Everybody Needs To Feel Understood, More So When Depressed
When you think of somebody you may know, you may think that they are happy, outgoing individuals who want to do well in life. They may tell you everything and be able to openly confide in you. You know them well enough and you believe that you understand them, they also feel you understand them. This is a great understanding of your loved one or friend. Now imagine all of that changing and the person you once thought you understood, completely changes and starts to shut you out and not communicate with you, does this sound familiar? Well you may wonder why you are being shut out or feeling ignored, but it isn’t personal, it is what happens when depression occurs.
Many depression sufferers feel alone and isolated from the world and from their friends and families due to not feeling understood and because of their depression making a difference from their ‘usual-selves”. So thinking that your friend, lover or family member wants to cut you out of their life because they cannot be open with you or communicate with you effectively isn’t the case, it may be because they feel trapped, scared and alone, it can often be hard to admit you have depression, because you may not have experienced anything like it before or worry about what other people will say or how they will judge you. Making the effort to understand their change and offering help and support is the first big step anybody can take to helping a depression sufferer, not only does this show you care, but it shows you want to be around and care, that in turn offers great comfort.
Don’t take the bad days to heart, many people who haven’t experienced somebody with depression before may feel that they are being attacked verbally, watching what you say is important, little things can set off a bad day for those with depression, trying to compare them to somebody without depression or with another illness is not a fair or great thing to do, understand that everybody is different and, therefore, everybody with depression is different and not the same.
Depression can affect anybody, it doesn’t mean those with it are weak, they shouldn’t be seen as that. They should be seen as a normal person, just with a slight need for more understanding. Being thoughtful in your actions and behaviour is imperative, remember don’t patronise them for not being who they once were or mock their depression, just treat them the same, be thoughtful!
How sick do you get of people judging you without having any idea of who you really are? Think of how those with depression feel! Some are judged, some worry about the stigma and the behaviour of selfless individuals, it isn’t a nice thing admitting you have depression, but it sure shouldn’t be hidden, in a society where everybody has opinions, it is time to make them opinions stand for something and to end judging depression sufferers.
Stop, think and understand! How would you feel if you wasn’t understood. You may need to be a little more patient and not expect a miracle overnight, but take the time and make the effort to understand depression. You could read books, journals of those who have had depression or even visit charities for support, trying to understand depression is much better than pretending you understand, but having no idea on what to expect, do, or how to help.
“Well you used to be happy, motivated and such a happier person!” Comparing a person with depression to how they once were is something that you should never make the mistake to do. Very often, people do try this and wonder why they get such an unwelcome reply, it is hardly surprising really, to be told what you already know is quite patronizing especially when suffering from an illness, it is best to leave the comparisons out. It is harder than you thought, unless you have experienced depression yourself, then you know what comparisons feel like and wouldn’t do it.
One of the greatest skills that needs to be offered here is patience! You cannot rush understanding depression and those experiencing depression simply cannot get better, everyone with depression has different time lengths to feeling better again, some have depression for life and never feel how they once did, some for a few weeks and others for a few years, it all changes so you can never really know when or if you will start to feel better.
Being patient can offer hope and show care to depression sufferers. They may feel wanted, involved and cared for, which is never a bad thing.