Tuesday, October 14, 2014

5 Things to Ask Your Friend with Depression

depression, compassion, friends, suicide
How do you talk about depression and suicidal thoughts with your friend or loved one? It's a tender subject to discuss. You're afraid of their reaction. Maybe, you think, talking about suicide will put the idea into their mind. Maybe they will get upset or resent you asking questions. These are genuine concerns but a person's life and possible death are too important for us to avoid talking about this serious subject.
Below are 5 questions or conversation starters that can help open the door to your loved one's emotional state of thinking. Once you get the conversation started, keep asking questions. Don't offer advice or platitudes. Listen and commit to following up on a regular basis.

1. How's life treating you? Why?

2. I've heard that everyone with depression thinks about suicide sometimes. Do you think that's true? How about you?

3. On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your depression recently? Is it improving or getting worse?

4.What's the best thing going on in your life right now? What's the worst thing?

5. How do you see your life in one year? What will you be doing?

Remember, there are several reasons a person may not immediately tell you about their depression - embarrassment, lack of trust or fear. Be lovingly persistent. Consistency shows you care.
If, during your discussion, your friend or loved one relates to you a serious desire to end their life, please go with them to get immediate help. Pick up the phone and call their doctor or 9-1-1 if necessary. Walk with them through the process of getting help. It's a scary road to walk alone. Be the friend that will make a difference in their life. God bless.

What are some questions or conversation starters that have helped you?

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