THINGS THAT ARE HARD FOR PEOPLE WHO SUFFER WITH DEPRESSION TO ADMIT:
A sad paradox of someone who lives with depression is while the darkness can make you push people away from you, it is also when we need our friends and family the most. When you have a broken arm or leg the pain or problem is very visible and people automatically have an understanding and make small or big allowances to help you and understand that you are struggling.
Depression is not the same it does not have a visible label- you can’t look at someone and know if they have that struggle or not. Its important for those who do suffer and want friends or family to support them to be verbal- this can be difficult but something that you can take slow steps into achieving.
The question is how should we communicate this with friends and loved ones. How do we tell them we need them when we feel at our lowest when you may not even know that you might need them?
To begin we need to address what most people who suffer from depression may not want to admit to friends or loved ones. But we should remember that our friends do want to support us!
Sharing the difficult problems can be a great step.
These are some examples of people with depression and what they want to say or feel but cannot express themselves:
- They hurt every day.
- When they back out plans. It is not because they want to.
- Isolating is sometimes easier than painting a smile or faking a laugh.
- They do need you and your support.
- They will have a few good days in between but they often succumb to the darkness after the few good days.
- Some days they can’t leave their bed, they can’t shower, brush their hair or even change their clothes.
- They physically can’t do things that seem simple to other people.
- They worry about how their depression will affect their friendships or relationships.
- They may seem as if they don’t care but they do.
- Some days they can’t face going outside and having to function.
- If they randomly reach out to you, even if its been months they truly need you.
- Your words of positivity, encouragement, and advice are well-intentioned but if they act as if they are not interested it doesn’t mean that they are shooting down your help.
- Almost every time they have been asked “are you ok?” and they’ve answered “I’m ok”, they’ve been mentally and emotionally exhausted.
- Every time you make a joke about depression or even question it, you push them further away.
It is important to remember that there is a lot more to depression than just feeling low or sad. There are many attributes that go along with depression that can differ for each individual some may suffer paranoia, lethargy and guilt. Being unable to think straight not being able to sleep and feeling generally a bit useless. Depression can affect Individuals in different ways and can cause a wide range of symptoms. They range from lasting feelings of being unhappy or hopeless, low self-esteem and finding no pleasure in things you may normally enjoy. Many people with depression also suffer symptoms of anxiety.
There can be physical symptoms too, such as feeling constantly tired, sleeping badly, having no appetite or sex drive, and various aches and pains.
The symptoms of depression can range from mild to severe. At its mildest, you may simply feel persistently low in spirit, while severe depression can make you feel suicidal, that life is no longer worth living.
Most people experience feelings of stress, anxiety or low mood during difficult times. A low mood may improve after a short period of time, rather than being a sign of depression. So its important for people who may be feelings these symptoms to seek help whether it be from family, friends to professional. Make the first step and communicate about the things that may be worrying you. Hopefully from there you can take the next step and seek professional help.
If you or someone you know needs help, do not hesitate to contact support lines and seek guidance in the next step to feeling better. You are not alone, talk with a therapist. They can help you better understand your emotions. (sign up on our website www.makingways.co.uk/getstarted to book a consultation if you feel ready to talk to someone).
Other sources of advice and support
Mind offers advice, support and information to people experiencing a mental health difficulty and their family and friends. Lines are open Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm (except bank holidays).
Rethink Mental Illness
Rethink Mental Illness works to help everyone affected by severe mental illness, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, recover a better quality of life. It provides effective services and support and campaigns for change through greater awareness and understanding.
- National Advice Service: 0300 5000 927 (Open 10am to 2pm, Monday to Friday)
- Email email@example.com
PAPYRUS is the national charity dedicated to the prevention of young suicide. They support young people under 35 who are experiencing thoughts of suicide, as well as people concerned about someone else.
- Helpline: 0800 068 4141 Open 10am-10pm on weekdays and 2pm-10pm on weekends and bank holidays
- Text: 07786209697
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Parents helpline: 0808 802 5544 (Mon-Fri from 9.30am to 4pm)
- YoungMinds Crisis Messenger: text YM to 85258