How to Help a Depressed Friend

So many of us have been there: watching a family member or friend spiral into a pit of depression, addiction or anxiety.  It’s tough to watch, and even tougher to know how to help.  It can be tempting to either:

  • ignore them
  • tell them what to do and get mad when they don’t do it
  • talk to our other friends and family members about them

It’s clear to see that none of these options are useful, but not so clear to see what is.

Here’s where the American Psychological Association‘s newest YouTube video comes in.  The third in a series of the same weirdly-pill-shaped-characters, I think this spot is my favorite yet.  It tells the story of Clara, a spunky cat-loving-race-walker, who is concerned about her friend Tom.  He has had some trouble at work and has recently taken up drinking and sleepless nights.  Clara wants to help Tom, but isn’t sure how.  She tries a couple of tactics (see above, with the addition of involving his mother) and after some failures, slamming of doors, and screeching cats, she succeeds in helping him find professional assistance (with a Dr. Smith nonetheless!).

It can be hard to make psychology funny (for psychologists anyway). So I especially love the light-hearted and funny tone of this really informative clip.  Check it out:

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