- Depression is not just “being sad.” Yes, you feel despair and discouragement often when you struggle with depression. But you also feel a lack of energy, low motivation, irritability, and a host of other things. Sadness just does not encompass all of the emotions that you struggle with when you are depressed.
- We can’t just “snap out of it.” We did not “choose” to be depressed, and we can’t just force ourselves to feel better again.
- There isn’t always a specific reason for why we’re feeling depressed. People often think that our depression is linked to a devastating event in our lives – although sometimes that can trigger it. But depression is not as simple as feeling low because of something bad that happens (whether big or little).
- We may try to hide how we’re feeling so as to appear “normal.” Sometimes we don’t feel like we “fit in,” or we feel like we’re “strange” because of our illness. Please encourage us to be open about our emotions.
- Things that may be easy for you can take a huge effort for us. Many times, just getting out of bed in the morning drains all of our energy. So things like making meals, taking care of our families, and navigating the work world can be overwhelming. Help us to feel good about little victories.
- We just need you to listen. Oftentimes friends and family members want to give advice that might help us feel better. We appreciate this, but what we really need is a listening ear. Just like any other disorder or illness, it’s difficult for someone who has never experienced the illness to be able to understand. And that’s okay! Just knowing that you are there to listen is enough.
- We tend to isolate ourselves without realizing it. Our homes may be our safe places. It can be easy to stay indoors during the day – especially if there’s bad weather – instead of getting outside for some fresh air. And when we make plans to get together but don’t keep them…it’s not because we don’t care about you. It’s because interacting with others takes a lot of our energy – and energy is not something we have a lot of!
- We can’t just “take a pill” to make depression go away. Some people with depression take medication to help with the symptoms of their illness – I am one of them. However, I don’t believe that medication fully cures depression. Many times, it assists with controlling some of the symptoms, but also causes new symptoms (like making you feel emotionless).
- Just because we have a good day (or week or month) doesn’t mean we’re cured. Depression is complicated, and it can come and go. So please don’t think we’ve got this thing beat if we have a period where we feel better.
- We’re doing our best to fight this monster. We haven’t given in to defeat. Just because we struggle doesn’t mean that we’re not doing our best to live full lives. And we appreciate all that you do to help us!
I hope that this list has been helpful, and I encourage you to leave a comment with any thoughts you might have! ❤
I got my inspiration for this post from this website.
Photo Credit: Maria Victoria Heredia Reyes