The Perspicacity of Giving

Hello my readers,

It’s been a long while since I posted on my blog. I apologize for that, but I have a good reason for being inactive. Back in October, October 2015, my antidepressant medication had stopped working. From what I have gathered, it is common for this to happen. Thus, I have lost interest in many things. I have lost interest in video games, reading theology as a hobby, crafting, and other things. At times, I can’t even seem to enjoy the idea of going out with friends to a fair. My doctor and I are currently working on trying to find new medication that will help me function again as I should. It takes more than six weeks to know if a medication is working for me or not. It is a tedious process of trial and error and me feeling like a dart board. The different medications are the darts in this case.

One thing I noticed today and is compounded by something I read is, giving is very hard when I am struggling with depression. The last few weeks I have been so wrapped up in my own pain and anguish that I find it hard to give back to others. On my good days, when I have clarity of thought, I can look outside myself and give to others. I love those days. And I love giving to others, so I am very much struck by my observation that it is hard for me to give when I am suffering a lot. Recently, I wrote my Godparents a letter and mailed it to their house. It took me a few days to write it after I had the idea of writing them a nice letter. Rationally, I waited for a day when my mood was not bad as I noticed that my mood tends to bleed through in my writing. (Thank you, texting! things you realize from being a person who loves texting!) Thus, in a certain way, I already understood that in order to give someone has to be in the right state to be able to give. Though, I had not made the connection itself with giving.

The nature of giving is one that is made out of surplus. If there is no surplus than the giving could be seen as sacrificing. They are two different things. I understand, though I don’t like it, I am not in a very good position to give to others. A person who has no money cannot give money to someone else. Thus, when I have no comfort within myself I can’t really give to others. Thankfully, unlike money, what I give can be considered something that is renewable since on the good days I can give to others. Whereas, with the example of someone having no money they have to save up when they get money so they can give to others. However, as I write this, I realize that it is only recently that I have felt like it has been hard to give to others. There are days that are so bad for me that there is no possible way that I can look beyond my own suffering and help someone else. On the bright side, there are days where I am not doing so well, but I can give to others and do something to show them how much I care.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” I see now that there is a time for me to give to others, and a time when I cannot give to others. Thus, I am coming to understand that at times in my depression there are days when it is not the time to give. There are people out there that consider people with depression to be just self-absorbed and self-centered. In a certain way, they are correct, but they use the wrong words. They use words that say that a depressive has a surplus; when a depressive probably doesn’t even have scraps. Granted, these individuals tend to be people who fall away from the mainstream idea that depression is a biological illness, so they don’t see it as a depressive having nothing. They see it as being greedy. This is wrong. However, my focus is on the idea that there is this aspect of perspicacity to the action of giving. Perspicacity, when you type it into google, means “the quality of having a ready insight into things; shrewdness.” I realize that there is a sense of perspicacity in giving. There are times when it is not the time to give, and there are times when it is the time to give.

The perspicacity of giving, also, deals with the understanding of when a person can help someone and when they will only make things worse. Have you ever been in a situation where someone wants to help you, but they only make it worse? I’m sure all of us have some sort of experience with that. I definitely have experiences like that. Ha ha ha, now, since usually it has to do with my depression, I educate people before if they want to help me. I give them articles on what is helpful to say and what makes things worse. (That’s supposed to be funny.) Anyway, there is a certain aspect to the act of giving, when one has to see if they are really suited to helping this person. I can’t tell you how many times good people with good intentions have given me bad advice about my health. There is a time when one needs to discern when they should give and support another person because it suits their abilities and when they should not. Or perhaps, people need to educate themselves before they try to give support to another person. Perhaps, it’s the time to educate yourself and then it’s the time for giving. These things all fall under the perspicacity of giving because one has to know when it is the time for giving.

Anyway, this is something that my trial has recently taught me and I thought I would share this insight that I am gaining with you. This is in no way a complete analyzation in the perspicacity of giving. This is only the beginning of the flourishing of what God is teaching me as reflect upon myself and the events in my life. I hope you, at least, found this to be a little bit insightful about the act of giving.

Fight Song

I’m back at Saint Leo University this semester. I actually graduate this semester. And even though it’s only the second week of school, I feel like this is going to be a great semester. I have so much motivation about my school work and I’m also not procrastinating on assignments. I feel like I have a great handle on my workload this semester. If you are familiar with major depression then you would understand that the fact I have all this motivation to do things is a really great sign about my health.

