The reason for my article today is to talk about a subject that is sensitive to most people. It is a pressing issue yet no one wants to talk about it. Maybe because it is a disease that is not necessarily something you can see in a person, kind of like a minor cold. For example, your coworker calls in sick and your first thought might be “well she seemed fine yesterday”. You don’t necessarily see it but I bet your coworker felt like shit.
So, lets talk about depression.
Many people have different views and definitions of what depression is. According to psychiarty.org depression is defined as “a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act.” Now I feel like this definition is spot on, however, most people don’t understand the difference between being sad and having depression.
- Examples of being sad: your yummy vanilla ice cream dropped on the floor, your dog has passed away, etc.
- Examples of depression: you can’t get out of bed due to excessive thoughts; physical weakness, activities you typically enjoy are difficult tasks, etc.
Can you tell the difference between both? Sadness comes and goes, it’s a cause and effect. Depression comes and goes as well, but it takes a toll on your life, and sometimes, there is no cause.
Now that we’ve defined depression I wanted to talk about loving someone with depression. I am in no way a doctor, but I have been diagnosed with depression and I have loved somebody with depression. So these are my tips coming from someone who has first hand experience. First off, it’s hard, it takes effort and commitment to love someone who has depression.
- Give them space. If they want it. This is a battle between your significant other and their own brain.
- Don’t tell them “just get over it” This isn’t something that you can just get over. Depression could be caused by absolutely nothing. There’s nothing to get over.
- Love them, a lot. People with depression don’t think rationally sometimes. Sometimes they will need that extra love just to be reminded of another feeling other than sadness.
- Talk to them about other things. Try to get their mind off everything. Do something they love.
- Don’t take things personal. I mean this in two different ways. First being that like I said we don’t think rationally sometimes and might say hurtful things because we are hurting ourselves. Secondly, don’t take it personal that your loved one is depressed. It most likely has nothing to do with you. It’s not your fault they are depressed.
- Don’t give up on them. This is the most important thing. The worst thing you could do is give up on someone who is depressed. Like I said before, it’s hard and it takes commitment to love someone who is depressed. Always remember that the person you love is still that same depressed person, it’s just temporary til they’re them again.
Do you have any tips on loving someone with depression? I’d love to know how you or your loved ones cope with this mental illness and your own experiences! Comment below!