In this blog post, we will try to answer the question of ‘What to do when a friend is always depressed and complaining?’. In addition, we will also try to look at the symptoms and what it is like to have a friend who is always depressed and complaining.
What to do when a friend is always depressed and complaining?
Have a friend who is always depressed and complaining? Do not worry, you are not the only one.
A recent analysis found that the proportion of people reporting moderate to severe depressive symptoms increased from 9.7% between July 2019 and March 2020 to 19.2% in June 2020 in Great Britain. Worldwide, over 300 million adults and children live with depression.
The statistics show us that every 1 in 4 people might suffer from depression.
Having a friend who is always depressed and complaining is not easy to live with. When you see your best friend going through hard times you want to help them no matter what. If you are looking at how to help a friend who is always depressed and complaining, you are on the right page.
If your friend is going through a tough time with clinical depression, here are some of the best gifts you can give them:
Below is a list of things that you can do to help a friend who is always depressed and complaining.
- One can do nothing but listen.
The most powerful gift you have as a friend is an art of listening. Listen. Suspend all judgments, save all interjections, do nothing more than make excellent eye contact, and open your ears. Let your friend know you are there for them. Initiate the talk with them. Ask them what is going on in their minds.
Engage with your friend by using active listening techniques:
- Ask questions to get more information instead of assuming you understand what they mean.
- Validate their feelings. You might say, “That sounds really difficult. I’m sorry to hear that.”
- Show empathy and interest with your body language.
Once you have come to a realization that your friend is going through something that cannot be solved only by talking to you, ask them if they are okay with professional help. Try to talk them into seeing a therapist. Once they agree, do not leave the tedious task of finding the right therapist to them alone. Sit with them and go through the options. Help them find a few support groups too. Encouraging them and supporting them to make that first appointment can be so helpful if they’re struggling.
- Offer to help with everyday errands
With depression, everyday errands can feel overpowering. Things like clothing, shopping for food, or taking care of tabs can start to accumulate, making it difficult to tell where to begin.
Your friend may like a proposal of help, however, they probably won’t have the option to plainly say what they need assistance with.
All in all, rather than saying “Let me know whether there’s anything I can do,” think about saying, “What do you most need assistance with today?”
In the event that your friend is behind on dishes, clothing, or other family errands, offer to come over, put some music on, and tackle a particular undertaking together. Essentially having company can cause the work to appear to be less overwhelming.
- Keep in touch
Telling your friend you actually care about them as they keep on working through depression can help. Regardless of whether you’re not ready to invest a great deal of energy with them consistently, check-in routinely with a text, call, or speedy visit. In any event, sending a text saying “I’ve been thinking about you and I care for you” can help.
Individuals living with depression may turn out to be more withdrawn and abstain from connecting, so you may end up accomplishing more work to keep up the relationship. In any case, having to be a positive, strong presence in your friend’s life may have a significant effect on them, regardless of whether they can’t communicate that to you right now.
- Remind Them That They’re Incredibly Strong
“When you’re depressed, you don’t believe that you’re worthy of love,” That’s what makes relationships and especially communication so difficult. One way of nudging them to recovery is by reminding them of their strengths. Use concrete examples. Cite times in their lives they exemplified courage, stamina, compassion, integrity, and perseverance. Use photos, if you have them, of accomplishments in the past or victories that will bolster their confidence and encourage them down the path of healing.
- Educate yourself about depression and other mood disorders
Once you learn that your friend is dealing with depression, the optimal way of helping them is to understand their situation. You may not be able to cure your friend. But you can better understand their condition by educating yourself about depression or the kind of mood disorder. Reading up on your friend’s illness will help you feel more in control of the situation and give you more patience to tolerate the confusing or frustrating symptoms.
- Take care of yourself
The last and the most important thing to do is to take care of your needs. When you care about someone who’s living with depression, it’s tempting to drop everything to be by their side and support them. It’s not wrong to want to help a friend, but it’s also important to take care of your own needs.
If you are not feeling good and happy, how will you make others feel the same? Just like you cannot pour from a cup that is empty. Therefore it is very important to:
- Monitor your mood. You might be really worried about your friend, but it’s important that you also monitor your own mood and stress levels.
- Don’t give up on the things you enjoy. Always make sure you’ve got the time to do your favorite things. Practice self care regularly.
- Make time to relax. Relaxation is great for helping you to unwind and deal with stress.
- Set boundaries. You aren’t going to be able to be there for your friend all of the time. Set some limits around what you’re willing, and not willing, to do. For example, you might decide not to take any phone calls in the middle of the night, or not to miss social events just because your friend isn’t up to going.
- Ask for support. It’s important that you’re getting your own emotional support. Talk to people you trust about how you’re feeling.
Now that you have seen the things to do to help if your friend is always depressed and complaining, this is not enough. You also need to be mindful of the things you should not do.