So I’m pretty sure all of you have heard the song Fight Song by Rachel Platten? If not, here is a link.

Well, I wanted to talk about how empowering this song is for me. This song probably means way more to me than the average person. It makes me feel so empowered. And I relate to it on probably a different level than the average person. The lyrics are great and can be used for any struggle. It reminds me of my own personal struggle with depression. It reminds me to always keep fighting. To keep fighting with determination, as if there was no temptation to say “I can’t.” It is a song that reminds me how strong I am and how I can do anything. Heck, I overcome depression at age 21. If I can overcome severe depression then I don’t think there is anything that can stop me! The world better watch out!

However, on a more reflective note, I am realizing that I don’t think I will EVER forget what this recent episode of major depression was like. I think my grapple with the darkness known as depression will forever be ingrained in my mind. To be honest, I am not sure how someone can forget about such an experience and just move on like nothing happened. I know I can’t. I can’t just sit and do nothing now that I am able to speak out. It’s just not possible for me. My mission is to scream out in defiance to stigma, ignorance, and religious opposition to mental illness. You could say this is “my fight song.” Though, my fight song is also one of perseverance and not giving up. To keep combating the darkness with what little light you may have. You may just have a little cigarette lighter, but let that light shine and don’t let it go out. No matter how weary you get, and there are people out there willing to help you keep your flame lit.

Can you hear me? I got so much fight in me and I won’t sit ideally by in silence. If someone thinks they have depression I will be the first to talk to them and advise them to go to counselling. And I won’t stay silent when things could be said to change people’s misguided perception of mental illness.  In general, the topic of mental illness makes people uncomfortable, but I don’t care. I will speak out about it. And let’s say if a third episode of depression comes upon me (this is very likely to happen one day), I will fight with all my heart against it.

It may be a little arrogant of me to think, but I feel like my battle with depression shows how strong I really am. It shows I’m a true fighter because I have been through a lot more than people my age have.

I encourage anyone reading this, whether you have experience or not, to speak out about mental illness! And also take a really long hard look at how you look at people who are a little different than you. They need your support and if you think you have some sort of mental illness don’t be afraid to ask for help. Don’t be afraid to sign up for counseling. Counseling is more normal than you think.

Love,

Ashes

What’s on my Mind…

The friends that matter are the ones who will get to know the real you and not listen to the rumors. My friend Jessica said this to me and the more I think about it the more I find it to be really true. With the case of the rumors and lies circulating about me, it has shown me again how a follower of Jesus should be.

Unfortunately, probably because of my illness, it’s hard for me to not think about the things the person said about me and whether there is any weight to what she is saying. However, I can’t find weight in what she says. My friends all fight me when I think I found maybe something she could be referring too as what she deemed to be “attention seeking.” My trust is really broken in people from what I have experienced. She most of all really broke my trust. It’s hard for me to open up to my boyfriend when I am not feeling well or to a few of my friends who want to be there for me. It’s hard to trust when your trust has been broken by so many people.

What this person did in spreading rumors is stigmatize my illness and made herself no better than those types of people who claim mental illness is a lie. People who are like that are part of the reason so many people do not seek help for major depression. It’s hard for me to understand how she can think I am faking it when she has witnessed times when I got really bad. She was the first one at the university I am attending I opened up that I was being tested for depression. In the end, I feel like I should have went with my intuition and not have trusted her.

It’s sad the lack of understanding and the ignorance that is pervasive in our culture on mental illness. There are times when I feel like no one understands and just feel very alone and misunderstood. The truth is most people don’t understand what one is going through when they have depression. Though I don’t think anyone can totally understand unless they have experienced it themselves, they can on some level have some level of compassion and understanding through education and knowledge.

In addition, I want to point out there is a difference between attention seeking and attention needing. Perhaps a better way to phrase it would be, there is a difference between attention seeking and asking for help. Considering I legitimately had a problem, and would reach out to my friends when I wasn’t feeling well or just needed someone to listen that is not attention seeking. In fact, if someone fakes a mental illness to get attention that is something only a sick person would do. If someone fakes a mental illness that is considered its own mental illness. Only someone who is sick would fake mental illness to get attention.

Anyway, this has what has been on my mind and writing a post about it helped a little.

Rumors

tumblr_n0xduuJg5d1tsjrfbo1_r1_1280At my university there is apparently rumors going around about me and this is actually the first I have ever heard of rumors ever being spread about me. I can now say, it is rather frustrating than when false things are being said about you. The things being said runs along the lines that I am an attention seeker. This is a big blow for me because that word is part of the stigma and discrimination my illness usually gets.

