Respond to Depression
By Tian Yu
Throughout the course of our lives, we all experience episodes of unhappiness, sadness, or grief. Often, when a loved one dies or we suffer a personal tragedy or difficulty such as divorce or loss of a job, we may feel depressed. Depression can strike at any time, and properly responding to the depression is very important.
Some people don't really understand about depression. They may criticize a depressed person's low energy, yelling at the person for acting lazy or not trying harder. Some people mistakenly believe that depression is just an attitude or a mood that a person can shake off. It's not that easy. Sometimes even people who are depressed don't take their condition seriously enough. Some people feel that they are weak in some way because they are depressed. This is wrong and it can even be harmful if it causes people to hide their depression and avoid getting help.
Sometimes friends or family members recognize that someone is depressed. They may respond with love, kindness, or support, hoping that the sadness will soon pass. They may offer to listen if the person wants to talk. If the depressed feeling doesn't pass with a little time, friends or loved ones may encourage the person to get help from a doctor, therapist, or counselor.
The depressed person will most times want to talk about their life problems. They may want you to confirm their negative view of life and at the same time can be very manipulative, needy, and demanding. There is much time and effort exerted trying to solve their problems and when they become exhausted and realize that there is no solution they become further depressed. It will be very easy for you to be sucked into this spiral of emotions to the benefit of neither you nor your depressed friend. Their problems might be horrendous and unsolvable at this time, but for now the most pressing problem in their life is the depression, this is especially true if they are having suicidal thoughts.
Keep in mind that you are not trying to provide solutions to their life problems and you are not trying cure their depression. What you are attempting to accomplish is to help them explore other opinions and options as to the cause and the cure of their depression.
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