As a bloke, it’s often hard to reach out to other people to ask for help or support when we’re in trouble. Everyone goes through tough times however, and sometime having someone we trust and care about who we can confide in, can help a lot. Especially since 2020, where global lockdowns, economic instability and redundancies have caused a sharp increase in depression and suicide, it’s now more important than ever to be there for your mates when they are struggling.
Sometimes it’s difficult to know if your friends need help. They may be too shy, embarrassed or proud to approach you about the topic. If you suspect one of your friends is sad, depressed, or going through a rough time be it because of a bad relationship, problems with finances, issues with coworkers or a boss, family problems or anything else, you should proactively approach them showing your concern.
Talking is one of the best ways to offer your support. Show that you care, that you are there to listen and offer advice – if you have any, and just let them know that you want to help if they need it. Caring for a sad person is not always easy, and a lot of the time you might not even know what to say or do. Just letting the person know that you care however, and that you are there for them to talk to if they want, will make them feel more at easy and hopefully reduce some of the burden of what they have been holding in.
Often it will take you noticing some extreme behavior before you realize there is an issue in your friends’ life. You may have noticed that your mate has started drinking a lot more regularly, hasn’t been taking care of themselves, has been using recreational drugs often, is gambling, or just going through a state of depression where they hardly ever leave their home.
If you think things are out of control and you may not be able to handle things on your own, it might be best to reach out to other mutual friends or even your sad friends’ family to see how they can help. The last thing you want is a suicide that could have been stopped, or a complete mental breakdown which could end up leading to all sorts of trouble. Talk with your friend, if you can gain their trust enough for them to open up to you completely, then you will be able to bring up the topic of whether or not they think that scheduling visits to a certified therapist might help with their situation.
Pharmaceuticals should be a last option, show your support and help the sad person through the issue without the need for anti-depressants if at all possible. While some OTC medication can help in the short term, there’s always a risk of long-term addition, withdrawal, and side effects.
Thanks to Jay from www.myguide2life.com for his help in writing and editing this post on men’s mental health and helping your friends’ through sadness and depression.