With the chance there may be some who have not read my previous posts, I was diagnosed with major depression back in February of 2014. It was determined it was moderate grade. It wasn’t mild, nor was it considered severe. It was in the middle. They didn’t find the right medication for me till august of 2014. The spring semester of college was hard as I was facing my illness without the right medication. Depression is a horrible illness and hurts more than people can imagine. I would rather have physical pain then the emotional pain depression puts you through every day. It was hard. I would reach out to my friends trying to have someone listen to me and be able to express myself and not have to hide.

Now if you are some of my fellow students reading my blog, than you might have heard a rumor going around that I am an “attention seeker and only pretend to be nice” or something along those lines.
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This past Friday I found out a girl I use to be rather close with and got into a conflict with this semester has been telling people, at least, since September I am an attention seeker. She has been saying, “She is an attention seeker, pretends to be nice, and only does sweet things to get attention. She also pushes her religion on people.” The people who are friends with me and have heard her have wanted to strangle her, because all the things she is saying is really untrue. She is telling lies. She is also ruining my reputation and making people I don’t even know think of me in a horrible way. She, to me, has back stabbed in the worst way possible. She was the first one I trusted at Saint Leo University with my secret and she betrayed my trust. She used the worst thing she could ever call me. She is no better than the other people who are ignorant of mental illness. If anything the fact she claims I am an attention seeker after I trusted her and she saw some of the things I went through shows she isn’t a very compassionate person. And I honestly have no idea where this person got these lies. I don’t know how she could think I am a faker since I go to the psychiatrist, counseling, and I am on medication. I don’t know how she thinks I only pretend to be nice. Sure, I have lost my patience with her and her unreliability and how she ignored me when I needed her, but I gave her plenty of chances. Asking me to be a doormat is outrageous. She also said I am manipulative, but I have no idea what she is talking about. All I ever did was express myself and never intended to manipulate her because of how I feel. However, I am sure though she is not a terrible enough person to say something and not think it is true. Therefore, in her mind she must think of me in this way, which hurts more because she is simply not telling lies. She regards me as a person I am not and we were rather close to each other. However, this is also good news too because there is still a large amount of good in her.

I find though in my mind, she may not be totally at fault. She may be influenced by her mother, and her mother has told her theses things are true about me even though I have only talked to her mother twice. I really hope this is the case, because the girl I knew back in the spring was not like this. She was not one to spread rumors and lie about someone. I’m trying to find a place in my heart not be angry and try to understand why she would do this. As someone who wants to please God, I am trying my hardest to swallow down my hurt and forgive her. It is definitely really hard, but no one said forgiving would be easy. What’s easy is taking revenge. What’s easy is confronting her about it and arguing with her. The hard road is to just let it go.

The course of action I have planned to take is to let her keep doing what she is doing. The only thing she is really accomplishing is making herself look like a fool when people actually get to know me and realize I am none of the things she says I am. She is also showing people what kind of person she seems to have become this semester. She has most defiantly changed. This very much worries me. The seemly pleasant girl I knew who seemed to have a big heart has changed. She has even ruined my chances of getting into Greek life at school because she tells her sisters these untrue thing about me. She seems to be hanging out the wrong people and be changing because of it.

The thing is, in general, the person spreading false rumors is really only causing harm to themselves. The people that matter will ignore the rumors and will get to know you. The friends that matter will stick around and want to defend you when someone tells lies about you. In a way it makes thing easier for me, though I will admit it does hurt that numerous people have this false perception about me now. However, it is what it is.

The only thing I can do since she seems to dislike me so much is to continue to mention her in my prayers. God tells us to pray for those who persecute us. And I will continue to do so even more. I really hope she comes to realize how terrible she is being and sees what she’s doing is wrong. I hope she sees that she is only making me want to hide more and making me regret ever opening up about what I was facing in the spring semester. This, I suppose, from my research is a typical reaction when you are accused of by someone you use to be close with to be an attention seeker, a fake, and manipulative. They say hurt people hurt people, so perhaps there is something hurting her so she is trying to hurt me.

In any case I hope, you, my followers will also keep her in your prayers for me and also pray for me that I may be able to fully forgive her even though I don’t understand why she dislikes me so much. My biggest regret right now is that I ever trusted her.

Picture Citations:
Digital image. We the Fighters. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Dec. 2014. <http://depressedproblems.tumblr.com/image/50071588476&gt;.

