Mental Health

How to Help Someone With Depression

Depression seems prevalent in our world today. Statistics show:

  • More than 1.5 million cases of depression are recorded per year in Nigeria.
  • Major depressive disorder affects approximately 17.3 million American adults, or about 7.1% of the U.S. population.
  • 300 million people around the world have depression, according to the World Health Organization.

However, the good news is you don’t have to be an erudite in mental health to assist in the treatment of one who is depressed. Here are 5 way to help someone with depression.

5 Ways To Support Someone With Depression

1. Be There
Really, treating depression isn’t much of a big deal. Deborah Serani, PsyD, a psychologist who’s struggled with depression herself comments: “The best thing you can do for someone who is depressed is to be there.” When depression comes, all that’s needed is the presence of another who’s willing to give help and emotional support.

A simple definition of depression states: Depression is a mental state characterized by a pessimistic sense of inadequacy and a despondent lack of activity. The feeling of inadequacy that occurs due to a situation in one’s life can be counterbalanced by the presence of one showing support and love at the time of need.

Your presence is more valuable than you think. Furthermore, it’s rare for a person to commit suicide when there’s a person close by. Those who commit suicide always have a desire to withdraw themselves from social contact and also want to be left by themselves. Being around will hinder them from making such move.

2. Watch Your Words
It’s been rightly said that being there for someone that’s fighting depression is very important. However, this could turn out to be counteractive if you don’t act discreet and tactful. In essence, watch your words!

Be careful to not say things such as:

  • Suck it up and be a man (This is especially said to men. Saying this makes it seem shameful for a man to feel or express emotions. That’s not true.)
  • You better snap out of it or I’m going to leave (You make them feel they can just snap their finger and immediately feel better; that’s impossible.)
  • You caused it (It doesn’t matter if this is true; it’s not the best time to mention it.)
  • I’d handle this much better if I were in your shoes (This increases their sense of inadequacy and hopelessness.)

3. Be a Compassionate Listener
Being a good listener is one of the most important and enchanting life skill anyone can have. One of the sign of being a good listener is that you have a friendly suspicion that makes you urge for clarification as opposed to trying to give advice and hastily proffer solutions. This attitude of wanting to say something wise and bombastic isn’t the best approach when dealing with a depressed person.

Encourage them to elaborate. Tell them, “go on; how do you mean; tell me more; what can we do about this.” Let them speak their minds, and then you can really have a grasp of what’s happening to them. Furthermore, they feel connected to on an emotional level when they see your sincere desire to know what’s happening with them. Listening helps them experience pleasure because it signals sympathy and compassion, which is something they highly require to heal. On the other hand, being reluctant to hear them is both disgusting and debilitating.

4. Be Patient
Being patient with a depressed person is 2 parts:

  • Patience in handling their rudeness: Depressed people are more inclined to say hurtful things and lash out in anger. This bad-mannered attitude might continue for a while, hence you mustn’t use that as an excuse to leave them or reply with a sharper retort. Remember, it’s most difficult to have a good attitude when you’re depressed. And, it’s the depression that’s talking, not them.
  • Patience in waiting for them to get better: It might be frustrating to watch a depressed friend or family member struggle, especially if progress is slow or stalled. Having patience is very important. Remember, recovery from depression doesn’t happen overnight.

5. Encourage Them to Get Help
In any given year, nearly 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. suffer from a mental illness, yet fewer than half of those suffering receive treatment.

People with depression seldom gets better without treatment and may even get worse. According to Mayo Clinic, one of the main sign of depression is frequent or recurrent mention of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide. But this can be kept off if early treatment is administered.

People with depression may not recognize or acknowledge that they’re depressed. Sometimes, they feel ashamed to admit their depression and they feel they should be able to overcome it with willpower alone. Suggest seeking help from a professional – a medical doctor or a mental health provider, such as a licensed counselor or a psychologist.

Sometimes, supporting someone with depression may feel like you’re walking on a tightrope. It can be a complicated and overwhelming task. What do I do? What do I not say? What do I not do? But remember that just being there and asking how you can help can be an incredible gift.

Social Skill

The Beauty of Conversation

I believe beauty is something that comes from within. This isn’t to rule out external beauty that’s more obvious to the eye, but the beauty of knowing someone beyond their looks is beauty for real.

Talking is like sharing a part of yourself–your inner beauty. Like sports, if you’re on the sidelines we can’t get to know how good you are. But when you come into the field of play we can get a firsthand look at how awesome you are, otherwise, we have a right to believe you’re not a good player.

Sometimes, people tend to form an opinion of folks who don’t talk to them as lacking confidence. But the Bible actually associates confidence with talking. Confidence–Greek: parrhēsia; it means free speaking; plain speaking; open speaking; bold speaking.

