Withdrawing and hiding is a common trait among people that are depressed. It can be hard to some to understand, and certainly hard for people to help get their friends out of that dark tunnel, but Health.com has now published some tips to help.

As this report tells us, “Depression can be terribly isolating, so anything you can do to help your friend stay engaged is a step in the right direction.”One psychiatrist says, “Even just reaching out and listening could make such a difference.”

This psychiatrist also adds that “being present” when your friends are suffering is important. “Your job isn’t to fix them, but to be present.” And when trying to get your friends to talk about their depression, this report emphasizes that “using respectful language and offering support if someone is having trouble can go a long way toward eliminating the stigma of depression.”

And indeed, the right words can be the key to get people suffering from depression out in the world again. A good way to tell a friend you’d like them to come out and hang out is “I’d really like for you to come with me,”instead of, “Do you want to do this with me?” One warning this report gives us is to stay away from drinking because alcohol is a depressant.

Other suggestions for friends suffering from depression is to volunteer with your friends, doing a physical activity together, even a simple walk can help, and cooking healthy meals together are all good activities that help fight depression. (This report reminds us that when people are feeling down, they’re either not hungry, and they eat a lot of carbs.)

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