In winter it’s cold, darker and the skies are gray. This time of year more people suffer from depression. One type is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
My mother in law used to talk about being depressed. I thought she needed to get out more. I did not understand she had a medical condition. I could not help her except to be her friend. I have more life experience now that I can share with others. Help is available.
Some folks have good coping mechanisms and support groups. Others need extra help.
If you know someone who is struggling, you may be silent because you don’t know what to do. You can join a group called NAMI (National Alliance of Mental Illness) and learn more about how to help.
Home | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness
If you are trying to help a depressed person, ask them some questions.
- Are you in a safe place?
- Do you have a plan?
- Could you tell someone if you feel hopeless?
- Are you taking medication or seeing a doctor?
- Pray for them.
- Be a good listener.
- Don’t give too much advice.
If the person is not doing well and seems to be in danger, let them know you must take some action in order to help them. A professional such as a doctor, counselor, teacher or religious leader is required to report anyone in eminent danger.
If you are depressed consider the following:
- Call a friend
- Consider a light therapy lamp
- Eat better
- Join a support group or a social group
- See your medical professional
- Call a hotline
Depression may be due to a chemical imbalance or physical condition. It could be related to environment or experience.
If a depression is caused by a bad experience sometimes it is very difficult for the person to recover. Recovery may depend on being able to tell their story. It may not feel safe to tell. In that case the person could be offered the opportunity to share a hypothetical scenario as an example. Be a good listener. (I know I said that before…it’s important)
Finally to the friend or counselor, just as you may not be qualified to set a broken leg, you may not be qualified to fix a broken spirit. Referring to a professional may be the best thing to do.
This little blog is dedicated to my dearly beloved late mother in law.