Answered by: Chereen
Q: Dear Chereen, I have a friend who has been suffering from depression for as long as I have known her. She’s very strong and keeps pushing despite the problems in her life, but has been and still is battling depression. She has now started taking anti-depressants. I have been there for her all along, but sometimes I feel really helpless and wish that there was something that I could do to alleviate her pain and suffering. How can I help her? Please advise. Thanks.
A: Reading that she’s taking anti-depressants tells me that her depression is intense and requires more support than just verbal assistance. It’s normal to feel helpless when you simply want to take away her depression and have her be happy and bubbly. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work this way.
Offer her empathy. Be supportive. Let her know she can be a burden, and that sometimes it’s absolutely okay to be a burden, because she’s worth it. Tell her that she can call you at 3:45am and you’ll be there for her. She might not want you to say anything, but your presence is everything. The problem people struggling with depression usually find is that they are abandoned after some time. People have limited empathy and offer support only to a certain extent before they disappear. This is why family becomes more valuable during these times, and why friends that stick around become like family. Be there for her. Offer complete support. Make constant dua’ for her because depression is not a simple illness. That’s what will help her, inshaAllah. ❤️