Dealing with Depression
Some people think there is no difference between sadness and depression but there is a distinct difference between the two which I will explain in this blog. Before I do that, I want to share with you some common misconceptions about people who are in a depressive state.
- they are people who cannot laugh or enjoy anything
- they are people unable to see the good things in their lives
- they are just lazy
- they are just looking for attention
- all they want to do is avoid things
Now that I have identified some common misconceptions about depression, let's get to the difference between sadness and depression:
Sadness happens when an event occurs (such as a death) and for a short while , it lowers the person's mood. Yet they are still able to get up and do the things they normally do. They may have an appearance of being sad and tearful , but in a relatively short time they begin to appear a little bit brighter and they get back to doing the things they enjoy.
Depression on the other hand is entirely different. There may or may not be an event that precedes the episode. The person may actually appear happy for moments throughout the day. The person feels hopeless and experiences helplessness. These emotions may also lead to the person having low energy, that affects their ability to:
- get out of bed
- change their clothes
- eat regularly ( it is not uncommon for people to experience weight loss or weight gain)
- loss of interest in the things they used to enjoy doing
- hopeless feeling that there is little to be grateful for
- helpless that they can do anything to change the way they are feeling
If you are trying to help someone who is in a depressive episode, there are a few things you can do:
- be a cheerleader not a judge - encourage the person when they tell you they are trying
- ask the person what THEY need - all to often people want to help people with their own ideas , it is important to meet the person where THEY are
- learn to listen , really listen to what is and is not being said
- avoid sharing stories that draw a comparison between your feelings and theirs
- if needed provide quiet company-be a presence they can count on
- give them space when necessary
These are just some of the things you can do to assist someone with depression, if you are concerned about safety please call 911 ,your local crisis line or the national crisis line at 800-273-8255 for suicide prevention.
Stay safe out there everybody!