Psychiatrist Questions Depression

How should a person requiring psychiatric help be approached?

My friend has been acting very weird after his divorce. He clearly seems to be depressed and is not behaving normally. I want to suggest him to visit a psychiatrist but I don’t want to offend him. How should I approach him to seek some help?

11 Answers

To suggest to see a psychiatrist is not offensive!! The stigma is: if you see a psychiatrist, you must be crazy. How wrong!
I would gently say that you care about him and are concerned. Then recommend a therapist and even offer to go with him.
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Let him know you know he's been having a hard time and ask if he would like any extra help.
A lot depends on the kind of friendship you have. If it is not solid and previously tested, it would be wise to ask him about his feelings concerning psychiatric help rather than proposing it.
Tell your friend that you are very concerned about him. Ask him if there is anything you can do to help. If he opens up to you, you could suggest going to his primary care and offer to accompany him.
If he is resistant, try to find out if a close relative that he listens to could try to get him to see his doctor. Usually, the Primary Care doctor can refer him to an appropriate specialist after initial evaluation.
If you think he might be at risk to hurt himself and he is resistant to help, call 911 to see if they can advise you.
Be honest and express your concern to your friend with your willingness to help. Suggesting your friend consider mental healthcare is a compassionate suggestion that shows how much you care. If your friend does not want to hear you and feels offended, reinforce how much your impulse is to help and that there is no shame in seeking and obtaining support in times of stress. Even if your friend is mad now, he will hopefully appreciate your efforts in the future once he feels better.


Carly Snyder, M.D.
Speak to him supportively and point out the changes you have observed in him since divorce. Encourage him to talk to a counselor that can help move on, not necessarily a psychiatrist as he may not require medication.
Just be empathetic and supportive trying to explore his thoughts and along the way just insert the thought of seeking a professional help.
Have a honest conversation with him and express how concerned you are about his emotional well-being. Let him know that it is better to seek help early so it doesn't worsen and start impacting other areas of life. It is also good to help him overcome the stigma of seeking help.
Please tell him that he is looking right, a medical evaluation may help him to get better, first he should be medically cleared before he seeks psychiatric help, he needs support with social interactions among friends.
Sit down to talk with your friend in a setting that the two of you are used to. Don't start talking about psychiatry. Tell him that you've noticed that he seems a bit out of balance since the divorce. Let him talk. Listen. Don't judge. He may start with denial, like, "I'm fine. There's no problem." So, you gently continue with, "You look great (if that is true), but you seem depressed, out of sorts, not the same old cheerful friend." Give him a chance to open up to you first. When the time is right, mention psychiatric help.