How to help a loved one in a state of depression, to make him feel that he is not alone, that you understand him? Psychiatrist and blogger Jin Kim talks about words that are important to hear.
Just know: I’m always there
By making it clear that you are ready to be there in any situation, you are already providing support. A suffering person realizes how painful and sometimes burdensome for others his condition, and begins to close himself off from people. Your words will make him feel less lonely and isolated.
You can even say nothing – just be around, listen, or just be silent together. Your presence will help the person overcome the internal blockade, will make them feel that they are still loved and accepted.
What can I do to help you?
People experiencing a psychological breakdown are often unable to answer this question. However, your words will help someone who is going through a difficult period to listen to themselves, their desires.
Even if they answer you that you do not need anything, believe me – it was very important to hear this question. And if a person decides to tell and you listen to him, it will be a huge help for him.
I really like about you …
In moments of depression, we lose confidence in ourselves, and often self-esteem. And if you make a compliment, pointing out the advantages and qualities: delicate taste, attention and kindness, features of appearance, this will help you start treating yourself with great attention and love.
Yes, I also think it’s hard and unfair
Deep experiences make you mentally return to the events that caused them again and again, and the environment begins to seem that he is exaggerating and it is high time to pull himself together.
If a person feels that his bitter feelings are accepted, and not devalued, he is more likely to find the strength to move on.
In a state of depression, people become hypersensitive, and in order for the interlocutor to trust you, it is important to make it clear that you share his emotions. You acknowledge that he has been treated unfairly and that the circumstances he is going through are dire. If he feels that his bitter feelings are accepted, and not devalued, he is more likely to find the strength to move on.
I will help you find a way out
If you see a person sinking into deep depression, the best thing you can do is help them get professional support.
For many people who have never experienced therapy before. You can contact a psychotherapist yourself and invite a loved one to take him to the first appointment. In a state of depression, there is often no strength to seek outside help, and your support will be invaluable.
I understand you: it happened to me too
If you or someone close to you have gone through similar life vicissitudes, tell us about it. Your openness will help the person become more honest.
The more and freer he talks about what torments him, realizing that the words resonate, the less helpless and lonely he feels. And gradually the situation will begin to be perceived not so hopeless.
About the author: Jin Kim is a professor of psychiatry at George Washington University.