When Your Friends Claim Depression

In the past, I would hear friends claim that they were depressed or upset and just disregard it. I would think “Why would you be depressed? You’re young, you have so much opportunity ahead of you, and you aren’t suffering from financial or familial burden. Why?”. I think it was just me taking an easy route of not wanting to care for what my friends would claim. Depression is a tricky thing to discuss. Many people do not want to discuss their darkest feelings because a) they’re not comfortable sharing, b) because they do not want to burden others or c) because they are not sure of how they feel, so how could they expect others to. I think everyone is aware of this subconsciously but not so much when they actually have to think about it, so they act accordingly. “Just disregard it. Sure my friend is upset now, but it’s not like they’re saying anything significant – just leave it alone. Shit, they might just be looking for affection”. Is that so wrong though? I don’t believe that depression is something that occurs overnight. I think that depression is something that accumulates over time. A bad grade may not seem so bad at first, but then you consider how that grade could affect the rest of your academic standing and then your professional future, or even how a fellow student did way better and now you’re comparing yourself to someone else (If that person did well, why can’t I? Am I not as good? Can I even do it?) – depression does not seem so far off then. So the next time your friend claims depression or some form of negativity, just listen if they’re willing to talk. Do you really think you can stop depression by just telling people that they’re not depressed. Is it really that easy to stop someone from being upset. If your mate is comfortable to tell you that they are upset, they are opening up to talk about it, so just listen. Don’t “hear” them, “listen” to them. Don’t talk, until they’re done talking – no interruptions. And when they’re done talking and when you’re done listening, provide comfort by assuring them that they have your support. Sure, they may not be “depressed” but let’s nip it in the bud so they don’t doubt themselves for an extended period of time. Sometimes people don’t want to hear solutions because when dealing with strenuous emotional states, there is no solution. Just like how depression doesn’t happen overnight, recovery from depression doesn’t either.

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