Depression hits many of us at some point in our lives. Sometimes depression is based on an event, like a breakup or a death in the family, and other times it is based on messy brain chemicals that have gotten out of whack. Highs and lows happen in life, but it’s up to us to protect our heads, our hearts, and our bodies when we need to.
Depression isn’t something we can just wish away- it is a real illness with real consequences. All too often people with depression and other mental illness are brushed aside because their illness isn’t as obvious as others can be.
If you suffer from depression, you know how hard it can be to get out of bed and live your normal life. Depression lies and tells us that we can’t- we can’t be loved, we can’t be happy, we can’t have control. If you have a friend or family member who suffers from depression, the worst thing you can do is to leave them to struggle alone.
It can be incredibly difficult to be around someone with depression, and you don’t always know how you can be helpful to them. Be a listening ear, a companion, and someone who never gives up on them; help them see the light in every day. Imagine yourself in their shoes and be the support for them that you would expect to receive.
There are different kinds of depression that can impact people. Postnatal depression hits women after they have given birth, when their hormones are all over the place and they’ve been through an incredibly traumatic physical experience. Mothers in different circumstances can all be affected by postpartum depression.
Bipolar depression is characterized by manic and depressive moments. To some, you may not seem depressed at all- in fact, you’re full of energy and ideas and happiness. Unfortunately, the flip side of the coin is that you can go into weeks or months of knock-out depression afterwards.
There are other kinds of depression that can affect us all. If you or someone you know are experiencing symptoms of depression, consider consulting a therapist or other medical professional. Keeping yourself healthy can have a massive influence on your brain chemistry- be sure to eat well, exercise regularly, and take time to invest in your mental health and well-being.
For those of you who do suffer from depression, hold onto the hope that things will get better. You are beautiful, you are loved, and you are a sacred part of the world around you. You are loved by friends and family, and you are essential. Depression isn’t a choice, and you are not weak because of depression.