How to Help Someone in a Dark Place

Is someone you love stuck in a dark place? Watching a loved one struggle with anxiety, depression, or suicidal thoughts can be incredibly tough and you may wonder how you can help.

Here’s a good place to start:

Transcript

Hi, my name is Koorosh and I'm the founder of Evo Health and Wellness. And in this video, I want to speak to all of those people out there who love and care for people who are having a particularly tough time. People whose experience is really dark and really hard, and it's very difficult to see them in that place. People who are suicidal, who maybe have even had suicide attempts. People whose depression is so heavy and so deep that it's hard for them to function in what we call normal day-to-day.

It's really hard for those individuals to hear messages of hope.

I'm not suggesting that you ought to give up hope. I think you should hold as much hope as possible, and believe that this person will emerge, and that they can have a fulfilling life, whatever that might look like. But to meet the individual in their darkness, to try to understand their pain, not to solve it, not to get rid of it, but just to really get to know it. Get to know the dimensions of it, get to know the how scary it is. Allow it to scare you in the same way that it's scaring them. Allow yourself to feel what it might be like to be in the shoes of the person that you love, who is having such a tough time, whose experience is so hard that they're thinking about ending their lives because they don't see a way out.

And I think if you're able to at least try--you don't even have to go in there--but if your loved one begins to notice that you're trying to understand their experience, what you might find is that there may be an opportunity to connect. They may be able to share more about what's happening and they may be able to find their own ideas around hope. Because now you're in the darkness with them, rather than being up here in the solution, trying to raise them up.

I hope you find this video helpful. Thank you.

Evo Health and Wellness is an outpatient addiction treatment program that respects where you are and where you want to go. Clients set goals that work for them, whether they include complete abstinence or moderation. Evo sees success as lasting change in the client’s life, including physical health, movement towards personal goals, and their sense of connection and purpose. Evo’s program integrates psychotherapy, psychiatry, life coaching, and somatic therapy. Learn more about Evo’s program.