How can we help?

A caring family member or a friend is the first circle of protection and nourishment for the trauma survivor or a depressed person. You can immensely aid her/his recovery by

  • listening patiently, showing you care with just your presence.  Active listening

  • not judging their behaviour, merely showing understanding that this is an extraordinary situation. Non-Judgementality

  • helping her with crisis counselling and therapy for recovery. Practical Guidance

  • Pointing out ways for improving how she feels with different practices. Encouragement and Self-empowerment

What not to do?

  • Try not blaming the survivor in any way. Acknowledge it immediately if you do. Victim Blaming

  • Not minimising the incident, invalidating the survivor's own experience (no it couldn't have happened like that, you are imagining it etc). Not trying to negate what the survivor is saying (though we may think minimising the incident may lessen its impact) InValidation

  • Do not push your outcomes (family peace or pushing the issue under the carpet). The only motive that will work is to help the survivor face the truth of the trauma and let him/her heal. Your Agenda

  • Not being critical of progress as you see it. Criticism augments the negative internal self talk of the suffering person. Criticism  

Signs Of Mental Illness

Lets Understand First

Sometimes we can sense something is wrong. But sometimes we may miss the vital signs that a person is overwhelmed and is struggling. This could be true even for a close relative or friend. Here is a helpful set of signs to watch out for.

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I am not sick, I don't need help - Book Highlights

Xavier Amador is a renowned clinical psychologist. In this book, he writes about how he helped his brother who had depression. People suffering from such challenges find it difficult to understand their problems and behaviour by themselves. This is likely to lead them to deny their problems, refuse to take treatment and our help. Amador's approach (called LEAP) involves actively listening to them, treating them as a partner as opposed to a patient. This can help them to overcome their blind spot about their challenges.