Don’t come on too strong

Don’t come on too strong. When someone you care about is depressed, you may feel the urge to give advice. If you see someone moping around, it’s natural to want to help her feel better. But be aware of coming on too strong. One of the hallmarks of being depressed is a sense of hopelessness. When you bombard a depressed person with one suggestion after another, she may feel as if you do not understand her situation. She feels as if there is no hope, but here you are giving her advice and expecting her to feel 100 percent better. Convey that you understand how hopelessness feels. Then offer advice, but try to limit it to one suggestion at a time. What matters more than the actual suggestion is that you convey respect and an understanding of what she feels she is up against. Sometimes it is most helpful to encourage your loved one to get out of the house and stay active; at other times, it may be better to suggest that she time some time to be alone. To figure out the best advice to give, you need to consult with your loved one about what she thinks would be most helpful.

  • pg. 123, When Someone You Love Is Depressed – Laura Rosen & Xavier Amador, ISBN 978-0-684-83407-8
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