“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.”
— Laurell K. Hamilton
If you love someone who is depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. They don’t know. Depression isn’t a straightforward, thought-out response to a tough situation – depression just IS, like December’s weather in Seattle.
Be mindful of the darkness, lethargy, hopelessness and loneliness they’re going through. Be there for them, day in and day out, until they come through the other side. It’s hard to be a true friend to someone who’s depressed, but it’s one of the kindest, finest and most impactful things you will ever do.
Angel and I have worked with dozens of depressed people over the years, and we have experienced bouts of depression ourselves. One thing I am certain of is that there’s no “one size fits all” kind of advice for depression. The reminders below aren’t universal clarifications, but simple guidelines that will hopefully give you a general starting point for helping your depressed loved one cope and heal, gradually.
1. Depression is not something a person consciously chooses.
When you’re lost deep in those woods, it might take you some time to realize that you’re lost. For a while, it’s easy to convince yourself that you’ve just wandered off the path – that you’ll find your way back any moment now. Then night falls, again and again, and you still have no idea where you are, and although it’s agonizing, it’s time to admit that you’ve disoriented yourself so far off the path, so deep into the woods, that you can’t even tell which direction the sun rises or sets from anymore.
You’re not choosing to be where you are, but you can’t see a way out. That’s how depression felt to me when I was struggling through it many moons ago. [Read more…]