N.d. Web. 9 Dec. 2014. <http://notcrazyorg.tumblr.com/image/66731565864&gt;.

How to Support a Friend with Depression: Part 1

When my episode of depression was bad and I wasn’t on the right medication, there were many things that would trigger me to spiral and want to hide in my room. Friends who I would reached out to and vent to on many occasions didn’t know what to say or tried to deny I really had depression. When someone has depression what you say to them really matters. What you say could cause them to pull away from you or worse. There are many things people should not do when they are trying to be there for a person with depression. I complied a list of a 10 helpful things you can do for a person diagnosed with depression and the said person is getting help professionally. (Getting diagnosed and getting a therapist are things which have to happen and there is no “ifs, and, or buts” about it. It is the only way they will get better from their illness.)

  1. Do not give advice. sometimes we have an impulse to try to fix people’s problems.Someone who is diagnosed with depression is not someone you can try to fix. The advice you give will be taken as minimizing their pain, this is because the brain is not working and is distorting what you say to mean something negative. This is called cognitive distortion and are in my opinion the worst part about depression. You should not give advice because you are not a professional trained to help them, and what you say can be very insulting because you are going off of how your brain and thoughts work. You have no idea what the sick person can control or not control. In addition, generally we aren’t looking for advice. We just want someone to listen and be there for us.
  2. Do not say “just think positive.” If the person wanted to they would. the person with depression would love to have their thoughts stop hurting them. It’s common in depression for self-loathing to develop and in my experience the self-loathing thoughts have gotten better once we found the right medication. At times, it will be impossible for the person to think good things simply because their brain is not functioning properly.
  3. Do not ignore them. If they reach out to you to vent, they just want you to listen and to provide some comfort. When they are ignored they feel more insignificant and the lies depression tells them seems to be true. The worst thing you can do is ignore them. How would you feel if you reached out for help and the person decided you weren’t worth their time and they didn’t care enough to try to help. I had times when I would hide under my bed and cry; I would text my friends, but no one would care and I would be ignored. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know what to say or how to help, you can say that to them and ask them what they need. Ignoring them is an awful thing to do. If you are overwhelmed, think of they must feel and how you aren’t the one going through a serious mental illness. Ignoring someone who needs help is the worst thing you can do. you make them feel more insignificant than how they already feel and make them feel like no one cares. you just confirm cognitive distortions. you make the lies depression tells seem true.
  4. Do research on depression. depression entails many things and you need to be able to discern when your friend’s depression is talking and when your friend is talking. You need to understand your friend will be difficult at times. depression includes being irritable and getting angry. I use to get angry for no reason, during those times i would avoid people. however, there were times I thought I had a reason for my anger and unfortunately sometimes that anger got released on some of my friends. it will probably happen no matter what the depressive does, but you as friend need to be able to pick out when they are having mental issues and not take what they say personally. Research is one of the most important things you can do.
  5. Do not take what a depressed person does or says personally. This person is sick and may very well try to push you away at times. They will say ridiculous things, but understand it is their illness talking. they will get mad and be in bad mood, but do not take it personally. My best friend would leave me alone for  few hours and then comeback and check on me. she knew after a few hours I would be back to myself again. They will say things out of anger, helplessness, and worthlessness. If they are attacks on you do not take them personally. Instead, you may want to discuss them with the depressive, but understand there is depression and there is your friend. You have to know when it’s their illness talking. Try not to take anything negative they say personal.
  6. Reassure them that you love them and will not leave them. Depression lies and the cognitive distortions make everything confusing. They will likely question your friendship with them or one day just feel like you hate them. Depression lies and tells them they are unlovable, boring, and their friends just pity them. It can also make them feel like perhaps they are not wanted, or if they let anyone in they will leave.
  7. Do not invalidate their feelings. Some of things they may get upset about may be minor, but understand in depression a little bump in the road seems like a mountain. Invalidating someone’s feeling does not help at all. it never has, even with healthy people.
  8. Do not compare a bad day you had to depression. Depression is worse than a bad day, depression is an actual illness. It’s like comparing a scrape to a broken leg. This statement would probably fall under invalidating their feelings.
  9. Be honest with them. Do not say you will be there for them and not be. tell them what you are willing to help with. Perhaps you can’t handle the depressive being open about their feelings, but you are able to help out with their laundry and hang out with them then be honest with them. This also means if they ask if they are being annoying then answer truthfully. The last thing they want is to be a burden to people. In addition, you have to be honest because you will have to correct some of the cognitive distortions they will get.
  10. Most importantly be patient. Every thing I listed above requires great patience. you have to be patient with your friend.They are sick after all.