- Try not to think about things personally
Your friend’s downturn isn’t your shortcoming, similarly as it’s not their issue.
Make an effort not to let it get to you on the off chance that they appear to lash out at you out of resentment or dissatisfaction, continue dropping plans (or neglect to catch up), or don’t have any desire to do quite a bit of anything.
You may, sooner or later, need a break from your companion. It’s alright to make space for yourself if you feel genuinely depleted, but on the other hand, it’s critical to abstain from accusing your companion or making statements that may add to their negative emotions.
- Don’t minimize or compare their experience
If your friend talks about their depression, you might want to say things like, “I understand,” or “We’ve all been there.” But if you’ve never dealt with depression yourself, this can minimize their feelings.
Depression goes beyond simply feeling sad or low. Sadness usually passes fairly quickly, while depression can linger and affect mood, relationships, work, school, and all other aspects of life for months or even years.
Comparing what they’re going through to someone else’s troubles or saying things like, “But things could be so much worse,” generally doesn’t help.
- Don’t try to fix them
Depression is a serious mental health condition that requires professional treatment.
It can be hard to understand exactly what depression feels like if you’ve never experienced it. But it isn’t something that can be cured with a few well-intentioned phrases like, “You should be grateful for the good things in your life” or “Just stop thinking about sad things.”Hence, be there for them, but do take the responsibility to make everything right for them. Leave that in the hands of professionals.
Taking care of a depressed friend is not easy. Make sure you have a professional therapist who can assist you with the process of being there for your friend.
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.
What is happening to your friend who is depressed and complaining?
Now that you know about the things to be done if your friend is always depressed and complaining, you should also know what they are feeling like. This will help in increasing your patience and tolerance.
Not everyone experiences depression in the same way, and symptoms can vary. However, there are changes in the way a person going through times of depression acts that you can look out for. If your friend is experiencing depression, they might:
- seem down or tearful a lot of the time, or cranky more often
- stay up really late or sleep in a lot, or have problems with sleep
- miss a lot of school, work or their regular activities
- miss hangouts or often cancel at the last minute
- eat more or less than usual
- drink alcohol or take drugs more than usual
- talk about feeling empty, tired, or worthless
- seem more pessimistic and hopeless, and like they have less energy in general.
What is it like to have a friend who is always depressed and complaining?
Depression doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It causes a ripple effect that touches everyone surrounding the person. Family members and friends often feel helpless, not knowing how to reach out or what to do to help their suffering loved ones. It would be nice if the depressed person could vocalize their needs so that friends and families knew exactly what to say and do. On the contrary, communication becomes problematic because the person is embarrassed to say how they feel, anticipating judgment.
Seeing your friend in trouble and sadness makes your heartbreak. You start getting worried about your friend. Her sadness never seems to end. She is irritable and on edge, noticeably upset and preoccupied constantly. She is lifeless and uninterested, distant, and really not any fun to be around. You’re probably wondering what on earth got into this lively, cheery, happy, spirited girl you used to know.
You try to help. You ask her to talk about what’s bothering her. You try to offer your hand and lend support. You try to tell her it’s okay, that whatever is going on in her life will work out. You have done everything possible but it seems like she’s only getting worse.
You feel helpless seeing your closest friend suffer all alone as she starts to push you away. She stops answering your calls, drops from your weekly rituals, does not listen about your ‘guy problems’.
In such cases remember that you are not alone. There are hundreds and thousands of people in the world going through almost the same thing. Follow the above-mentioned steps to reach a better outcome and find a way for yourself.
BetterHelp: A Better Alternative
Those who are seeking therapy online may also be interested in BetterHelp. BetterHelp offers plenty of formats of therapy, ranging from live chats, live audio sessions and live video sessions. In addition, unlimited messaging through texting, audio messages and even video messages are available here.
BetterHelp also offers couples therapy and therapy for teenagers in its platform. Furthermore, group sessions can also be found in this platform, covering more than twenty different topics related to mental health and mental illness. The pricing of BetterHelp is also pretty cost-effective, especially considering the fact that the platform offers financial aid to most users.
In this blog post, we have tried to answer the question of ‘What to do when a friend is always depressed and complaining?’. In addition, we have also tried to look at the symptoms and what it is like to have a friend who is always depressed and complaining.
What we recommend for Depression
If you are suffering from depression then ongoing professional counselling could be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will utilize theories such as Cognitive behavioural therapy which will help you live a more fulfilling life.
FAQs: Friend is always depressed and complaining
How do you cheer up a worried friend?
If your friend and is worried, you should do things that can help them feel better.
Take them out for a movie
Take them out for lunch
Go for a short trip
Tell them how much you love them
Drop off a home-cooked meal
Send her an uplifting song or playlist
What are the causes of Depression?
There is no one cause for depression. Psychologists have seen that depression can be caused by a combination of biological, social, and psychological aspects. For example, loss of a loved one, childhood trauma, genetics, occurrence of significant life changing events, etc.