First of all, kudos for you if you opened this post because you’re worried about your friend. It’s really hard to see someone you care about sink into a mental illness, not knowing what you should do or say.
One out of every ten adults in the US suffers from depression. Not to mention that this number would probably be much higher if there wasn’t any stigma attached to this disorder, or going to therapy at all. At worst, depression can lead to suicide – the second leading cause of death in 15-29 year olds. As someone who has suffered and has seen people suffer from this mental illness, I wanted to share some thoughts on the subject.
Understanding What Depression is (And Isn’t..)
I think the first step is to understand what your friend is going through. From another person’s perspective, depression can look like regular sadness. Your friend might not get out much, they’ll say they are sick, don’t feel well but that it will pass. Regular sadness will pass with time, but depression doesn’t work the same way.
“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.” ― Laurell K. Hamilton,
Depression is much more extreme than regular sadness. It lasts longer. It’s more intense. Depression is not sadness. It feels like a dark hole, like all the air has been squeezed out of your lungs, and at worst, it will make you feel completely numb. It’s important to know that – just like many illnesses – the symptoms aren’t the same for everyone, which is one of the reasons I called this guide incomplete. Some people suffering from depression have trouble concentrating, while others are irritable or just feel empty. Read More »