As a teen, how can I help a friend who has a mood disorder?

Below are some of the best ways friends help each other when a mood disorder appears.

1. Encourage your friend to get help. Start with a school counselor who could recommend other specialists. Tell them that you'll be happy to go with them if they'd like.

2. Learn about depression or bipolar disorder yourself. As you may be the only one willing to explore these disorders, you could be a source of reliable information. Trust the non-profit and government websites the most.

3. Make certain you maintain an upbeat attitude about the prospects for a healthy, fulfilling life complete with career and relationships. A mood disorder diagnosis does not mean a circumscribed life. Remind them that there is no reason to be ashamed.

4. Invite them to activities with friends or just out with you. Keep in mind that they may refuse at first. Keep at it. You can also stay with them watching a movie or bring in take-out food.

5. Encourage them to attend a support group meeting. There, they'll feel less alone and realize that people with mood disorders can be happy, fun and normal.

6. Finally, know that despite your best efforts, your friend may not choose to get treatment. Do not feel that you are responsible for making your friend better. Protect your energy and your own mood. Recruit help from other friends and family members.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.