Depression can feel like such a lonely struggle. Not everyone has struggled with depression. Sometimes, we have to help our loved ones with understanding depression symptoms
This is true even if you are surrounded by people who care deeply about you.
It’s because your family and friends may fail in understanding your depression symptoms and the effects that they can have. That’s not necessarily your loved ones’ fault. Rather, they just don’t have the perspective you do when it comes to depression.
They might see you and think, “He/She is perfectly fine! What’s the problem?”
If you want to help loved ones to really grasp what you’re going through, here’s how to talk about your struggle.
Helping Your Loved Ones Understand What Depression Is
First, it makes sense to help your family understand what depression is and isn’t. There’s a lot of information available online or in books that you can share with your loved ones. Avail yourself of it.
For example, you may want to help them understand these facts:
- Depression is a mental health condition, not something you choose to have
- Anyone can have depression
- Depression looks different for each person
- You are feeling more than just “sad”
- Depression is a common problem
It’s also important for your family and friends to understand that we know a lot about depression and how to treat it.
Part of that treatment involves having a network of support available to help the depressed person in times of need. This is where understanding depression symptoms can be so helpful for both you and them.
It’s really helpful for your loved ones to know that depression is more than feeling sad all the time. Sadness is an emotion. And it certainly can be part of what makes up your depression, but it is a temporary emotion. However, depression is, at its core, about hopelessness and powerlessness.
These are two very powerful concepts that, at their worst, can be debilitating. Naturally, your family members will want to know why you feel powerless or hopeless. So, make sure that you are prepared to answer this question.
Understanding Depression Symptoms: It’s Not Personal
Another thing for your loved ones to keep in mind is that depression isn’t personal. When you decline going out to eat with your friends or even having dinner with your family, that doesn’t imply you love them less.
In fact, the opposite is true. You do love your family and friends. Yet, it might be too overwhelmingly difficult right now to go outside your home or be with them. It’s not because of anything they did. Instead, the reason has to do with all of the thoughts and feelings going on in your head.
Thus, it’s important for them to know that right now you probably need some space, but that you still care about them.
Lack of Energy Does Not Mean Laziness
A typical depression symptom is experiencing a lack of energy. Even though on the outside, you look physically fit and get plenty of sleep at night, you still feel exhausted.
Others might misinterpret this as you being lazy. They might even try to encourage you to “snap out of it.” Although they may have good intentions, these words only cause more hurt and pain for you.
Help your loved ones understand that you are not trying to be lazy. It’s another one of those depression symptoms that does make sense but, at first, might be difficult to understand.
Talking About Your Personal Struggle and Symptoms
It’s important to help your loved ones understand your own particular struggle with depression and its symptoms. This way, they will be better informed of the warning signs that something might be wrong. In turn, they can become more attuned to what’s happening and can lend appropriate support.
Remember, though, you will have to tell them what that support should look like.
Don’t think that you can put on a façade and pretend everything is OK. Those who know you best will be able to see right through that mask. Rather than pretend, help your loved ones grasp your struggle with depression.
Understanding your depression symptoms might take them some time, but talking to your family about your struggle will help. Additionally, getting therapy for depression is also important for long-term success. If you would like to know more about my approach, please contact me.