Mental health

My friend is living with depression and I don't know how to be around her because she doesn't really want to hang out or like, share stuff. Should I give her space? What can I say or not say? When she like pushes me away, how do I know if she really needs space or like she actually needs my company?

1 Replies
  1. Vanessa Heng
  2. Psychologist
  3. 24 Apr 2021
  4. Expert
Pending Moderation

Supporting a loved one through his/her challenging times plays a pivotal role in recovery.

What you can say:
- “You are not alone in this; I am here with you”. You can acknowledge, validate and encourage your friend’s feelings. Sometimes, your friend may want you to sit with her and feel your presence. At times, saying nothing and just being there can be comforting. You could be a listening ear or a shoulder to lean on. You can also encourage or suggest seeking help from a professional - a counsellor, psychologist or a support group.

Avoid doing things like dismissing their feelings, downplaying how they react/feel, or being critical of their actions. Try not to take one’s actions or words personally. Try not to take one’s actions or words personally - remember that these are not targeted at you.

While you are supporting your friend, do not forget to check in with your own feelings. Being part of your friend’s support network is a significant commitment that can take its toll on you. Therefore, you might want to set your own boundaries to how much help you can offer. With all the love and support comes patience. Allow your friend to accept and receive your support at her own pace.

  1. Nicole D
  2. 27 Apr 2021
Thank you! It does get a bit tiring at times, and I can be quite impatient..
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