Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person’s thoughts, behavior, feelings and sense of well-being. It is one of the most common mental disorders and affects a large percentage of people in Kenya.
In a conservative society, most people do not get the seriousness and depressed people are thought to be just stressed with life. Majority of those depressed do not speak about what they are going through and rarely do they seek professional help. This might lead to dire consequences such as them trying to commit suicide.
As friends and family sometimes you ask yourselves what you can do to help those depressed, here is a highlight at a few action points.
The first thing is to acknowledge to the person that you’ve noticed they’ve not been themselves of late and you want to help. The worst that people do is ignore the signs and later regret when the depressed person is beyond help. You can notice the signs early and try finding out what the problem is. Just lending an ear goes a long way in helping those depressed.
Do not take their problems lightly. If the issue is big enough to make the person go into depression then it is serious enough. Most people listen to what their friends have to say and consider their problems as trivial. This might lead the person to be more depressed as they feel they are worrying of small things and consider that a bad thing.
If it is serious , advice you friend to seek professional help. There are lots of medical practitioners who deal with mental disorders and are best suited to prescribe medication and advice those depressed. You should ensure that your friend seeks professional help so they won’t go over board or start abusing drugs so as to stay afloat.
Lastly, you should try and be there. Mind you, supporting a depressed friend might take a toll on you so always make sure to take care of yourself but if you can be there for them. Just because they are depressed doesn’t mean you can’t make fun plans. These might go a long way to get their minds off what was worrying them.