Depression is like being weighted down with chains. Everything takes effort and it is almost impossible to have hope that things will get better. For some, it is a brief time due to something that happened in their lives; for example, a divorce. This is a situational depression. For others, it is a long term war. We may win battles and depression goes into remission but it often returns.
For family and friends of someone with depression may not understand. “Snap out of it,” ” pull yourself up by your bootstraps,” ” it’s not that bad” or “everyone gets sad sometime.” Or similar comments. Others avoid dealing the person. And since part of depression is not having the energy or interest to participate in activities and avoid others, it’s easy for someone to just not deal with the depressed person. This isolates even more. And feeds into the depression. Do not judge. They are doing the best they can.
Instead, reach out and support them. They need the human interaction and to know someone cares. Listen if they want to talk but avoid giving advice unless asked. Encourage them to seek counseling and medical help. There are many health issues that cause depression symptoms,such as low vitamin D of B, hypothyroid, and anemia are a few. Sometimes just dealing with the underlying medical issues resolves the depression.
Depression often accompanies brain injury and other traumatic experiences or injuries. Life has drastically changed. In the case of brain injury, the actual physical structure of the brain is different. Healing still happens but in addition to the injury and the stress of recovery, depression rides their back.
There is hope things will improve. Never give up.