Stay tuned, I plan on composing a part two to this topic and trying to help spread understanding and awareness of this mental illness. I hope this helps others be there for their friend like how some of mine were there for me.

Friends

I know I write a lot about my mental illness, Major Depression, but I am realizing so many new perspectives and life lessons came from my illness. I learned many lessons and I learned what it means to really suffer and struggle. I learned what agony and torture were like. I went through something which has irreconcilably changed me. The person I was before I can never be again. However, the person I am now is different version of the person I once was and from there I can grow and model myself into who i want to be now.

Before I came down with Depression, I was always kind of particular about my friends and to be honest I wasn’t use to relying on my friends for support. In high school, I was the girl that studied all the time and had numerous hobbies. Every once in a blue moon I  would hang out with my friends outside of school, but it was rare. I was very much kind of a loner and wasn’t very interested in changing myself to make a lot of friends. The few close friends I did have I valued them intensely. I am very much an introvert and my friendships were a reflection of that. In course of  recovering from my illness I began to really understand what friendship and love truly was. Most of all, I learned the hard way about what true friendship was.

A friend does not blame you for your condition, and they make sure they are there for you. A true friend is never too busy for you an they can see when you are trying to pull away because you are scared. A real friend will do everything they can to help you and will be honest with you.

There is some memes out there which have examples of the struggle and strain depression puts on your cheap friendships. Here are a few I found:

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I found these at http://clinicallydepressedpug.tumblr.com/. A site like this really helps because I feel like there are people out there who really understood what I went through and had the same problems.

The thing with friends is if they really love you they will choose to stay with you through tough times. Love is a decision and you choose whether to abandon someone or stay with them or to avoid them. from my grapple with depression, i have come to not accept the excuse of them being overwhelmed because the truth is i was overwhelmed and I was the one suffering. Love is not word used for convenience. Love is steadfast and not self seeking, and leaving someone who is really struggling and is very sick is self-seeking.

During my episode of major Depression, I was very alone and only had one person who i could lean on and was very patient with me. This girl’s name was Courtney Sullivan. We were friends back in high school and one of the people I opened up to early on about developing some really bad issues. She has never left me, and she is still there for now when I get my bad days. My best friend tried to be there, but here boyfriend did not like her talking to me. It wasn’t until six or seven months later she was able to be there for me because she had broken up with her boyfriend. During this episode, I had gone off to university and was alone more than ever. However, being a theology and Jesus lover I ended up in a good crowd. In the christian activities I attended and through fellow theology majors I met some great people. Three of the people I met were great people and began noticing I wasn’t exactly well as they hung around me more. I fussed up to one and when i was officially diagnosed I fessed up to the other two. These three put up with me for about six months and they put up with me without my charade of being fine up. In the end, I sort of knew we wouldn’t last as close friends. They were great people and made me feel like i had a family at school and I could talk to them and be truthful and not have to hide. However, their love was not what it should be because they did not know me before, nor did they try to do research or seem to hear me out when I would try to explain my illness to them. I appreciate everything they did, but the major breaking point that caused distance was when i was engulfed in the symptoms of my illness and I ended up getting blamed for the symptoms by one of them. It was pinned on me like a symptoms of my mood disorder were character flaws, and it’s still something that haunts me to this day. I have dreams of this friend and how she must hate me, and I feel helpless because she seems to have no grasp at all of what my illness does to me. On a more positive note, two of friends from high school have been there for me. When they knew I was struggling they immediately demanded to help me and would not take no for an answer. Okay, I’ll stop there on my friend stories, but the ones mentioned here, and some not mentioned, are ones who I am very thankful for. There are a few more I can talk about, but you get the idea.

When I would reach out for help I learned quickly who was really my friend and I soon was able to kind of pick up on who were reliable. My illness taught me what a true friend is and how I can be good friend myself.

The Dark Stains on the Artist’s Hands

In case you are reading this and haven’t checked out my other posts, in February of 2014 I was officially diagnosed with Major depression. From what I understand, I have a chemical imbalance in my brain. Basically, my brain was not working the way it should be. I didn’t enjoy things I use to enjoy, I would get upset about little things, I had lies about myself going through my head, and a lot of other things happening because of this mental illness.

