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It can be hard to know exactly how to help someone with depression or anxiety, and what to say to someone who's having a rough time. Not totally sure what depression or anxiety are, or how to help a friend with depression or anxiety? A really great first step in helping your friend is to find out more about depressionanxiety or anything else your friend is going through — this will help you to better understand what's happening and how they feel.
Someone experiencing mental health concerns might feel ashamed, and worried about how their friends might react if they talk about it. Not everyone experiences depression or anxiety in the same way, and symptoms can vary; however, there are changes in the way a person going through a tough time acts that you can look out for. If your friend is experiencing depression, they might:. Learn more about what depression is and to recognise the s and symptoms.
Learn more about what anxiety is and how to recognise the symptoms. It can be hard to know what to say to a depressed or anxious friend. You might not have an answer or a solution, but just being there to listen can be super helpful.
Acknowledge that what's happening must be difficult to handle; don't tell them that their feelings are weird or unfounded.
You could also offer them some options and let them choose what suits them best. For example, you could offer to listen and let them express their thoughts, or just to hang out, without serious conversation. Try to be caring, compassionate and curious, and let them know that they matter to you and you are taking them seriously.
Your friend might not be aware of what professional support options are available, or they may be unsure of how to get support. Even if they know about support options, it can be daunting to see a health professional. You can offer support by encouraging your friend to speak to a health professional or an adult they trust. A GP can organise a mental health care plan for them if Guy with anxiety problem looking for a new friendship. This means that your friend will get a referral to a psychologist or other professional.
Not everyone is ready to see somebody face-to-face. You could recommend hotlines or online chat-based helplines. The ReachOut NextStep tool can also provide tailored support options so they can make their own plan. Here are some support services they could use, and some more information about getting professional support for depression and anxiety.
On a bad day, your friend might not want to leave their room. If you think your friend may be in danger or at risk of hurting themselves or someone else, seek help from a trusted adult or emergency mental health service immediately. Call to reach emergency services and also tell someone you trust. When you're going through a tough time, it can be hard to recognise and acknowledge your own achievements.
It's also hard to see your own progress and improvement. When your friend takes a step towards confronting their fears or improving their wellbeing, congratulate them and do something fun together. Help them feel proud of themselves. It can be pretty scary and intense to see someone you care about experiencing depression or anxiety. Learn about what your friend is going through Not totally sure what depression or anxiety are, or how to help a friend with depression or anxiety? How do you know if your friend is going through a tough time? If your friend is experiencing depression, they might: seem down or tearful a lot of the time, or cranky more often stay up really late or sleep in a lot, or have problems with sleep miss a lot of school, work or their regular activities miss hangouts or often cancel at the last minute eat more or less than usual drink alcohol or take drugs more than usual talk about feeling empty, tired or worthless seem more pessimistic and hopeless, and like they have less energy in general.
If your friend is experiencing anxiety, they might: be obsessed with details, such as being a perfectionist or wanting to plan things out thoroughly have difficulty making decisions avoid new people, situations or unfamiliar places have trouble keeping to schedules or plans seem disinterested, forgetful, distracted or scattered have digestive issues have a need to reassurance — about how you feel, whether plans make sense, triple checking times have difficulty sleeping Learn more about what anxiety is and how to recognise the symptoms.
Be open and welcoming, and listen It can be hard to know what to say to a depressed or anxious friend.
Help them to find support Your friend might not be aware of what professional support options are available, or they may be unsure of how to get support. Continue supporting them and respond to emergencies On a bad day, your friend might not want to leave their room. Celebrate their successes When you're going through a tough time, it can be hard to recognise and acknowledge your own achievements.
Take care of yourself! Remember to do the following to make sure your own wellbeing is looked after: Monitor your mood. You might be really worried about your friend, but it's important that you also monitor your own mood and stress levels.
This could include rating your mood out of ten each day, to track how you're doing.
Don't give up the things you enjoy. Always make sure you've got the time to do your favourite things. Make time to relax. Relaxation is great for helping you to unwind and deal with stress. Set boundaries. Ask for support. What can I do now? Find out more about what to do if your friend doesn't want help.
Set aside some regular time to look after yourself. about depression or anxiety.Guy with anxiety problem looking for a new friendship
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How to Make Friends When You Have Social Anxiety