People always say things like, “Don’t be ashamed to ask for help.” Or, “If you’re feeling depressed, get help.”
This isn’t bad advice. And, it almost always comes from a good place. Here’s the thing, though: if you’re really struggling with depression and/or severe anxiety, you’re most likely NOT going to be asking for help.
It’s not out of stubbornness or because of pride. It’s just a side effect of depression. It makes you lie to people. It makes you put on a front to let everyone think you’re doing fine, when you are not fine inside your mind at all.
Depression can follow a person every second of the day. Just because you see someone laughing and being social, doesn’t mean their depression isn’t lurking. It’s a disease that’s always there. A smile can hide a lot of pain. Emotions go deeper than a “surface” smile.
You cannot wait for someone with depression to ask you for help. You have to watch for the signs. You have to offer help. That can be in the form of a, “just checking on you” message, or a coffee date.
Little gestures may not seem like they’re breaking down walls, but sometimes those small acts of kindness are the only thing getting a person through the day.
It’s important to understand sufferers of depression aren’t weak, angry, or selfish. They’re just going through something. Love and support go a long way.
Don’t wait for a cry for help. Be the out-of-the-blue help a person may need. You never know the difference you can make.