Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person’s thoughts, behavior, feelings and sense of well-being. People with depressed mood can feel sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable, ashamed or restless. They may lose interest in activities that were once pleasurable, experience loss of appetite or overeating, have problems concentrating, remembering details or making decisions, and may contemplate, attempt or commit suicide. Insomnia, excessive sleeping, fatigue, aches, pains, digestive problems or reduced energy may also be present. — source: wikipedia, because if its not webMD what the hell else do we google?
Some of us take it lightly and make a joke out of it, “I’m so depressed they lost the game man” or “that is so depressing!”. However, some of us are actually in a mental and physical state of demotivation, dissatisfaction and possess an inability to get out of bed in the morning because we see no logical reason to exist anymore – metaphorically speaking, it’s a parasitic envelopment that can affect even the most optimistic and kindest of souls, that can cause hostile, unrecognizable behaviour – and the clinical term that has been slapped and labelled on to those feelings is known as depression.
I once loved someone who was suffering with what I now, after nearly two years of not being in contact with said person, think could have been depression. Perhaps I didn’t love him, maybe it was just sheer high school infatuation that turned into a familiar attachment when we both flew 7,000 miles away from the city we grew up in – a city where things like depression simply didn’t exist. I say this because had I loved someone who was suffering through something as life-altering as this, I would have been understanding and unconditionally supportive as opposed to self-serving, selfish and persistent.
But I was, and of course many eons later I realized that anyone who can no longer recognize their own reflection in the mirror, would not want to indulge in anything that would worsen how they already feel. I did the worst possible things one could do when someone they care about is unhappy; a) I believed that their behaviour was personally targeted at me, thus leading me to believe there was something wrong with me (i.e. I revolved the entire situation around myself) and b) I pushed for a relationship without considering the fact that he was not in a state of mind to pursue one because he was unsure of what even made him happy, if that could even be me, and that maybe he hadn’t even begun healing the scars and the trauma I had previously left him with.
I believe all a loved one going through depression needs is unconditional support. Nothing more, nothing less.
However, in my opinion it is illogical to think you are obligated to support a loved one who is depressed – you are entitled to putting yourself first.
Trust is an essential part of any relationship, without trust you have no grounds for a basic foundation. I lied, and I used to have a terrible habit of never sticking to my word, which eventually I evolved past because breaking promises is something only someone who lacks integrity does. I did not want to be that person. It had never occurred to me that lying to someone who cares about you, who eventually finds out, completely shape shifts their reality and possibly even leaves them traumatized (such factors could contribute to depression in an individual).
Furthermore, I came to this realization when a friend of mine was diagnosed with Manic Depression. Seeing the drastic changes in his behaviour and attitude during each different phase and post-medication helped me understand that no-one voluntarily decides to be unhappy or come across as ungrateful. Life isn’t all sunshine, Carebears or even Barney (who turned out to be a child molester, case in point #1) — Growth pains and spurts are mental, too. As my roommate says, the best tool that helped her overcome depression was her mind. Logic can combat any kind of negative perspective. Anyone who has ever gone through depression is highly intelligent, defies ignorance and always comes out of it stronger. Depression is nothing to ever be ashamed of, without pain and suffering, how would we ever be able to truly appreciate and experience joy?
Perhaps my whole theory is completely off-point, and if said person were to ever read this, maybe they’d be furious at the incorrect assumption I’ve made. But my intention is simply to portray that regardless of how long its been since we’ve spoken, or the fact we came to the conclusion it’d be best to remain out of each other’s lives, regardless of where it may be coming from: one of the greatest things a human being can do for another is to simply understand them.
And I’m sorry I couldn’t understand you then, when you needed it the most.
Peace and love.