On the other hand, if they don’t see you as someone that lacks confidence, they could rightly assume you don’t like them. The Bible also justifies this assumption because the biblical view of hatred implies nothing extreme. It’s from the Greek word “miséō“, it literally means ‘love less’.

This explains showing or having no emotions–good or bad–towards someone. It’s best described as indifference.

As, Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel observed, “the opposite of love is not hate, but indifference; for at a minimum, to love or hate someone is to have intense emotions toward them.”

Now, this doesn’t mean we should make assumptions our standard for assessing people. We must talk to them first or at least get to hear them talk.

When you don’t like someone, it might be because of what you heard or think about them. But if you get an opportunity to meet them for yourself, chances are, you might develop a different opinion about them and even begin to like them.

Mike Murdock believes God created us for conversation. He knew that’s all we ever need cos as we talk to God, we get to know him more, our minds are renewed, we become more like him and we love him more.

If you check for the meaning of conversation on Wikipedia, you’d observe it states on the page, “No generally accepted definition of conversation exists…” why? Because conversation doesn’t have to be to teach something or to exchange ideas. Conversation has deeper meanings and intentions.

For example, states that a good marriage thrives on the open exchange of emotion, desires, and beliefs. That’s not going to happen without some conversations. Indeed, communication is one of the most
important aspects of a satisfying marriage and social life.

Mental Health

The Bane of Overthinking

The sharpest minds often ruin their lives by overthinking the next step, while the dull win the race with eyes closed.
Bethany Brookbank

Once a philosophy professor gave an unusual test to his class. He lifted his chair up and kept it on his table.

Now he turned toward the board and wrote, “Prove that this chair does not exist..”

The whole class was surprised and confused yet all students started writing long complex explanations.

Among all, there was one student who completed that test in less than a minute and handed his paper to professor, attracting surprise glances from his classmates and the professor.

Some days later, the class received their grades for the test and that particular student who took less than a minute to complete the test was announced the student with the best answer.

His answer was, “What chair??”

The moral of the story is this: We tend to Think a lot. Sometimes answers are just simple.

Someone rightly said overthinking is the art of creating problems that weren’t even there.

Many time we overcomplicate, overanalyze and emotionalize things so such that we end up flummoxed by our thoughts.

In life, it appears to be that it’s those who care less, worry less or are less serious that end up doing better. Overthinking is good when it comes to planning and creativity, but it doesn’t help when we’re overthinking because we’re afraid of failure or imperfection. Anything tainted with fear never goes well.

We’re afraid of making a mistake or taking an action yet we end up making a mistake and fear of failure incapacitates us from daring future escapades.

Scientists know that overthinking activates the same parts of the brain that are involved in fear and anxiety.

Overthinking is hinged on fear. It’s as a result of trying to control everything. Trying to understand everything to the least detail. Trying to make everything look perfect. You second-guess yourself on everything from what you’re wearing to where you’re going, what you’re saying and how you come across to others. Plus, you may rely on others to reassure you that your judgment is sound.

When you live like this, you’re not really living. You’re being enslaved by what other people think of you–something you can’t control.

You need to learn to calm yourself down. Affirm to yourself that everything is alright. You need to stop obsessing about what others think and start living your life knowing mistakes are inevitable and not everyone is going to like you.

Be free. Quite interestingly, people aren’t actually thinking about you as much as you think. They also have their own problems to deal with. If you’ll stop being so introspective, focusing on yourself. You’ll truly start living and making positive impacts in the world instead of being incapacitated by fear.


Confidence: Faking it Till You Make it

“You must be the person you have never had the courage to be. Gradually, you will discover that you are that person, but until you can see this clearly, you must pretend and invent.”
— Paulo Coelho

The expression ‘fake it till you it’ is an expression people use to encourage folks that aren’t naturally confident to pretend or act as if they were, in the hope that they will begin to feel confident by acting confident.

This idea isn’t only true and very much applicable, it’s also widely accepted by Psychologists, human relations experts and motivational speakers. Tony Robbins has the idea that motion creates emotion: What you do with your body can determine how you feel. For example, science has proven that dancing often increases happiness.

Tony explains that confidence isn’t a mental state but a physiological state. That implies that, even if you weren’t initially feeling confident, you can create a feeling of confidence by moving your body and comporting yourself in a manner that depicts confidence.

Susan O’Brien, a contributor at Forbes further corroborates this idea by explaining that if you’re not naturally confident there is only one way to get through it – push yourself to do it anyway. Swallow your fear, stand up and deliver your message. In truth, unless you completely fall apart no one will even know how nervous you were at the time because you acted as if you felt otherwise.

Amy Morin, a psychotherapist from Psychologytoday explains that
acting “as if” is a common prescription in
psychotherapy. It’s based on the idea that if you behave like the person you want to become, you’ll become like this in reality.

