I suffer from depression. I know exactly how frustrating it is to be constantly told that you should always think positively, eat properly, exercise more, walk in the forest and surround yourself as often as possible with optimistic people.
Anyone who said that to me basically had the best of intentions. They wanted to help me, but they did not know what it was like and saying the things I already knew did not help me at all.
I have always been an active, happy girl. I always smiled, and often my laughter was so contagious that people laughed with me. I always believed in the goodness of people and found beauty in the smallest things.
However, my bubbly personality was darkened because I was struggling with depressions that happened from time to time, but they always had a firm grip on me.
The term for my condition is called recurrent depressive disorder , and if someone suffers from it, it is important to first understand the triggers that are unique to each person.
In essence, the same life events that triggered a first depressive episode may be possible triggers for future episodes. These include job loss, divorce, a family death or other traumatic loss.
Even some big positive changes that cause disturbances and changes in our role and identity can be a risk, such as postpartum depression. It can even be job promotion, where we do not feel adequately prepared and cause excessive stress.
A physical illness or injury can also trigger a relapse.
As far as I’m concerned, my triggers were usually cold, rainy days that evoked feelings of sadness and loss in my heart.
The alienated relationship with my dad also made me insecure about others, causing me to distance and isolate myself. This only further aggravated my depression.
In addition, the depression is in my family, maternal. I still remember that my mother could not get up for days when I was growing up. I never wanted to be like her, but somehow I am now.
There are times when I feel something is entering into me and into my whole being. I’m getting scared and afraid of everything. I just want to lock myself in my bedroom and never leave the room.
I lose all the happiness in me. I struggle to get out of bed and go to work, and when I get home, I go to sleep right away and isolate myself from everything and everyone.
I hate this. I hate not being in control of my life and losing people who are most important to me.
For how can others understand what I went through? How can they empathize with something they have never experienced before?
That’s why I came up with a story so I can help you understand me. And here is the story …
“Imagine that the floors in your house are covered with incredibly beautiful carpets. When you go over it, you feel great. You get to know every single imperfection that they have and still love.
There is a trick though. Sometimes there are energies in your house that can dig a big hole into which you can easily fall. The hole is hidden under the carpets and you can not see it.
So if you walk freely around your hole, you will eventually fall. And when you fall, all the terrible feelings of failure, shame, guilt, and anxiety that make it extremely difficult for you to get out of it will come up.
Then imagine how you would feel if you knew you could not move out because it’s your home. You can not go anywhere else. You can not throw away the carpets as they came with your house. You start to live in constant fear and caution, as you do not know when you will fall back into the hole.
You know you’ll come out at some point because you always do, but you also know that you’ll fall again because those fights and pitfalls are not under your control. “
That’s how I feel, and I think that’s how many others feel about recurring depression. They just learn to live with their condition.
If you’re wondering how you can help me, and others, in this situation, then that’s my answer:
Hug me. Tell me that I care about you.
These simple words can mean so much if you feel that the whole world is against you.
Tell me you are here for me.
When suffering from depression, it can feel like nobody understands or cares about what you feel, or how isolated and overwhelming it can be.
It is very reassuring to know that you will be there every step of the way.
You may not quite know what that will look like initially, but it can mean the world just to remind me that you’re someone I can rely on.
Wondering if there is something you can do to help me?
Depression is hard to bear, both physically and mentally.
I suppose I’ll be reluctant to accept your offer for fear of becoming a burden to you, so make it clear that you do not mind and you want to help in the same way that you know I do it for you in a similar way Situation would do.
Maybe I’m so tired and depressed that I do not even know what kind of help I’m supposed to ask. Show me through suggestions that you are really ready to help me.
Ask me if I need someone to talk to.
Sometimes I need nothing more than a friend who simply listens sympathetically and allows me to lessen the pressure of pent-up feelings. It helps me to make this emotional pain more bearable.
I know you would like to tell me a lot, suggest solutions and fix things, but what I really need, and what can really help me in those moments, is just to talk and be heard.
Tell me my life makes a difference to you.
When I am depressed, I feel that my life is irrelevant and nobody would care if I were away. Remind me that I am an important part of your life.
Tell me that you understand me when you actually do.
Even if you have suffered from depression yourself, there are so many different types of depression. It may have been completely different.
It can hurt by comparing my depression with yours. Just admit that you do not really understand what I’m going through but that you want to try to understand.
Tell me it’s okay to feel that way.
Even though my problems may seem minor to you, please do not judge and resist the urge to find solutions.
The biochemical imbalances associated with depression – not the situations themselves – are what contribute to how bad I feel about certain situations.
If you love someone who experiences this kind of depression, you can help him by doing your best to just listen to him and try to understand him. You can help them by not judging them and supporting them with their depressive episodes.
And be friendly and loving. Always.