What to Talk About with Someone Who Has Depression | #CureStigma

What to Talk About with Someone Who Has Depression | #CureStigma


– Hello hello hello my
friends, Kaitlyn here! And it’s October and you
know what that means! ♪ This is Halloween, this is Halloween ♪ ♪ Halloween, Halloween,
Halloween, Halloween ♪ (record scratching) – Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, wait! Yes, October is spooky time, but the first week in October is also Mental Health Awareness Week. (upbeat, electronic music) So this year’s theme is Cure Stigma which I thought went really well with a comment I got on my recent video “How To Help A Friend Who’s
Struggling With Depression.” Carl Is Awesome commented: One of my close friends has depression and it’s so hard to watch him struggle. I never know how to approach the topic or what I can do to help him. Because obviously Carl
cares about his friend, it hurts him to see him struggling. But that stigma of depression comes in and tricks you into thinking that your friend is
volatile or fragile, so you don’t know how to talk to them about their mental illness,
much less anything else. And the thing is, we know when you’re
uncomfortable talking to us. Now the irrational and
sick part of our brains a lot of times tell us that it’s because you
don’t actually like us, but I’ve had enough experience here to know that that’s not actually true! Actually, you like us so
much, you hate to see us hurt and don’t want to contribute to that hurt! Whoa boy, it is a complicated situation! So I wanted to suggest some prompts of what and how to talk to someone who’s struggling with depression. First, I have to point out that one of the most intimidating
conversation starters for someone struggling with depression is how are you doing, or how’s it going? I know this is a really
common way to say hello and that it’s not really
meant for a real answer, but it’s just so frustrating. So the standard answer is doing good, or doing well if you wanna
be grammatically correct, but the thing is, if you’re
not actually doing good then sometimes it makes
you feel more awful than you already did because you feel like you can’t be honest. So what could you ask instead? May I submit so me suggestions. How are you honestly feeling? What’s been a struggle for you lately? What’s been a win for you lately? What do you dream about
doing, and can I help? Is there anything you’ve
wanted to talk about but have been afraid to? The idea with these questions is one, signaling to your friend that you’re open to talking
about the not so nice stuff and for them to be able to feel supported and they can be honest with
you about these things. And two, actually getting to
the meat of a conversation so you’re not weighing someone
down with pleasantries. Because I can tell you as
someone with depression, that small talk and casual pleasantries are one of my most hated things! It’s so painful to smile and pretend like everything is okay when you are going
through the worst of it. Also note in there the
question about wins. Sometimes encouraging your friend to think about something
good that’s happened amid all the bad, can be super helpful. And a how can I help, is vital, because it’s bringing a feeling
of support to your friend not only in words but also in actions. It’s nice and encouraging
to hear someone say, “Oh that’s a really good
idea” or “Good luck with that,” but it’s even more helpful
to have someone say, is there any way that I can contribute? Or to brainstorming ideas
with you right on the spot. When people have done that for me, it’s almost revolutionary how buoyed up with hope it’s made me feel. Basically it helps me know that my friends see me as a person and not just an illness or
a dark cloud of depression that they’re kind of afraid of. A person they want to help and
talk to and be invested in. So like I mentioned in my previous video, you do have to watch out for
compassion fatigue and burnout when trying to help a friend
who has mental illness. But that is no reason for
you to be afraid of them or not know what or how to talk to them. I can almost guarantee you
that they want to talk to you, they just may not have the energy to navigate these seemingly
required pleasantries of stereotypical human interaction or they’re afraid that
you may not wanna hear what’s actually going on with them. So the goal for both of you is to build a bridge
between each other’s fears, based on love and compassion and honesty. For the question today, how do you think someone
should talk to a friend who has depression? Do you have suggestions or warnings based on your own experience
from either side of the issue? Tell me down in the comments! Plus remember that you can
submit your own questions to be featured in a video or blog! Just click over here and fill out this super
easy form on my website! And as always you can check me out
on these other social media sites. And if you haven’t already,
subscribe and hit that notification bell so you know
the moment there’s a new video. And I’ll see you guys next Thursday!
Bye! (blows kiss) (laughs) (upbeat electronic music)

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