Friday, May 31, 2019

The Do's and Don'ts Towards Somewone With Depression and Anxiety

I haven't written in such a long time and instead have been bottling up so many issues that I feel could be helping out other people so here we go.

I am so drained from society and their lack of empathy and understanding. Maybe reading the perspective of someone who has dealt with her own internal demons for sixteen years might help you get a better insight so that you can strengthen your relationship with those around you that are suffering from mental illness. There's only one thing I ask you: read this with an open mind and an open heart. Thank you for your time. 

Do's

  1. Understand that sometimes we don't want to talk. We retrieve - either because we don't want to be a burden to others or because we've already lost enough friends or realized that we don't even have friends. You learn who your real friends are during your most challenging times in life. Depression is a real condition. I cannot stress that enough. I understand that it can be a lot for people to manage, but if you're one of those people that have a family member or friend you're worried about, don't take it personally if we distance ourselves. On the other hand, try to softly come to us, especially if we show a subtle sign (like a hug, a text, a missed call). That probably means we're very lonely and need to vent.
  2. Hold a space. That means listen without judgement. Listen without comparing. Just listen, and be loving. Sometimes getting things off our chest and having someone listen to us without making us feel worse than we already do is all we need. 
  3. Stay in touch. And mean it. Nowadays everybody is on their phone. Everyone has time to text or call. 
  4. Visit us. We want company. Most of the times we feel lonely and a sense of not belonging. Having someone over to spend time with even if it's just to talk, watch a movie and or have something to eat can be a beautiful distraction. Where did human contact and interactions go?
  5. Research on your family member's or friend's condition. Educate yourself. It took me many years to have my family understand that what my condition was real and painful. 

Don'ts
  1. Don't take it personally if we don't return a call or reply to a text message. Most likely we're having a rough time and we all handle it differently. For me personally it's hard to even get out of bed some days. And now that I'm dealing with a herniated disc and so much physical pain that seems never-ending, I wake up with days where washing my face is already a small accomplishment I must celebrate. It's hard to sleep, hard to concentrate, and other times we sleep so much we're just kind of...gone. Numb. 
  2. Don't compare your friend's, family member's or partner's worries or pains with something you might have gone through or the life of perhaps of someone you think has it worse. That's trying to diminish the significance or what we're going through. Remember to hold a space. No judgement. 
  3. We want to feel cared for, but not smothered. That can make us push people away because we also need our privacy and time to heal. At the same time, if you say you're going to be there for someone, please be there for that person - don't say you're going to do something kind when we feel terrible and then not follow through. It hurts so much, trust me. 
  4. I've been faced with discrimination, including at a workplace which was horrible. I can't believe we're still dealing with that in 2019 but unfortunately there's plenty of ignorance out there and there is so much stigma around mental illness. Just because we may have our days does not mean we are weak, incapable of working, unreliable or unstable individuals. Would you say that to someone that has diabetes? Or someone that has a cardiovascular disease? Probably not. And yet we still live in a world that looks down upon us. We are still human beings. Another thing is we sometimes go through physical changes: weight loss, weight gain, hair loss. You don't need to point it out. We know them. 
  5. If the individual with the mental illness is already seeking help, understand that it's not always easy finding the right psychologist and psychiatrist, the right medications or natural alternatives. A lot of it is trial and error. Let the person find their own path instead of judging their own medical decisions. It's not your body, brain and soul. 

3 comments:

  1. It is beautifully expressed!! All that is written it’s true!!I also suffer from depression and no one can understand unless “YOU ARE ONE OF US”.

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