Found an interesting list the other day on this subject. 20 Things to Remember If Your Loved Ones Suffer from Depression.
Most of them are things that are good to be reminded of, but one really stood out for me:
10. They should be treated like anyone else
No need for eggshells, or tiptoes. Go about your business and assume your depressed loved one is 100% healthy. Sometimes just living a routine, but a predictable, purposeful routine, can bring such a boost and be a remedy for depression.
When I was suffering from depression, and even as I was medicated and beginning to climb out of it, the one thing that was far too rare in my life was friends who could interact with me the same way they did before I got sick. Instead of having a few laughs and catching up, their actions towards me served as a constant reminder that something was wrong with me, that I was so broken and beyond repair that no one dared speak an ill word about anything for fear of breaking me even further.
Like I needed help with that.
When you are suffering from depression, it is a constant battle to see yourself as normal. The illness is always telling you how useless, worthless, and abnormal you are. It tells you that nothing is worth the effort, that no one really likes you, and no one wants to be around you. And then, when you do convince yourself to push past that, and be social, your friends simply prove the point by being uncomfortable around you. (See? No one wants to be around you, you make them uncomfortable, there’s something wrong with you…)
So please, if you know someone suffering from depression, keep all 20 things in mind, but for me, also remember that they are the same person they were before the depression started, and treat them accordingly, OK?