Day 11 Empathizing with Depression
I decided to talk about depression because it continues to be a part of my life, and a friend of mine has become frustarted with her friend who is depressed. Depression isn’t easy and there really isn’t any way I can fully explain it. It’s one of the emotions that can only be experienced, and I hope you never have to. Just snap out of it, be happy life is good, why not change how you feel, there is no reason to be depressed! I’ve heard it before, I will probably continue too, and it makes me sad. Empathy is emotional understanding and relating, but without experience one cannot fully understand depression, and thus cannot empathize with it.
Scientifically, depression is actually a super focused mind creating a narrow view of perspective. This is what leads logical people to sometimes see no available option, and therefore seem irrational. So the mind get stuck going in cycles, thinking of something painful, and it slowly starts to ruin a person’s life. Depression can also be caused by hormonal in balances. It runs in my family so I have seen it, experienced it, and understand the damage it can cause. My first wave of depression hit when I was a freshman in high school and, over long periods of time, lasted until I was mid-way into my senior year of high school. It occurs less often now. By senior year, I had lost all of my friends and was heading downwards. I didn’t understand what I was going through so I never expect my friends too. However, it did cause rifts which eventually lead to someone walking away. Slowly I hid away from the world. The irony being that the lonelier I became the more depressed I became. It was a vicious cycle that continued until there is no one left to push away. It’s a horrible feeling. I tell you this so that you may understand that depression is painful. It’s a vicious pain that is constantly felt and cannot be cured overnight. It takes time, patience, and friends.
I have tried my best to learn from my experience and I am continuing to learn as new hardships occur. However, I understand that a good network of friends make a huge different when someone is depressed. I have found myself without friends many times in my life, to many actually, so I can say for certain that friends are vital for recovery. My friend was joking and telling her friend how dumb and ridiculous her actions were, and she truly believed this was helping her friend. I got a little worried and tried to explain to her that she should be careful with what she says. That her friend was depressed for a reason so it shouldn’t be dismissed so easily. In the end, she said I was lecturing her which I hadn’t meant to do, and decided to stop talking to me for a few weeks. I could tell how stressed she was with the situation, and I wish I had handle the situation better. All I ask is if your friend is depressed to listen without judgment or advice, because what they need is a listening ear. Please do not dismiss their feelings or get frustrated and push them away. You don’t know how much they need you!
A lot of people don’t realize that depression is an illness. I don’t wish it on anyone, but if they would know how it feels, I swear they would think twice before they just shrug it. ~ Jonathan Davis