When it was really bad I would get into a state of wanting or getting an urge to hurt myself. This temptation was caused by the anger at myself and the worthlessness I felt. I would feel like I should punish myself for my mistakes and things I had done wrong. An example of this was one time I got an urge when I found out i failed a quiz and I became angry with myself. Another reason this was a temptation is because for me it would be a way to express how I felt when there were no words. I could put what I was feeling on the inside on the outside. It was a way to express how I felt.

if you have never experienced depression or self-harm urges, in those moments it’s hard to see anything good about yourself and you feel like you deserve to have scars and you deserve the wound you inflict on yourself.Your brain has turned on you and become self-destructive. One of my coping methods to was to write the horrible things I thought on myself instead of hurting myself. Another was to talk to my friends and therapist how I felt. These helped, but sometimes there were no words to really say how I felt and sometimes words were lacking and that was a problem. My therapist decided I should paint my feelings and what depression was like. She told me not to care how dark it was. I felt like they were an accurate representation of what depression was like and wanted to share with you a visual from my perspective about depression.

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Dear Agony

Dear depression, dear agony,

I will admit I am afraid. I am afraid you will come back. you will sink your claws into me and drag me back into the hole of darkness. I am more afraid than I will admit. Relapsing one day is a high statistic for me, and I won’t fool myself to think I could be one of the few who only get one episode. I’m  afraid to go back to that place. I was so lost. So so lost. It was agony everyday. There aren’t words to describe it. Darkness was all around, and lies were everywhere. everything was mingled with self-loathing and everything hurt. My heart ached so bad. the emotional pain each day was agony.

Darkness, we’ll be old friends. Dancing around each other till you find the power to trap me again. We’ll dance like this with the same routine till I draw my last breath. I have a feeling no matter what some speck of you will always be there, even with medication. I know you are still slightly there now. But you are weak and don’t over power me anymore. I won this fight and I don’t look forward to the next. I may be scared, but you won’t stop me from living my life. When you come back, we’ll be ready.

Dear Agony, I am afraid, but courage is having fear and steadfastly facing it. If you come back, I will be terrified, but I will fight back.

The Alone in Depression

The one thing really eating me right now is how no one understands what it’s like to have major depression. I can remember how people would offer me advice of trying to think positive or to fake being happy. Those things don’t help. I can’t out think depression. They didn’t understand my brain was broken and wasn’t working right. It’s hard knowing no one really understands. You feel very alone and afraid. Afraid to trust someone again with opening up to them. Afraid they will invalidate your feelings and afraid they will decide to leave you because they can’t fix you. Afraid to trust they will understand your illness affects your behavior and distorts your perceptions. Afraid once they see how much you need them, they’ll turn and walk away. I have lost many friends because of my depression.

From what I gather, losing friends and having friends ignore you is very common for people with clinical depression. People don’t know how to handle it, but yet you don’t know how to handle it either. In fact, you have no choice in the matter but to force yourself to handle the illness and put one foot in front of the other. The thing is you learn how to handle your friend with depression one step at a time too. Just how the person with depression has to choose to handle their situation, you can choose to handle it as well.

It’s really hard when you reach out to someone when you are in need and never hear back from the person you texted, messaged, or called. The fact is ignoring someone who needs you is only making it worse. If you don’t know what to say be honest and say that, don’t just keep ignoring them. I would rather be hurt with the truth than still be reaching out and finding nothing to grasp on to.

I feel like these things happen because of the lack of education about what depression really entails. I wish there was a way to fix that. People need to have more compassion and empathy towards people with depression and try and imagine what the person’s malfunctioning brain is doing to them. They need to also just listen and not try to fix it. Having someone there to combat the lies of depression really helps. The reassurance you do care and love us helps in the midst of our blackest moments. Little gestures like making us a card, even giving us a hug, being excited to see us, and really just showing you care as we go through each day really helps.

It’s very hard when you feel like no one really understands. It makes you want to crawl into bed and bawl your eyes out. You just feel so alone, and we really appreciate it if you try to understand. If people want to understand ask us what happens in our mind and understand it’s because we are sick. Researching depression also helps a lot if someone wants to understand what depression is like. They even have site that tell you what not to say to someone with depression and what is good to say to someone with depression. Therefore, there isn’t an excuse about not knowing what to say. They also have sites that tell you how you, as a friend, can help a person with depression and how to be there for them. And, very important, being there continues even when they start counseling and being put on medication. Medication takes six weeks to find out if it is working and the person may have to try more than one.

The worst thing you can do is ignore your friend when they need you. Granted, it’s true what they say you see who your real are when things get hard. Maybe in the end, one should expect to lose good friends.