How to support someone who is sad

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How to support someone who is sad

I love this quote by Lori Deschene, ‘you don’t have to be positive all the time. It is perfectly okay to feel sad, angry, annoyed, frustrated, scared or anxious. Having feelings does not make you a negative person, it makes you human’. So, how do we support someone who is sad?

All of us can sometimes suffer psychological distress that can be translated, for example, into sadness, anxiety, or insomnia. Several factors can favour its appearance, for example, genetics, grieving, and stress. If it is difficult for us to accept help ourselves, how then can we help someone who suffering or is sad?

When stress lengthens over time, they can generate continuous discomfort causing unbalanced social behaviour by deteriorating various areas of activity of the individual including family, work, and social interactions.

If you google “how to help,” you will find that most people search for concepts to help “someone with depression, anxiety, bulimia, anorexia.” These are the issues that affect us all and often we do not know how to show our support to those who suffer and are sad.

It is getting to 7 years since my mum died. I recall friends telling me how to face my grief and what makes it worse or better. It is quite easy to get into the habit of trying to fix things and make them better for others. However, there were times I really do not want to hear anything from anyone but to offer me a drink or a hug because my mum was my best friend

What do we mean when we talk of psychological distress?

Psychological distress can be defined as an emotional, cognitive, or behavioural alteration, where basic psychological processes are affected, such as: motivation, consciousness, behaviour, perception and sensation, learning, language, etc. This makes it difficult for the person to adapt to the cultural and social environment in which they live.

How can you recognise psychological discomfort?

Recent social isolation: You’ve been asking for weeks to go to the cinema to see that movie with your friends, and when the time comes, you feel that you have lost interest in going, and you don’t feel like being accompanied. You feel apathetic, sad, and you do not have the initiative to organise any meeting.

Decreased habitual activity: You have stopped going to school/work, you have abandoned your dance training, and you find it difficult to attend social gatherings.

Problems of concentration, memory, and language: Remember those days when you forget the keys to your home for example, you just cannot leave the subject, your mind keeps racing on the same idea? Stress can do that to us.

Other alerts: exaggerated changes in mood, sleep, appetite, unusual beliefs, fear or suspicion of others, deterioration in hygiene.

When someone becomes aware of their psychological distress, they usually carry it in secret and hide it from others out of shame, only some face it naturally because of the label that talking about it can entail.

Remember this, “Life is 10% what you do and 90% how you take it.” -Irving Berlin-.

Perhaps it would also be better to talk about emotional well-being to be aware that anyone at one point in their life may have emotional or mental discomfort.

According to the WHO (World Health Organisation), one in four people will suffer a mental disorder throughout their lives.

What defines a person with a good emotional wellbeing?

The person who enjoys emotional well-being, feels good about himself, feels good about others, and adapts to changes and satisfies the demands of life.

Therefore, when we talk about problems that affect your emotional health, we mean from having low self-esteem to suffering an eating disorder.

Today the problem that affects mental health is still a taboo subject, because it is common that when you know that someone has depression, it gives you a thing to ask him just in case it gets worse.

” From our vulnerabilities come our strengths.” – Sigmund Freud-.

Recommended read: Supporting a grieving loved one from afar

How can we support someone close to us who is sad ?

I will give you some of my personal recommendations in this regard:

You must take care of the language.

Be careful with your words. Try avoiding the tendency to want to ‘fix it’ for your loved one.

Just listen

Try not to interrupt the chain of thoughts from your stressed friend. Listen empathetically.

Before you guess, ask.

Therefore, before turning to myths and stereotypes, you should take advantage to ask how (s)he feels and what (s)he needs from you. Do not judge, ask what you do not know so you can help better.

Support system

Encourage people to ask for help, both professionally and within their social circle from those they can trust.

Show interest

It is recommended that if you see someone who is suffering, you can be there for him or her. Therefore, if you know how to recognise the symptoms, it will be beneficial to address the situation and thus showing interest and concern.

Finally, if the help offered is not enough, resort to a professional advisor or from a psychologist.

These are some of my ideas to support someone who is sad. Do leave a comment to add yours below. See you in the next post.

Yvette Mayemelle Kaba
Yvette Mayemelle Kaba
Founder of UIC | Wife | Mum of Two | Inspirational Writer | Mentor | Aspiring Entrepreneur

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