Amy further explains that acting “as if” doesn’t mean being phony or inauthentic. It’s about changing your behavior first and trusting the feelings will follow. As long as your motivation is in the right place, faking it until you make it can effectively make your goals become reality. Just make sure you’re interested in changing yourself on the inside, not simply trying to change other people’s perceptions of you.

Susan Jeffers wrote her book Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway on this same premise: You can act “as if” irrespective of your feelings and believe your feelings will align with your actions.

Key principles in her books states:
1. The fear will never go away as long as I continue to grow.
2. The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and do it.
3. The only way to feel better about myself is to go out and do it.
4. Not only am I going to experience fear whenever I’m on unfamiliar territory, but so is everyone else.
5. Pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness.

Hence, faking it till you make it could just be the magic wand you’ve failed to wave to turn you into a confident individual.

Practice and learning gives the required experience needed to make you become more proficient in any endeavour. And, if, as Professor Robinson says in The Mind in the Making, “Fear is begotten of ignorance and uncertainty,” then the accepted way to eliminate fear is to practice.

Faking it till you make it is like the practice session required in becoming a person of confidence. Practise helps you gather enough experience that diminishes the ignorance and uncertainty you had.

Human relations expert, Dale Carnegie, puts it succinctly, “When you get a record of successful experiences behind you, your fears will vanish; they will melt like the night mist under the glare of a July sun.”

So get your groove on and begin practise. The accepted way to learn to swim is to plunge into the water. Fake it till you make it and watch the improvement that comes along with it.

“Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting a certain way.” –Aristotle

Social Skill

Fear of Offending People

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” — Dr. Seuss

I don’t mean to give you a key in the psychology of manipulation, but there’s perhaps no greater way to enforce control over another person or to become the master over another person than when you’re able to put them in a place where they are afraid of offending you.

The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe. Proverbs 29:25

The fear of offending someone stops you from saying what’s really in your heart, yet you’re bound helpless, forlorn and depressed on inside.

It’s like living in a lonely man’s world where you cater to everyone, but you have no one catering to you. However, you must understand that it’s absolutely irrational to be afraid of another man because they are just as human as you are and aren’t superior to you in any way in God’s sight–irrespective of their title or position.

The freedom of speech is a fundamental human right that the government has put in place. Sure enough, it shouldn’t be abused. We shouldn’t go around libeling and speaking ill of others in public. We must be true to ourselves and speak the truth when necessary.

The truth will hurt or offend someone anytime it comes out, but it’ll be more evil and harmful to refrain from saying it because of fear of offending someone. Compromising your standards by keeping mute when you ought to talk is worse than not offending someone.

Offending someone isn’t a matter of intentionality, sometimes it just happens. You can’t be sure you are or aren’t offending someone because you can’t see their minds. It’s very possible to offend someone without knowing it. Sometimes, when you feel you offended someone, you might just be surprised they weren’t offended.

Hence, why the sweat? Always rehearsing and overanalyzing what you want to say to people ends up making you incapacitated. You end up doing nothing by over-thinking.

Even though you’re sure what you want to say will come across as offensive, you shouldn’t bother if you’re going to be saying the truth.

Don’t feel guilty for believing in what you believe. If you love the truth. If you’re an advocate of justice. If you’re sure you’re after a just cause, then you shouldn’t be afraid of criticism. Go right ahead, say what you want to say and damn the consequences.

In the long run, people will appreciate your boldness and audacity in the face of adversity. History remembers no timid people. Only people of courage and fortitude, who did things that mattered will be remembered in history. Be the difference maker. Speak up!


POEM: Oh Fear

Oh fear

You have deceived me

Made be believe that I was seen

The way I thought people looked at me

Yet time and time again

I have played this mental game

Oh fear

It’s not fair what I have been put through

Many people have a false view

Of my potentials because of what I do

I cringe, I shudder and shiver

And this has made me look like a fool

Oh fear

What did I do

To deserve all these mental trouble

I have lost a lot

I can’t be succored

Even my future still is not secure

Oh fear

For many years

I have cried many tears

Sulking, sobbing, timid and troubled

Yet nobody’s help was envisaged

To pull me out of this mental cage

Oh fear

My life is horrible

But I know I’m capable

To come out of this attitude

Of being gullible

Indeed, it’s really not good living for you


8 Things Every Man Should Know About Himself

The 8 points are from a message preached my Dr. Mike Murdock.

1. The future that inspires you.

2. The hidden treasures God stored in you from your birth.

3. What do you consider your greatest weakness and what are you going to do about it?

4. What will you like to change about yourself and how do you propose to do it?

5. Who are the encouragers in your circle?

6. What false perception, teaching or philosophy have you held on to from your childhood?

7. What persuasion deep within you are scripturally accurate and have proved to be true in your life experience?

8. What standards have you set for anyone to become your friend?