I have always been very mindful of how I approach subjects that I have no expertise of. Mental Health is one of them. I find myself inadequate to write about a condition that can take a life.
With everything that is happening now and since depression and mental health issues are closer than we think, I am leaving a little note here…. more for myself but, for anyone like me who struggles with understanding how to address or manage depression and mental health issues in people around them:
1. Accept that depression is real, and it effects the body as much as any other sickness does. Everyone has different level of immunity to fight diseases. Everyone has different threshold for pain. Just because your immunity is strong, or the sight of needle does not make you go weak at the knees does not mean that such conditions do not exist.
2. Don’t compare your hardships or your experiences with someone else’s. Two people can go through the exact same stress and it may make only one of them fall into depression. Just because you know someone who was able to overcome a certain something does not mean everyone can. No Comparisons.
3. Most of the times people are not looking for answers, reactions and justifications. Sometimes people just want to vent it out so that they can hear themselves talk. Let them speak. You do not need to provide an explanation or conclusion every time. Let it be. Let the conversations hang in the air if need be. I often find myself reaching my own conclusions when I give words to my thoughts. Hear it out!
4. Give space to people to grieve, to mourn their losses no matter how insignificant they may appear. If you have mourned not being able to step out of your house during this pandemic, imagine those who are stuck in their thoughts with no logical reasons….
5. If you cannot be anything else, be kind and dependable. Always remember that it takes a lot of courage to live with a mind that doesn’t function the way society wants it to and if someone is trusting you with their weakness, you ought to live up to the trust!