By Pakinam El Simary
Note: This article is from one of our contributors, and not the opinion of a professional doctor.
I have been personally struggling with depression for a long time now; there is no specific reason really. It’s the kind of struggle you’re exposed to when bad memories and stressors pile up over the years. I wanted to let people understand how it’s really like and make them re-think how to deal with their depressed friends. I’m mainly discussing friends and not family members since you probably see them more often or live with them and would be able to tell if they suffer from depression.
WHAT IT MEANS TO HAVE A DEPRESSED FRIEND
I’m not sure if you guys know what depression is. People usually think of it as extreme sadness, which isn’t totally wrong but that’s not what it’s all about. Depression is actually beyond sadness and bursts of crying; it can significantly impair your functioning in every way.
If you have a friend who has been diagnosed with depression, you would find him/her slowly losing their ability to socialize properly. They always lack the energy to do anything: to wake up, to eat, to go out and sometimes to even speak or breathe. You’d find them always sleeping and withdrawing slowly from every social gathering. They want to see you, but can’t get themselves out of bed. They have planned to visit you and even got you a present, but feel a heavy burden weighing them down from even making themselves a cup of tea. They love you, care about you and always feel like they’re not doing enough as they have a consistent feeling of guilt (symptom of depression). You’ll find them always apologizing for stupid things; it’s the only way they show they care. They want to call but don’t want to bother you if you’re busy. They rarely text or call, but when you see them they seem fine. You would think they’re ignoring you or they’re busy or maybe that is who they are, but what you think is not true. They’re just trying to keep their struggles to themselves.
THE STORM BEHIND THE CALM FACE YOU SEE:
Some people are that good in hiding it all. I bet you can’t even tell who’s depressed among your friends.
If you have a private friend, check on them and pay attention to the details as the PRIVATE ONES are the BEST in hiding. They will always prefer to sit alone rather than talk to you about what’s on their minds. They tend to DWELL over their own negative thoughts until they actually believe that they deserve to alone and depressed. They PUSH people away, not because they want to, but that’s the only way they see themselves taking control of their mess. They take CONTROL through trying to be independent and picking themselves up.
THEY TRY TO HIDE IT MORE: THEY PUSH YOU AWAY
One thing you have to know about any depressed person is that they tend to have impaired ways of thinking that often lead them to the bad solutions which only worsen their conditions. Your depressed friend whom you think is also private thinks they need to get through this alone and they cannot be more wrong.
The surrounding environment is the real cause of the depression in the first place. Your friend always forgets that their environment is the main factor which would help them recover; that includes how you and the people in his/her life TREAT him/her. Attempting not to bother you and handling their problems on their own, your friend WITHDRAWS even more but what you don’t know is that he/she needs you more than EVER. However, you think your friend doesn’t like you anymore, is too busy to hang out with you or worse is ignoring you and you PULL away. If you and most of your friends react the same way, your poor depressed friend will wind up being ACTUALLY lonely and even more depressed.
I’m not trying to make you feel worse about how you react to your friend’s weird actions or in any way suggesting that anyone who withdraws a little bit is depressed.
All I’m saying is: There is MORE to people than what you see. If you care enough, you should never give up and believe the APPARENT!