How can I best help my depressed friends & also take care of myself?
November 12, 2013 10:04 AM Subscribe
I watch many people who I care a lot about suffer from depression. I would sincerely do anything to help them, and do whatever I can think of: conversations, little notes and random texts, hanging out, offering help with thinking through options if they want it, etc. But, as someone who is lucky to not have 'been there', it's hard to know when I'm crossing a line and what's really needed. In fact, I think most of my efforts translate to "I know you mean well, but..." even though I'm also one of the few people these friends go to when things get bad. On top of worrying and trying to help, I also spend (probably too much) time thinking about what they're going through and what would be most helpful. It's exhausting for me and stressful, but it's personally not an option not to care. I end up internalizing this stuff and it affects my normal activities, even though at the end of the day, I'm not the one suffering. I want to be as good a friend and resource as possible to these people I truly care about and also want to avoid falling victim to anxiety or depression myself because of it. Any tips from either the 'been there' - depressed and knows what's helpful - perspective or the sincerly-caring-friend side of this equation would be much appreciated. Thanks.