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6 Ways to help a friend who struggles with depression or anxiety

As someone who has struggled with fear and anxiety for over 20 years, I know that it’s important to have the support of your friends and family. At times, it can be difficult to find people who will understand your mental health issues. In my experience, some of my friends could not accept my mental health issues and as a result I lost some friendships. Thankfully, my family was able to understand what I was going through.

Here are some ways you can really help someone who’s struggling with mental health issues.

1. Education is important

Learn as much as you can about managing anxiety and depression. There are many books and lots of information that will educate you on how to deal with fear and anxiety. Share this information with the person who is struggling. Education is the key in finding the answers you’re looking for in managing your fears.

2. Give the person a break

Be understanding and patient with the person struggling with their fears. Dealing with depression and anxiety can be difficult for the person, so do not add more problems than what is already there. Be persistent in trying to get help for your friend but do not get on their case. Give your friend the space they need to make the right decisions.

3. Make the right choices

Remind the person that drugs and alcohol are not the answers. Alcohol and drugs will not take away your problems and fears. In the short run, they might make you feel better, but in the long run these addictions will only make things worse. Continually remind the person to seek professional help instead of using drugs and alcohol.

4. Circumstances always change

Get your friend or relative to understand that their situation will not remain the same. Tell the person that things change and events do not stay the same. No one can predict the future with 100 percent accuracy. Even if the thing that you feared does happen, there are factors that you can’t predict which can be used to your advantage.

5. There are options

The person who is struggling may feel lost and confused, but remind the person that the answers to their problems are out there. Remind the person that they can’t sit around and expect to get better. They need to be willing to seek help and remain persistent in finding the answers to their problems.

6. Find and talk to a professional

Try to find a professional counselor who can help your friend with their mental health. Get the person to seek treatment from a counselor. A counselor will be able to provide the person with advice and insights on how to deal with their current mental health issues. By talking to a professional, a person will be helping themselves because they will become better able to deal with their problems.

I learned that there will always be some people who will give you a hard time. The key is to keep your distance from those people who do not support you and to stay close to your friends and family who are supportive. If you can’t find anyone who can support you, try following some of these suggestions.

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