Wednesday, 20 March 2013

How To Be A Friend

Holly's method of helping with depression is to chew on the sad person's face. This method is not for everyone.
One of my most popular posts of all time is Bomb Drop. I'd like to say a big thank you for taking the time to read that giant post, and for giving me so much positive feedback. One person (who happens to be a very lovely friend of mine) mentioned that it's hard to know exactly what to do when you have a friend who is struggling with depression or anxiety, so I thought it would be nice to do a follow up post about just that!

Let me just say that every person is different. What works for some people may not work for others, but one thing's for sure, we all need help sometimes. The suggestions that I make here might not suit everyone's needs, but the imporant thing is to try. If these things don't work, talk to your friend about what might help them out. Communication is key.

Without further delay, here's a list of stuff you can try to make someone's day just a little big better:

Be observant.

When I'm not feeling the best, I tend to cut myself off from friends by declining hang out times and not responding to texts/calls. I also skip the little extras that normally make me feel good about myself (like showering, doing my makeup/hair, putting effort into my outfits, saying big hellos to people at the office, ect.). If you're close to me, you'll notice this stuff pretty quickly just be being observant.

Knowing when someone might need a friend is half the battle. I've lost a lot of friends because I'd cancel plans frequently, and because I found it hard to be in crowded places (like parties and bars). Sometimes, If you can, the best medicine is a night in. A bit of laughing, chatting and a movie can work wonders when you're feeling down in the dumps.

Be available.

When you know that someone's got a big ol' rain cloud over their head, get in there with a mop and some sunshine! I send mixed signals when I'm sad (I know, annoying, right!?). I'll tell people that I'm fine all by myself, but what I really need is a kick in the pants and someone to say "I'm here, I love you, get used to it".
I have no idea why I push people away when I really need them, but I do it all of the time and I can't be the only one!

Be yourself.

Sometimes everyone needs to be asked if they're okay and maybe have a bit of a cry, but a lot of the time your friends just want you to be good old you! When I'm not feeling my best, I love to see my best friends Marissa and Andy because when they show up they don't bring a pity party. Marissa is like a best friend out of a movie who knows everything I like and exactly when to say the right things. Andy talks about Batman with me and regales me with stories that usually crack me up.

Be patient.

Depression and anxiety can make people say and do all kinds of stuff. Try to be patient with your friend.
I get really frustrated with myself because I want to get up and take over the world, but my body won't let me get out of bed to even get a glass of water. This can make me a pretty cranky person. On more than one occassion I've snapped at Boyfriend for no reason at all, just out of pure frustration with myself. I'm not saying to be a doormat, but if your friend snaps at you and says something completely out of character, talk to them about it. More than likely they will follow it up with and apology and maybe an explaination of why exactly they're feeling so testy.

There is absolutely nothing you can do to cure depression or anxiety, but you sure can help to make dealing with them a lot easier.

I hope this was helpful! Please remember that this is all based on my own personal experiences, and that the opinions and ideas here are my own. If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask. If you don't want to ask them publically, just shoot me an email :)

Hugs and poops,



  1. Great post! I also push people away when I'm stressed or feeling down. I think it's a self preservation thing, but it's definitely counter-intuitive.

  2. I've tried to explain this a few people before, but unfortunately not everyone will ever understand it if they haven't gone through it!

    I've struggled with this for a number of years.
    Always nice not to feel alone!
    Thanks for sharing :)

    And if you ever need anyone to eat junk food with and watch comedies on the couch, just let me know! :P

    PS. Dog kisses are ALWAYS the best medicine! ;)

    1. You're definitely not alone :)

      It's really hard for people who don't experience it to understand. Like any 'invisible illness', what you can't see doesn't make sense, right?

      And thanks for the offer! Same goes for you :)

      Thank goodness for dog kisses. I don't know what I'd do without them.

  3. fantastic post!!! I have a couple friends (even myself at some point) that have been depressed.

  4. I really like this post.
    I am always surprised when I hear about someone who doesn't understand mental illness. Literally all of my friends currently have depression, anxiety, or another mental illness, or have experienced it in their past.
    I understand the older generations lack of acceptance as it was something that used to be hidden. But there is no excuse for it now. Nobody would judge a diabetic for not eating a sweet dessert, depression is no different, and it is ridiculous to judge someone for not feeling up to going out.
    I think this post could be really helpful for people who are confused about how to help or be there for a loved one with a mental illness. I wish it was a topic that got more coverage.

    1. Thanks :)
      Oddly enough there are still a large chunk of the population with no understanding of mental illness. You're either sane or crazy, that's what they think.
      And you're right, it's a topic that would really benefit from more coverage.