When you are disabled it is not uncommon to suffer from depression but unfortunately, not everyone can afford therapy and sometimes we just have to learn how to cope with our depression. When your friends suffer from depression it can hard to watch because you want to help but you may not know how or maybe too afraid that you may say something that could worsen their depression. Many of my friends in the past have suffered from depression and as painful as it is to watch and not be able to do anything about it your support means the world to them! Supporting your friends through this difficult time is so important so if you are wondering how you can do that here are a few ways I support my friends who are suffering from depression!
Remind them they are not alone- Whether you have a disability or are suffering from depression sometimes it can get lonely and you may feel like you are doing this alone! You are not alone! There are tons of people in your situation that are also going through the same thing so although you may feel alone I promise you, you’re not! If your friend is suffering from depression and they feel alone remind them they are loved and they are not on this journey alone! Depression can be tough at times but reassuring your friend that you are with them during this journey can help get through the tough days.
Be their friend not their therapist- When your friend is suffering from depression they may have no one to talk to about they’re feelings so they may need someone to talk to about these feelings. Disabled people are always given medical advice from people who are not qualified to give medical advice and to be totally honest it can get annoying. No there is no magical cure for a lot of disabilities so stop telling us about all these magical cures that will cure us of our disabilities because it doesn’t exist! If your friend comes to you and is depressed and wants to chat talk to them like you would to any friend don’t talk to them like a therapist. Treating your friend like you are their therapist will put a huge toll on your relationship so don’t do it!
Give them space- A mother’s job is to make you tell your life story but that is not your job as a friend! If you are constantly pressuring them to tell you why they are depressed you will only cause them to become very annoyed and not trust you or want to tell you anything of importance. If your friend is suffering from anxiety or depression but won’t talk about it give them space. Not everyone will be comfortable with sharing their feelings about their depression and anxiety with you and forcing them to talk about their feelings will do more harm than good. Your friend will never open up to you if you are constantly pressuring them to tell you why they are depressed so if you ever want them to open up to you wait until they are ready!
Listen- When your friend comes to you wanting to talk about their depression and anxiety now is your time to listen! As tempting as it may be to rant about all your problems now is not the appropriate time to do that and there will be plenty of other opportunities! Listen to your friend and provide any supportive input that may help them get through there depression. A person suffering from depression does not care about your problems at the moment but wants to talk about their problems and find a way to get through it. Stop for a minute and listen to your friend and see if you can help them through this difficult time. When you take a minute and show your support by listening to your friend it means the world to us and helps us get through our depression.
Sometimes when our friends are suffering from depression we may feel helpless and want to rush into things because we want to “fix them”. It is very important that you don’t try and do that and let them have their space because doing that can make it worse. Having a friend with depression can be painful to watch but you are not doing yourself or your friend any favors by forcing them to tell you why they are depressed. If you feel your friend is causing self-harm and you have done everything you can as a friend to help them encourage them to seek help from an expert. You are on this journey together so if you want your friend to trust you give them a reason to want to trust you! When you are depressed you may feel alone and like no one gets it but trust me you are not alone!