Depression is more than just feeling sad or going through a rough patch. It’s a serious condition that requires understanding. It’s hard to know exactly what to do when someone you love is depressed. That’s why depression can be devastating, both for the people who have it and for their families.
People of all ages and all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds can experience depression, but it does affect some groups of people more than others. Women are 70% more likely than men to experience depression, a recent survey revealed.
While there’s little that’s understood about depression, here are some things we do know:
1) It’s not a conscious choice.
Depression is often caused by chemical imbalances in the brain. It does not have a single cause. It can be triggered, or it may occur spontaneously without being associated with a life crisis, physical illness or other risks. You can’t exactly choose that. If you love someone who’s depressed, know that they didn’t choose to be depressed.
2) It’s hard to understand when you’re not in it.
Depression is a condition that is difficult to understand when you aren’t the one who’s depressed or have never suffered it yourself. With that in mind, you shouldn’t try to fix it for them or tell them what to do about it.
5. Depression is exhausting.
People with depression may feel profound fatigue, think slowly or be unable to perform normal daily routines. When your loved one is depressed, you’ll probably see them pull back from things they love doing. Don’t ever take it personally if they don’t want to hang out.
3) You can always be there for them.
During periods of depression, people dwell on losses or failures and feel excessive guilt and helplessness. When your loved one is depressed, they might pull away from you. You should know that it’s not a sign they don’t love you anymore, or anything like that. It also isn’t a sign that they don’t need you. They still do. Even if they push away from you, be there for them.
5) Social platitudes don’t help.
When trying to help a loved one who’s depressed, scratch sentences like “You’ll get over it,” and “Come on, look on the bright side!” These social platitudes about depression do nothing to improve the mood of the person who’s depressed.
Most importantly, keep in mind that love and understanding can go a long way in helping your loved one recover from depression.