Despite the immense potential and beauty that life can offer, and does offer all of the time, sometimes we all must enter periods of sadness, sorrow, and doubt. This can trigger from a range of different problems, and we all experience it now and then. Not everyone can be functioning at 100% all of the time, and periods of depression or isolation can actually serve for the greater good in the long-term. If you’re going through a period of depression, that previous statement must be apologized for in terms of its bluntness, but not it terms of its message.
Trivializing depression is always wrong, but robbing it of all complete perceptive value would be wrong, too. Overcoming a depressive episode can make you a stronger, more down-to-earth person. Remember, a tree’s branches can only reach as high as its roots go. A person who has successfully made it through a depressive episode is likely to come through the other side better off in some ways. It can be a purifying fire, that forces you to prioritize what is important to you, who is important to you, and how you can best live your life with wisdom and foresight.
However, this doesn’t mean that being depressed isn’t real. If you’ve been through feelings of despair yourself, you’ll know about the support that you hope for but usually can’t articulate your desire to retrieve. As a friend, it’s important that you keep an eye on your other friends or roommates to make sure they are okay and doing well. Here’s what to look for if you notice a change for the negative in your loved ones:
Change In Physical Appearance: Depression can rob you of many things, not the least your physical vitality. If you’ve noticed that your friend lacks their usual vitality, they could be deeply depressed, or even worse, they might be turning to substances to overcome their issues. This never works in the short or long term, but is a tempting process for someone who feels that they have no escape.
Communicating your concerns can be difficult to approach in these circumstances without seeming hostile. Living with a prescription addict can be even worse, because they can often get a sanctified, legal way to obtain their habitual maladies. To overcome these issues, try and help them get help through any means necessary. Inform their GP and family. Be there for them. If you have to, organize some form of stay-in recovery. Depression culminates in many ways, and people take it differently depending on their personality. Another sign to look out for is:
Withdrawing From Social Life: Withdrawing from standard social discourse is a good sign that tells you that someone isn’t functioning at 100%. Another sign is keeping an odd schedule, such as replying to your messages on social media at the early hours of the morning. A symptom of depression is late sleeping and late rising, so be sure to look out for this. Even introverted people need social contact, so complete withdrawal, especially if said person used to be social, can be taken in a number of ways.
Communicate clearly to the person that you harbor no ill-will for them limiting themselves or withdrawing, but let them know that you are worried about them. Never stop inviting them to places. Consider doing activities inside with just the two of you. Try and open up conversation as much as possible without being annoying. See what you can do to be present. Even if they don’t show it, they’ll likely need you far more than you think.
Sometimes, the best remedy as a friend is your simple presence. However, sometimes it requires more than that. Be sure to identify which one will be more helpful and take further action when needed. What matters is your observation and your willingness to help your friend through thick and thin.
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