Tuesday, 29 April 2014
Shut Up About Your Depression
Sorry for the blog silence. I was considering taking up self harm for Lent but thought it better to keep things quiet.
I didn't BTW
But this week is Depression Awareness Week so I thought I should write something about depression.
I know its hard to know what to do when a friend suffers from depression. You may want to help but not know what is the best thing to do. In addition to that the person you want to help may not have an idea of what they need either.
I don't know if I have the right to give advice but if there is one thing I would say that someone who suffers from depression needs is to know they aren't alone. This doesn't mean constantly being asked "are you alright" with the customary head tilt but just a simple call, text, tweet, whatever saying "hey, I heard this \ saw that \ read this' so the person knows you are thinking of them and that they aren't isolated and alone. We have so many ways to stay in touch with people these days and we use them meaningfully so little.
The worst thing is the isolation. You're trapped inside your own head with this pain and self loathing. You may be in a crowd of people who know you but feel lonelier than you ever have. Just a simple hand on the shoulder whether physically or via friendly collection of data can make all the difference to someones morning, day, week. We don't need "to pull ourselves together and get on with it". And others always making light of it just belittles you, not your depression.
Frankly sometimes there is nothing anyone can do to help someone with depression. It's an illness and we are often ashamed of how weak and pathetic we believe we are to the world. Yet rather than just keeping away, the knowledge that your friends are there for you if you need them - often means a depressive person won't resort to binge drinking or eating, drugs or self harm.
Yet I don't know if telling anyone this means anything.
So this might be the last time I write a blog entry like this. Not because it's not therapeutic and important for me to get this stuff out of my head, it's whether it really matters if anyone reads it. Whether it actually stops me from feeling as lost and helpless in my darkest hours as I do. Whether it helps anyone who cares about me from being any the wiser of how they can be of any comfort.
Maybe it is time to shut up and get on with it