This isn’t about me.
This is about the words that people are ashamed of. Depression and Anxiety
The closest people in my life either suffer from major anxiety or depression. Yesterday my friend from work sent me a text to explain he’s been off work because he’s been diagnosed with major depression.
It breaks my heart a little to know another person I’m close with is suffering from this horrible thing.
Here’s a couple of things I’ve learnt about being close with someone that has depression or having a spouse with depression.
- Tell them often how much you love them or how important they are to you: People who suffer from depression can have a hard time feeling loved and may need more assurance than others that they are loved.
- Don’t tell them to just cheer up: Depression isn’t something you can fix easily and telling them to “just be happy” will make them angry or sad.
- Don’t get frustrated if they seem very clingy or if they isolate themselves from you: Mood swings are common in people suffering from depression. Unless they tell you it’s your fault, don’t take it personally. They aren’t trying to hurt you and they can’t help how they feel. (this is something that is hard for me)
- You can give them helpful tips on how to improve their day but don’t pretend that it’s a solution: For example, trying to get them to go for a walk with you is a good idea as it will probably make them feel a little better. But don’t expect that their depression will be gone because of it, or get mad at them if they’re still sad.
- If they say they need some time by themselves don’t get mad at them or take it personally: Isolation is very common in those who suffer from depression. Some people just need the alone time to get some rest so it’s best not to push them about it. Forcing yourself on someone who wants to be alone may cause them some anxiety.
- Be as supportive as possible: Dating someone with depression isn’t easy but it is worth it. Ask them what makes them feel a bit better and be prepared to do these activities with them if they’re having a hard day. For example, some people find things like reading, walking, drawing, etc, to be good distractions from depression.
- Be prepared for a quiet night in: Sometimes when people with depression are having a rough day/night they want company but aren’t in the mood to talk about anything. Don’t push them to talk, they’ll do that when they’re ready.
- Overall, just have fun: It may be difficult at times to be with someone that has depression but they are the kindest people.
If you have or ever had depression all I can say is keep going little warrior, you are not alone and some people refuse to give up on you.