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12 Ways to Help Someone with Depression, According to Psychologists

Reader's Digest Canada Logo By Tina Donvito, thehealthy.com of Reader's Digest Canada | Slide 1 of 12: When a friend or family member is struggling, our natural instinct is to take action and give them what we consider “helpful” advice. But here’s how to help someone with depression: hold off on the guidance and just listen. “Listening with compassion allows your friend to express the wrenching physical and emotional aspects of depression,” says Deborah Serani, a professor of psychology at Adelphi University in Garden City, New York. “Things to say include, ‘I want to know what you’re going through,’ ‘What can I do to help you feel better?’ and ‘I’m here for you, to talk to and support you.’” Allowing people to open up on their own terms helps them feel validated.

Just listen

When a friend or family member is struggling, our natural instinct is to take action and give them what we consider “helpful” advice. But here’s how to help someone with depression: hold off on the guidance and just listen. “Listening with compassion allows your friend to express the wrenching physical and emotional aspects of depression,” says Deborah Serani, a professor of psychology at Adelphi University in Garden City, New York. “Things to say include, ‘I want to know what you’re going through,’ ‘What can I do to help you feel better?’ and ‘I’m here for you, to talk to and support you.’” Allowing people to open up on their own terms helps them feel validated.

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