The Dragonfly Forest

They have been given names such as devil’s darning needle, ear sewer, horse stinger, skeeter hawk, and the snake’s servant. Actually, Dragonflies are beneficial, peaceful, and stunning. You are a Dragonfly if you are: ADD/ADHD, dyslexic, dysgraphic, Asperger’s, NLVD, autistic…

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

What's it like to have depression and what to do

Depression is real!  For people who battle depression it can also be the loneliest time as well because not everyone understands depression.  They will tell you to "just get over it" or try to make you smile and then say "see, don't you feel better now?"  

People with depression can't just 'get over it' or smile and then all the world is good again.  People with depression wear masks all the time, a mask of happiness, success, satisfaction, or anything to hide reality that they are drowning! 

This says... "And the worst part is....   
"...No one knows how close I am to drowning."  

It is not that people with depression don't want help.  In fact many people with depression ask for help frequently.  They tell others in so many ways but often people don't notice and this can add to their depression.  People with depression often want people to care and to notice but as soon as someone notices shame and guilt kicks in and makes the depression worse.  At these times a depressed person may put on a mask and say they are "fine" or they may pull away all together. (Image: "We all want someone to noice, but as soon as they do, we wish they never did.")
This isn't because the depressed person is playing games.  The depressed person often doesn't have the energy for games.
(Image: "Every Thought is a battle, every breath is a war, and I don't think I'm winning anymore.")
People with depression often don't see an end to the pain and suffering so telling them that everything will be okay doesn't help.  
(Image: "That's the thing about depression: A human being can survive almost anything, as long as she sees the end in sight. But depression is so insidious, and it compounds daily, that it's impossible to ever see the end.")
What often happens at this time of the year for a person with depression is they actually find out who their true friends are.  
(Image: "Hard times will always reveal true friends.")
A person with depression shares just a little of their depression with someone to know if that person is safe or not.  They are looking for how you handle their fragile side and if you are worth letting in to their dark side.  People with depression have often learned the hard way on who not to trust. 
(Image: If someone trusts you enough to tell you personal things such as their struggles with depression or what anxiety feels like or just how they feel in general, please don't be a shitty person by belittling it just because you've never experienced it. It feels like shit to be told your feelings don't matter by the one person you actually trusted enough to tell.")

If you respond the way the person with depression needs you to respond they will open up.  The key is they don't want you to solve the problem or save them.  They want you to be beside them as they go through their own struggles.  People with depression want to know they are not alone.  If they shut you out and you don't put any energy into trying to break down that wall they know you are not trustworthy so they will stop sharing with you.  You will not actually be there for them when it really counts.  
(Image: "I don't want you to save me. I want you to stand by my side as I save myself.")
 So, maybe you have a depressed person in your life and you don't know what to say to them.  Here's one of my favorite quotes that I would love to have someone say to me when I am in my dark side...  "I'm here.  I love you.  I don't care if you need to stay up crying all night long, I will stay with you.  There's nothing you can ever do to lose my love.  I will protect you until you die, and after your death I will still protect you.  I am stronger than Depression and I am braver than loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me."  

 Wow - this is often exactly what the depressed person not only needs to hear but they need to feel it too - if someone you love is depressed  - show them that you will be there for them.  Actions speak louder than words.  If you don't like to talk then ask questions!  Get the person talking and then listen - really listen. DO NOT give advice or say things like 'get over it' or 'it's no big deal,' or 'I've been depressed too.'  Remember that being there for them is also not talking about YOUR problems and how difficult life is for YOU!  When you talk about yourself and ignoring how vulnerable it was for the person with depression to share with you than you are not someone they will open up to in the future.  Their depression isn't about YOU!

 The key is be there for them!  When a depressed person tells you they are depressed don't abandon or ignore them especially if they have a plan. If they have a plan you must seek help from professionals.!