I'm asking mainly so I can more accurately help the people around me who suffer from depression and to an extent who depend on me for emotional support. Not just friends but family aswell. I'm not really experienced with depression and anxiety issues so I would really appreciate some insight from current sufferers as to what I can do to make it easier for someone who currently has this. I understand that this is a sensitive subject for most so I don't mind if you go anonymous if it makes you feel more comfortable, I'm just looking for insight on how to better help people with depression and anxiety issues.
    I'll tell you how I'd support someone, and also how people have supported me. My sister deals with depression and so do I. The first thing I will say is that if you know multiple people dealing with a mental illness don't expect it to be the same. That's where a few people go wrong. I went wrong there too, because my sister is quite open about how she feels. She'll cry out loud, cry to my parents and even grandparents. She'll just say "I hate myself" or "My life has no meaning" and I found it so difficult to understand, because all my life I have tried to hide my issues- put on a fake smile, cover my pain, try not to worry my parents in any way. It took me a while to realise people deal with it in different ways, and depression/anxiety manifests in different ways too. My sister (probably, but undiagnosed) has anxiety. I'm not a professional but it's pretty obvious when somebody has anxiety, and I have being diagnosed with it and am also on meds to help, so I can see the signs. Again, my sister is very introverted and shy. The problem is my parents now don't believe I have anxiety- they once again only see my sisters symptoms and believes thats the only way it manifests. Not true. I live at university so they don't see my panic, the amount of times I have skipped university and work. When I am paralysed in bed and can't sleep, OR sleep all day because I have no motivation to work.

    My point is, understand that people have different ways of showing and dealing with their problems. As an example, a family member might say they are struggling with depression but don't show any signs- whereas a friend might constantly tell you how upset and lonely they feel. That doesn't mean one is faking, or one is attention seeking etc. it simply means they deal with it in different ways.

    In terms of support. Just be there for them. Somebody mentioned treating it like any other illness. Exactly right. Ask them if they need anything, support them, and don't be afraid to ask them about it. You'd ask how somebody was if they'd broke their leg, so ask how somebody is if they've told you they struggle with mental illness. Also, don't always take "I'm fine" as a final answer. Maybe ask them if that's true. Show them that you really can be there for them, and that you're not just another person that will accept the "all is good" answer.

    You seem like a really decent person. Lots of people who haven't personally dealt with a mental illness don't care to understand a family member or friend who has one, but the fact you want to help, is just amazing. Just keep them above water, show them you're there for them- without smothering them. Don't be offended if they push you away. Good luck with whoever struggles with any of these problems, well done for trying to support them
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    Don't feel bad if they're in a crisis and what you say/do doesn't help them, often only something specific or specialised can help.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Always being there for them and involve them in your life,it really helps Also not asking too many question about their depression/anxiety issues.


    Posted from TSR Mobile
 
 
 
Write a reply… Reply
Submit reply
Updated: October 12, 2016
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Poll
Is GoT overrated?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Quick reply
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.