TikTok psychologist shares tips on supporting someone with depression

·3-min read
How to support someone with depression
(PHOTO: Getty Images)

Pandemic burnout is a real thing. As part of our Good Vibes Only channel, we’ll be sharing articles that help readers deal with stress, cope with burnout by creating awareness and hopefully, inspiring others.

It is common to feel sad from time to time, but it can be a symptom of depression when the sadness does not fade. In an Institute of Mental Health study in 2016, 6.5 per cent of Singaporean adults faced depression. The study also quoted other mental illnesses that have been on the rise ever since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Depression can easily affect a person’s quality of life, ability to socialise, work performance, and interests in activities. According to Doctor Julie Smith on TikTok, depression, however, is not always that straightforward.

“Numbness, you don’t always feel sad. Sometimes you feel empty,” Smith shares in her TikTok video, talking about three signs that no one tells you about when it comes to depression.

The other signs include “a struggle to feel excited about anything, even your favourite things,” and “disconnection from people you love.” Smith explains that while someone who is depressed knows that they love their loved ones, they simply cannot “feel it right now”.

How, then, can someone support their loved ones who might be suffering from depression?

“Don’t be tempted to give too much-unsolicited advice. People tend not to act on the advice they haven’t asked for,” the doctor said in the Tik Tok. Instead, “do tell them how much you care for them and how much you believe in them. Don’t take their behaviour too personally. People who are depressed tend to push people away.”

Familiarising yourself with the signs and symptoms of depression is also a supportive way. “Don’t say things like ‘I know exactly what you can do. You should try this!’” she shared. Alternatively, Smith suggests asking “things like ‘What helps? What have you tried so far?’” as support for loved ones who are suffering from depression.

SINGAPORE

If you are struggling with thoughts or feelings about suicide, contact SOS on 1800 221 4444 (24hrs). If you have concerns about mental health issues, contact Emergency Helpline (IMH) on 6389 2222 (24hrs). For more information and help dealing with mental health issues, go to www.healthhub.sg/findhelp_servicesformentalhealthsupport.

MALAYSIA

If you are struggling with thoughts or feelings about suicide, contact Lifeline on (+603) 4265 7995 (24hrs). If you have concerns about mental health issues, contact the Malaysian Mental Health Association on (+603) 7782 5499. For more information and help dealing with mental health issues, contact the Befrienders on (+603) 79568144 or (+603) 7956 8145; or go to www.befrienders.org.my.

PHILIPPINES

If you are struggling with thoughts or feelings about suicide, contact Lifeline on (02) 8969191 or 0917 854 9191. If you have concerns about mental health issues, contact the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) Crisis Hotline on 0917 899 8727 (USAP) and 989 8727 (USAP). For more information and help dealing with mental health issues, go to the National Center for Mental Health at ncmh.gov.ph.

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