During periods of crippling depression, morning anxiety was a daily fixture for me. I would wake up feeling paralyzed, afraid to get out of bed and face the day. The thought of walking into work put me in panic mode, but because of one amazing friend, I got through it.
As disengaged as I was, this friend did not give up. I woke up to daily texts, funny memes, and emojis ensuring me that despite my unresponsiveness, there were still people that were not giving up on me. It is so easy to take rejections personally, but when someone is in a state of depression, their lack of engagement has nothing to do with you. Make those calls, send those texts, and even though you know the answer will be no, continue inviting them to hangouts and events.
3. Advocate for them.
This one is a little tougher. During my “lost year” (that’s what I call the year that I was at my worst mental state), I had zero energy to focus on getting help. My goal every day wasn’t getting through work, going to school, or running errands, it was simply trying to stay alive. It was making sure I didn’t actively try and kill myself. Because of my severe mental state, I was in no position to advocate for myself.
Luckily, my friends and family made sure I continued getting the help I needed. Whether it was driving me to appointments, sitting next to me in waiting rooms under those clinical lights, to simply doing the research I couldn’t, they stayed on top of it.
If someone is in a debilitating state of depression, it’s more than likely that they are not actively seeking help. Be the person who gets help for them. Whether it’s navigating the mental health system, getting more information on services and free clinics, to gathering useful information that they may need, taking the initiative is another way to be there for them. Don’t just tell them that it will be okay, show them.
Want to know more about how you can help someone dealing with depression? Check this video out below:
4. Know when to listen and when to talk.
Sometimes, being an active listener is all that it takes to help someone. It may not completely cure them of their depression, but oftentimes, those that are suffering are bottling up emotions that are weighing them down. When someone is dealing with mental health issues, it is so easy for them to get caught up in their own thoughts.
You may not have the answers to their problems, but allowing them to express what they’re feeling and going through gives them a certain sense of validation.
Then there are moments when hearing you talk is what they need. There were moments when all I wanted was a distraction from my mind. Whether it was hearing someone else’s story or simply talking about small and light things such as the latest Marvel movie that just came out, hearing someone else speak would quiet the negative thoughts in my head, even if it was just temporarily.
I guess the trick is to know when to talk and when to listen. Feel out the vibe that they’re giving. Read their face and really try and connect with what they want even if they’re not verbally expressing it.