When dealing with someone with depression, it is imperative that you think before you speak and are careful with your intentions with anyone with this serious medical illness. Most people will feel down at some points of time in our lives, but there are also many of us that struggle with this common, yet major depressive disorder on a day to day basis, myself included. I have tried to keep my circle small in the last few years, in order to keep only the most positive influences in my life around me. We cannot expect everyone to be understanding of what we are going through though. There are many people including friends and family who do not understand the seriousness of this condition. They choose to not care, nor will they have the best interests for you. I have learned that when these people refuse to acknowledge how you need to live your life for the better of your own health and in order to have less stress in it, it’s best that you distance yourself from them whenever possible in order to protect your own sanity.
For those who are clueless in how to interact with someone who is battling depression – here are three ways that I personally don’t like people interacting with me. I believe others dealing with the same situations may feel the same way about my list. Here they are below:
Never try forcing someone to do something they don’t want to do.
How should someone with depression feel when they have someone constantly trying to coach, persuade, or beg them to do something that they don’t want to do, would not normally do, and that goes against their wishes, and/or their beliefs just to make you happy? How do you expect that person who already feels like they have no way out, to respond to your peer pressure? Doing this literally pushes a person into a small, tight corner, and they will either snap back at you or hurt themselves to find a way out of the situation. It also shows that you are unsympathetic to their own well-being if you choose to force your own wants down their throat with no care of what they want for themselves. As a friend, you can either “make them or break them” with how you choose to treat them. Don’t ever choose to be that person who ends up making a bad situation worse.
Don’t think Sad and Depressed is the same.
Don’t use phrases like “Get over it”, “It’s not all about you”, or “pray it away” or “just suck it up.” to someone with depression. It’s just not that easy. Read more about the differences in the two, here.
Don’t ignore the signs.
When someone is acting increasingly different than the norm, check on your loved one instead of giving them even more space or isolation. Make sure that they are okay. Sometimes just hearing that you really matter to someone can make a world of difference in that person’s day. Speaking about death or suicide, feelings of guilt, loss of energy, or interest in what used to make them happy are all symptoms of depression and can also be possible warning signs that a situation could be deteriorating. Show that person that they are thought of and loved, and seek out professional help if need be.
Luckily, depression is treatable and most people dealing with this disorder respond well to the different options available for treating it. I am in no way a medical professional and you should not take my opinion as fact. If you or a loved one are struggling with depression, or you are not sure if you have it, you should seek a diagnosis from a medical professional.
Have you dealt with depression before? What are some things that you don’t like about how people treat you after finding out about your condition? Share your stories with me in the comments below – I’d love to hear from you. Till next time, thanks for reading.