Depression is a condition that is greatly misunderstood by those who don’t deal with it. Christ-followers who deal with depression are often condemned and told that they are just dealing with sin. We need to have open honest discussions in the church about depression! Depression is a difficult thing to deal with. It can also be a confusing thing to be the one walking with a friend through depression too.Do you have a friend who suffers from depression?Tips for Walking a Friend Through DepressionFirst, you need to create a safe place to discuss depression. Learn about depression. Find ways to talk about and be open about depression in general.
Next, know where your friend is in their struggle. Does your friend hide their depression in denial? Or is your friend facing their depression and seeking treatment? Once you know how your friend is dealing with their depression, you can act more specifically.
Walking with a Friend in Denial about Depression
Here are some tips for walking with a friend who is in denial about their depression:
- You can’t force them to face their depression. Only they can make the decision and seek help.
- Be present and helpful, but not enabling.
- Carefully discussion depression and use your own story if appropriate.
- Encourage your friend to seek professional help.
- Help your friend understand that depression is a medical condition.
Walking with a Friend Trying to Manage Depression
If your friend is actively trying to manage their depression, here are some tips:
- Call it depression and don’t shy away from it.
- Don’t let your friend use depression as an excuse.
- Understand that depression can be exhausting.
- Know that your friend experiences good days and bad days – sometimes all in the same day.
- Find small ways to get your friend out of the house. Invite them to coffee or to lunch or give them the opportunity to get out alone without kids.
- Find ways to give your friend space to rest and work through their depression.
- Meals, childcare, and other things that you would do for a struggling friend are appropriate too, especially when you know that your friend is going through a rough time or dealing with double depression days.
You can walk with a friend through depression! Together we can make it ok to talk about depression as Christ-followers and make it easier for friends with depression to manage their depression.
Amanda has written a beautiful ebook Finding Joy in Depression that I reviewed here. She is offering a special discount code for Not Consumed readers until 8/31/12. Enter: NOTCONSUMED2OFF at checkout!
Amanda Pelser is the work-at home(schooling)-mom of two boys. She has been married to her high school sweetheart for over nine years. She’s the author of Finding Joy in Depression, an ebook sharing her story of dealing with depression and ways to manage depression. Amanda also opens her home to reader as an encouraging and inspiring shelter for the heart at ThePelsers.com through stories of faith, motherhood, and homeschooling.
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