‘Depression’, this word is very casually used these days. Not all of us know the meaning of it. Not all of us are clinically depressed. Recently, in India, Depression became the major topic, thanks to Deepika Padukone who has told the media that she was diagnosed with Depression. Also, the recent movie – Dear Zindagi spoke about mental and emotional sickness that we tend to ignore.
Not every person who is sad is depressed. But sadness can lead to depression. I have tried speaking to my mother, my ex-boyfriend that I might be depressed and both of them gave me the same statement followed by a shrug, “Be happy and Smile!” Honestly, if smiling was so easy, it wouldn’t have been a topic of discussion, right?
This post is not for the people who are going through depression. This is for those who know of someone struggling through Depression.
Here are the 7 Tips on How to react when someone tells you about their depression:
First of all, if you’ve never been in Depression, DO NOT SAY, “I understand how you feel.” The ones, who really know how depression feels, won’t trust you. Depression is not a ‘cool’ word. It doesn’t mean ‘being sad’. There is a possibility that you relate to the person, in such a case mention that you can relate to them.
Don’t give it a deaf ear:
If someone tells you they feel depressed, or they are depressed for weeks now, take them to a therapist. Give them a Christmas gift – an appointment to the therapist. Do not ignore that the person has owned his/her mental state. Do not over-hear it. Respond to them. Tell them you want to help them. Utmost courage is required to own up to the fact that they know their mental state. Respect them.
There will be times when in a very casual conversation they mention something about killing themselves or they want to die. Do not ignore – these are some Red Alerts.
Don’t be a therapist, if you’re not:
If someone tells you they are depressed, there is a possibility that they are sad but are you a certified therapist to comment on that? If yes, then please help this friend of yours; if not then please do not act as one. I know you’re concerned for this person and you truly want to help. Honestly, therapists have their way of treating such cases. You won’t know what the severity of the situation is. Do not say something like, “Be happy, you will be fine.” If the person knew how to be happy, they wouldn’t have come to you.
Don’t make fun:
A lot of people, whom I have told about my depression, make fun of me for being depressed. Problem being, in India, depression is only a cool word (as I have been repeating all over the post). Someone like me who has done their Google study on mental sickness and the symptoms, will take an offense if you make fun of my illness. Will any of us make fun of a person who has a physical disability?
Now, do not take me wrong on this, I have two of my closest family members who are partially blind and left side of the body paralyzed, I love them and I would never make fun of them. But can’t the person who goes though a mental break down and knows he/she is going through Depression expect the same?
Understand them & Listen to them:
The people in depression won’t really start talking. You will have to talk to them, don’t give them an advice but ask them to speak up, let them break down in front of you. Let them speak. They have so many chaotic thoughts that can’t be expressed, otherwise.
Try to understand them. If they’re not laughing on a joke, there could be reasons. If they are crying for petty things, there could be a reason. Please talk to them but never ask them “Why?” –
A person never knows why they are depressed. Depression is not a mood, it’s a weather; a bad one though. It can be gloomy anytime!
Book an appointment:
Some people will say they don’t need therapy. Getting a therapist is not a shameful act. If you really love them, book an appointment for them. Tell them how much you love them and really want them to speak to a professional. Be polite and humble.
They are not in the best frame of mind to lose love. They might have come to this stage long, long ago, and they have certainly lost a lot of people after they fell sick. Tell them; assure them, they’re not alone. Love them and make them your priority.
If this person is your family – support them.
If this person is your friend – do not let them be by themselves.
If this person is your lover – do not leave them.
I know this post is not a very happy post, but trust me in 2016, I have personally seen how many people leave your side while you are depressed.
I am no expert in depression, but this post is completely from the point of view of someone who is going through depression and need the above things from the people close to them.
Treat the people around you with love and care and trust me the world will be a better place.
Also, watch this video and you will know where I come from.
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