Many people don’t understand how depression affects individuals. It overcomes our minds and emotions. Sometimes all you want to do is sleep all day. Other times you just want to eat every unhealthy thing you have in the kitchen and watch Netflix. Or sit in a dark room crying. Even when we’re experiencing a high parade of emotions, we force ourselves to smile-especially when we don’t feel like smiling.
Here are a few things to keep in mind while handling someone with depression:
Depression isn’t about being healthy or exercising. That’s a huge misconception. It’s not easy to determine why we feel the way we do. There’s no trigger point. It just happens. It’s not simply about feeling sad because sometimes it’s about the lack of or overabundance of emotion. We can’t pinpoint why we feel what we’re feeling. This can be a multitude of emotions. Nor is it that we’re not trying hard enough because we do try. We can’t just snap out of the unexplained rainbow of emotions. There’s no true cure for it like bug repellent. It would be nice, but there’s nothing we can spray the depression away. Believe me when I say that no one wants to be depressed. We don’t want to hurt the ones we love because of our illness. It’s not our intention. It just happens to us, not of our own volition. Depression makes us feel like we’re a burden to our family and friends. And sometimes we isolate ourselves because of this. Other times we go out and force that smile so we appear happy to the world. When you reach out to help us, make sure to be encouraging, supportive, and validated because our depression makes us extraneously sensitive. We aren’t asking you to fix us or our illness. All we need it for you to show us that you are trying to understand.
There’s no one thing that triggers depression. Some circumstances can aid in it, but there’s no one thing. It’s not our fault-even though sometimes we feel like it is. We appreciate you offering to help, i.e. to go for a walk, go for a cup of coffee/tea, just sit there and listen while saying nothing at all, etc.
Depression is a battle that we face everyday.