Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Help Tips

Having been asked for help explaining how non suffers can help and support those who have anxiety and depression, I wrote the following. 

As far as anxiety and depression goes, at least in my case as others might be different - reassurance is a big part. Don't reject them, hurt them or leave them stranded in some way (may not seem to you like you are, but to them it could feel like you're pushing them out of a plane into the ocean and they can't swim), keep your eyes open for signs of panic and uncomfortableness - could be anything from silence, nail biting, finger twiddling, refusal to put down their phone etc - constantly reassure them that they're gonna be okay and that you're there for them. Don't force them into situations you know/think they might be uncomfortable with, but be there to support them if they try and do something outside of their comfort zone. Don't always believe 'fine' as an answer when you ask how they are, but don't try and push too far for a better answer, just let them know that you're there if they need you. 

Depression is a lot of the same, but needing extra encouragement to try and do things rather than just wallow. Too much wallowing means not wanting to do things, which means when it comes to actually trying to do things it could have been too long since you've seen people and the anxiety kicks in, and beliefs that there will be endless questions as to where you've been or what's up or things like that then make you not want to do anything again.

Try and get them to do things, but within their limits. Ask if they wanna go for a drink or a walk or something, and even if you normally get the same answer of no, keep trying - but don't push. Let them know that they're not alone, even if that's all they feel, constant reassurance that they're not a hinderance, annoying or ridiculous/pathetic can mean a lot.

Just trying is the main thing though. Even if you feel like you may have failed because they're still panicky or crying or suicidal, the fact that you even bothered trying in the first place means a hell of a lot, as so many people just ignore those with anxiety and depression, or think we're attention seeking (which maybe we are, but at least in my case it's generally a cry for help) and the fact that there's someone on the planet that actually seems to be showing compassion towards us can at least make stepping stones towards helping recovery.

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