By Kelly Carr
We make snap judgments every day. We look at people and create assumptions about what they must be going through. Yet we only see from our own eyes, and it’s hard to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes when we’ve never experienced what they’ve experienced.
So with this topic at hand, I decided to ask.
As May is Mental Health Awareness Month, we decided it was a good time to have a two-week series in The Lookout concerning mental health issues. This week is about depression. I have good friends who struggle with depression, and I always wonder if I’m doing and saying the right things to support them. That’s why I came right out and asked them. I also got their permission to share with you.
Friend 1 said it helps to have people take initiative. “When I’m depressed, I either don’t know what I need, or do, but am too embarrassed or too tired to ask for it.” If someone asks, “How can I help?” the friend doesn’t know how to answer. But if someone asks something specific (“Want to watch a movie?”) then the friend can easily say yes or maybe later.
Friend 2 had a similar answer. If someone offers to make dinner or take the dog for a walk or bring a soda, it’s an appreciated gesture. “Depression is really draining, and often I don’t feel like I even have the energy to stand up, so it’s really nice for someone else to offer to do those sorts of things occasionally.” This friend said it’s also nice when someone is present—when someone just sits quietly, either allowing the friend to talk or to simply say nothing at all.
If you have loved ones who face depression, please read our other articles to hear a variety of perspectives. If you face depression, please know you’re not alone—you are loved and seen, and we stand with you.