When my dear friend had a really terrible season of depression, it was difficult for her to get out of bed in the morning, to function normally in her daily life. She missed days of work and spent most of her time in her room alone. As a person with naturally high serotonin levels my first reaction was to tell her to snap out of it. People with depression hear this type of advice all the time, but they, more than any of us want to be happy, and they can’t fight the terrible symptoms of depression alone.
Through my friend’s journey of dealing with and healing from depression, I found checking in on her was very important. Loneliness can make depression worse, and even if I couldn’t fix her sadness I could still make sure she knew she was not alone. I tried to make her smile by simply making her a cup of tea, watching a movie together, and other little ways to make her day a bit better.
While she was learning what medications worked and which ones didn’t, I tried to be patient knowing that as with physical ailments, patients may need to try several medications before they feel any better. It was also helpful for me to study depression and its effects on the brain, so I had a clear understanding of what she was really going through.
Although my friend is doing much better today, she still has many days where she is still fighting depression. On those days I try to repeat those practices we learned during her hardest time.
I believe that fighting depression is not just for those who suffer from the symptoms but for everyone. Together we all work to make their world brighter.
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