One of my goals with the site, is to not only help those who personally have depression, but to help their loved ones understand what they are going through. One thing to always remember is that when the person you love is depressed, their identity is compromised. That is one of the most difficult things about depression. You feel like the real you has been shoved into a plexi-glass cell by the depressed version of you and is then forced to watch as your alter-ego (for lack of a better phrase) takes over and causes psychological havoc. No matter how badly you want to get out of your cell and take control, it feels totally hopeless.
It is hard for anyone who has not dealt with depression to understand it. In their mind, a depressed person is just sad and they need to smile more or watch a funny video. Those things work just fine when you are sad. Laughter and humor can clear away the mists of sadness very effectively. But depression is more than a mist or fog. Its an opaque cloud of volcanic ash. Light can't burn it away. It can only dissipate with time as the particulates settle leaving the mind clear again. It may take a while, but things will get better.
To those who have a loved one with a mental illness, remember these things:
1. It is not your fault. Your friend, spouse or relative still loves you.
2. Don't get down on yourself if you can't fix things. If you could, blogs like this wouldn't exist and you would be worth a lot of money.
3. Most importantly, love unconditionally. When a spell of depression sets in, just ride it out and never stop loving us. We are just "out of the office" for a bit. But we will be back.
I hope these things help at least a little bit. I also hope this post wasn't a total downer. Yes, there is no cure for depression. But guess what? There is no cure for cancer either and that doesn't stop people from fighting to survive. So until that day when a cure for mental illness is found, lets not give in! Everyone has a way to cope! Whether that's skateboarding, music, art, or running you can stand strong. So find your way to fight and use it!