Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

Helping Someone With Depression

Depression is the opposite of exuberance. So it’s not just a feeling of sadness, that’s part of it. The depressed person generally has little enthusiasm for life because they can no longer feel the point.

Everyone understands that getting out of bed and doing stuff is a good idea. But someone suffering from depression struggles to experience the emotional highs from the most basic pleasures. 

And some people can be so down and overwhelmed that they don’t even know where to begin to make things better. 

Even if it’s obvious to everyone else.

And it makes sense. When you feel as if you’ve been lodged under a mountain, shrugging off a few rocks and boulders feels utterly meaningless.

Societal expectations make things even worse for the person with mental health issues.

We live in a world that pressures you to succeed and be happy. Our social media channels bombard us with clear images of the good life 24/7.

If you’re on your phone scrolling through videos and photos of beautiful people living the dream, while your Jabba-looking ass is struggling to get out of bed to take a shower, you’re going to have a bad time.

So what can we do when we have a friend struggling with depression?

Firstly, stop handing out advice. Even giving them the perfect solution won’t achieve anything, unless they’re ready to make a move.

And if there’s anything you should understand about your depressed friend it’s that they’re likely feeling helpless and out of control.

You can’t move an immobile object.

So what do you do instead?

Show up and say:

“I love you. And I know you’re going to come out of this when you’re ready, so I’m not going to tell you what to do. But I’m here for you if you need me.”

You can’t end your friend’s depression, but you can help them recognise they have the strength and support to do it themselves.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach