SUN Behavioral Kentucky Offers Guide on How to Help a Friend with Depression
SUN Behavioral Kentucky, which is based in Erlanger, KY, has recently published an article that provides a guide on how to help a friend with depression. Depression and other mental health disorders have risen in Kentucky by 26 percent during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, according to the United Health Foundation. It is important to recognize indicators of depression in a friend and know the things that one can do for a friend who is depressed.
There are both physical and emotional indicators of depression in an individual. Physical identifiers include: constant physical pain; little to no energy; sleeping too little or too much; frequent stomach problems; and lack of sex drive. Emotional signs of depression are more difficult to notice. Emotional identifiers include: not accepting invitations to hang out or visit; frequent cancellation of plans; a tendency to talk about self-harm or death; frequent crying spells; and a tendency to complain or have a negative attitude all the time.
A spokesperson for SUN Behavioral says, “There is nothing you can do to ‘fix’ depression. No matter how painful it is for you to witness your friend in pain – it’s more painful for them. However, there are little things you can do to help them feel supported, understood, and cared for. Something very helpful for people who are experiencing depression is having someone to talk to. Active listening, or listening without the intention of responding, is one of the best ways to connect with your depressed friend. Don’t worry about giving advice, just be there for them. Bring them a cup of coffee and sit next to them on the couch. Ask them if they’d like to talk. If you’ve noticed that they’re unwilling to leave the house, ask if you can come over to spend time with them.”
Exhaustion usually follows depression. Those who are depressed will usually feel too tired to do any of the usual things they do around the house like cleaning or cooking meals. A friend can help by offering to help them do these things. It may also help to show thoughtfulness, such as offering them one of their favorite books or music.
It is important to know what to say and what not to say when a friend is depressed. Giving advice is usually not recommended because it can backfire as it can make them feel more misunderstood. Phrases to avoid include “it’s all in your head” and “it’s not that bad.” The goal should be to be as supportive as much as possible and validate what they are feeling. It is possible to gently remind the friend about the good and positive things in life.
The SUN Behavioral spokesperson says, “Giving advice or ‘saying too much’ is a slippery slope. You can’t change what your friend is going through, and if you try to give advice or ‘words of wisdom,’ it could backfire. No matter how good your intentions are, your advice could make them feel more misunderstood or alone than they felt before. Giving advice or opinions should be avoided, but there are still helpful things you can say (and some things you should avoid saying).”
Validation and support are very important and some of the supportive things to say include “How can I help?” “I’m here for you,” and “This must be really hard.” If the friend has suicidal thoughts, it is important to always take it seriously. It is essential to encourage the friend to get treated for depression because a mental health professional can provide the help that is required.
SUN Behavioral Health has the mission of collaborating with communities to offer the right solutions for the unmet needs of individuals struggling with mental health and substance use issues. They have a 197-bed psychiatric hospital located in Erlanger, Kentucky, which is strategically positioned as it is only 10 minutes south of Cincinnati, Ohio. They offer comprehensive care, including inpatient and day hospital services, for kids, teens, adults, and seniors with substance use or mental health disorders.
Those who want to get more information about the services offered by SUN Behavioral Kentucky can check out their website or contact them on the telephone or through email. They can be contacted 24 hours a day, every day of the week.
For more information about SUN Behavioral Kentucky, contact the company here:
SUN Behavioral Kentucky
820 Dolwick Drive
Erlanger, Kentucky 41018