How to Communicate with Person with Depression
Depression, a widely growing mental illness that occurred in all ages, especially teenagers. Depression is not a visible sickness, you cannot detect or have known whether someone close to you had it. The sufferer could be happy now and become sorrowful and unhappy the next day.
According to the World Health Organization, more than 240 million people of all ages especially women suffer from depression. Psychology and medical treatment are being used to treat this mental illness. But, suicide rates keep increasing years after years, why?
There are a few reasons that I can think of:
- Public awareness is still lacking the understanding of depression.
- The sufferer was afraid to seek help and worsen the illness.
- Social pressure growing in education, jobs, and life.
- The increase and uncontrolled cyberbullying in social media.
- The substance abuse from drugs and alcohol to forget the trouble of living leads to much-unplanned suicides such as overdosing.
Today, we are going to discuss what to do and what not to do when you suspect your friends or family have depression symptoms.
What to do when dealing with a person with depression?
Offer them a sense of participation such as ask them if they want to join a party, go for a walk, or just hang out and chill. By doing so, they will not felt left out, even if they reject the offer, it is still a simple gesture that makes them feel people want to be around them.
Give them the opportunity to talk. You know when a bunch of friends gather around and talk about their bad experiences in life. Be honest and share your worst experience in life like that one time you shat your pants, or your dad beat the hell out of you for stealing his sandwich, etc. Everyone had at least a few of their life stories (the bad one) that they can share. By doing so, you’re giving your friends to do the same by express their feeling, then you can start talking about life in the future, making them feel like there’s a long line of suffering and they are not the only ones and make them feel there’s a future for them to explore. One tiny drop of “hope” and “faith” will shed light on them.
Interesting facts: The Power of Talk: Who Gets Heard and Why
Check up on them from time to time. Be as it may be, you might be working or studying far away, try to visit and check up on them from time to time. With a simple phone call or mobile phone message asking them how they are doing? How about a meet-up soon? Join you in any event? Or just simply call and shout “Whatsapppppppppp!” 🙂
What NOT to do when dealing with a person with depression?
Tell them to get over it. This is one of the easiest solutions for yourself when encountered with someone with depression, you want to push the trouble of the thought of handing or reaching a hand to help, you already had a lot on the plate yourself and you just simply do not want to be bothered with someone else trouble. The mindset of “everyone has an issue, why is yours special?” will worsen or worst; deadly consequences on the person you handled with this attitude.
Comparison and show off. Alright, to be fair, we love to show new things to our friends and family. A mother might in-direct comparing their children, friends might sometimes over talk about their achievements, brothers might not realize they hurting each other when teasing. There’s nothing wrong with it and it is natural in a normal occasion, but if you are alone or having a conversation with the one that you suspect might have depression, please refrain yourself from bragging excessively.
A direct conversation such as below should be avoided:
- Wow, your brother is doing way better than you
- Why are you still wearing those old clothes, drive that junk, living with your parents still?
- I’m living the dream! And you? (In a sarcastic tone).
Try to be a bit modest and do not do an in-direct comparison between you and him or between him and his or her family member. Especially during this pandemic Covid-19 where everyone trying to survive financially. They do not need someone to add fuel to the fire [?].
Word kills. Internet bullying or cyberbully is one of the most common causes of suicide in children and teens. According to AACAP, suicide is the second leading cause of death for children. Children as young as 10 years old already committed suicide because of a cyberbully.
Lame and mean jokes or remarks that are too personal such as eat much? go to the gym, please! And you smell, please get away from me or worst of all; go kill yourself or why don’t you die? This is the type of remark online or offline we’ve seen a lot in cyberbully situations.
Depression is a silent killer
The truth is you wouldn’t know if someone close to you is having depression. There’s a lot of cases already where a person is happy and talkative today and commit suicide the next day. This is why depression is a silent killer, so my advice would be to treat people with kindness, compassion, and care, do not always make it about you, make room to listen and care for your friends and family, they might turn a new leaf even when you ask a simple question; How do you do?