Depression is a societal problem that has been grossly misunderstood and misrepresented. Depression is more or less a state of being miserable, unhappy or sad. People become depressed as a result of various problems including grieving the loss of a loved one, failure to achieve desired goals or after breaking off a relationship. Extreme cases of unhappiness may result in depressed people taking up a societal vice such as becoming alcoholics, drug addicts and could lead to suicidal tendencies in such individuals.
People with depression abound all around us and as such, it is the duty of the society to provide love and support for such people. If you’ve ever found or noticed that you have family, friends or loved ones that seen to be depressed, here are 12 things you should always have at the back of your mind that will be of immense help to not only them but you and the society at large.
Depression is not a choice
It is essential you have it at the back of your mind that whosoever is battling depression did not choose to do so. The experiences of such individuals are frustrating to say the least as their feelings may range from being sad to feeling empty and to feeling numb or nothing at all. Depressed people have reported a feeling akin to feeling paralysed in their own minds and lacking the ability to do things they used to enjoy doing or the things they know they should be doing. Depression should not be seen as just a bad day, bad mood or mood swings, neither should it be seen as something one can easily get over, you should rather know that it was never the persons choice to be depressed.
Saying things like “it’ll get better,” “you just need to get out of the house,” or “you’ll be fine” is meaningless
It is quite easy to tell people those statements above most especially because we think we are proffering a solution or a simple way for them to ease their pain and generally feel better but a lot of the times, statements as such, usually comes across as void, meaningless and insulting.
Saying some of these things to them may create more tension and angst within and make it seem as if you are failing to acknowledge the problems they are going through by making it seem insignificant or making them appear inadequate to handle issues. They know that you are just trying to help but such statements will only make them feel worse than they already are.
You can choose to say words like I believe in you. I believe you are stronger than this and I believe you’ll get through this. I’m here for you. What do you think would make you feel better? What can I do to help you? Instead of saying anything at all, you can always choose a silent hug, which will be much better.
Try as much as you can to avoid offering advice but let them know you’re there for them instead by asking questions which would help them discover what could make them feel better.
Sometimes they have to push you away before they can bring you closer
People who suffer from depression a lot of the times see themselves as a burden to other people and this oftentimes makes them push away the people they love and need the most. They also exhaust themselves mentally by continuously thinking and worrying about other people they feel they are weighing down because of their sadness. If you ever do see someone you know is suffering from depression become distant all of a sudden, just remember to always remind them that you’re always there for them whenever they need you but never force them to talk about the issues bothering them if they don’t show any inclination to want to.
You’re allowed to get frustrated
Know that just because someone you love or respect is dealing with depression shouldn’t be an excuse for them to leave all their needs and troubles for you to shoulder. Depressed people need to feel the love and support of the people around them but if you realise doing so is beginning to create a negative impact on your life, you are allowed to get frustrated and figure out another way to show them love and care without having to sacrifice too much of yourself.
It’s important to discuss and create boundaries
While you’re going through those frustrating moments, you are allowed to re-evaluate and discover ways of helping your loved one who is depressed without losing your mind or sense of happiness. While doing so, exercise patience and talk to them about your fears and concerns. Explain to them why you need to create boundaries within the context of your relationship. Go ahead and find out what works for you both.
To be continued…
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