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How to Support Someone Struggling with Depression

    1. Depression is an illness; it is not a choice. So, advice such as” just snap out of it” feels infuriating to those suffering. Understand that a depressed person is trying to feel better and they may be just trying to figure out a way to endure every moment of the day. Depression is exhausting.
    2. Just because a person is meeting their required daily demands such as work, and other responsibilities does not mean that they are not depressed. Not every person has to be in bed unable to function at all to be greatly suffering from depression. Depression can be an invisible illness. You may not see how depression is affecting an individual but you better believe it is.
    3. Depression does not only affect those with obvious signs of life turmoil. You can have what looks like a very comfortable, fulfilled life and you may still feel depressed and are every much entitled to feel this way. It in no way reflects a lack of gratitude or appreciation for your life.
    4. Please do not try to say you understand what a depressed person feels like. Though your intentions may be good, this can often feel like you are minimizing what a depressed person is feeling. Remember sadness and depression are completely different things. Sadness is a temporary state and depression is a persistent sadness that can leave someone feeling utterly hopeless and helpless. Even if you have been clinically depressed yourself, tread lightly on making statements that invite the idea that you know what another is feeling. Depression is very personal for each individual affected and one’s experience may be quite different from another.
    5. Depressed people may feel like a burden. They may withdraw from others as a result and avoid friends and family because it is too much energy to try and engage. It is not personal and please be patient and realize it is not a rejection of the relationship but rather a symptom of the illness.
    6. Depressed people are trying their best. Getting out of bed and getting dressed may seem like a trivial act but when you are depressed it can be a huge accomplishment. Praise a person suffering from depression for their courageous efforts and let them know you are there to listen and support. Compassion can go a long way to help in the healing process.

    If you or someone you know is in need of help dealing with depression, please contact me to schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation.