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Help Depressed Person ; Bring me to Life

Abstract: What must I do to help someone who is depressed? How should I behave with someone depressed?

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Help Depressed Person ; Bring me to Life

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Question(s): 
Written by: , lecturer of Psychiatry in the University of Ioannina Medical School, Greece. Eva Gerasi, postgraduate student in the Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital of Ioannina, Greece.
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 29 Jul 2008.

What must I do to help someone who is depressed? How should I behave with someone depressed? How can other people bring me to life?

Answer:

Here are some suggestions on how to behave with a depressed relative or friend:
  • Be tactful, but not to the point of pretending that the problem does not exist.
  • Seek an opportunity to communicate that you are aware of the person's difficulty and available to help or listen.
  • Invite the person to express how he or she is feeling, but do not insist on it.
  • Do not demand too much: be encouraging but patient, allowing the person to choose his or her pace.
  • Try to avoid premature or bland reassurance, which risks communicating that you fail to understand or do not care.
  • Make it clear that you are trying to understand and ask what you can do.
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