Be an Ally: What should I do if a friend is struggling with a mood disorder?

What do you do if someone close to you suffers from a mood disorder, and you want to be there for them and show them your support? Your presence, patience, love, and understanding can play an important role in that person’s treatment and recovery. Knowing they can talk to someone who is caring and who they trust can make a world of difference for them. Here’s a list of the things you can do to support your loved one:

  • Learn about the mood disorder your loved one suffers from – the more you know about the disorder, the symptoms, and the treatment options, the easier it’ll be for you to understand what your loved one is going through and how to help them cope with it.
  • Encourage your loved one to get help – the sooner they get the appropriate treatment for their mood disorder, the better chance they have to return to a more normal and fulfilling life. Remember that mood disorders don’t get better on their own.
  • Be patient – One of the best ways to help your loved one is to show patience. Recovery from a mood disorder takes time and you should be prepared for setbacks and challenges.
  • Be aware of and accept your own limits – remember that you cannot cure your loved one’s mood disorder. It’s not your role. All you can do is offer compassionate support, which is huge because research shows that people with mood disorders who receive caring support tend to have milder symptoms and recover more quickly.