Life With Liv: December

Life With Liv: December

Olivia Lusala, Art Editor

Usually when depression hits, its hits hard. Depression is a serious mental illness that can interfere with a person’s daily life, causing long-lasting, severe feelings of sadness and hopelessness as well as loss of interest in activities.
True friends make it through all tough times and that includes periods of depression. If you’re someone without depression you may not understand or really know what to do if someone you love and care for has depression. But even if it may not seem like it, there are ways you can help, including just being there for your friend.

1. Be patient.

You never know how long it will take for some to get out of their slump. Depression is never invited, and it leaves on its own time. It’s hard to imagine how difficult it is for your friend to get through each day already, so don’t rush them, or question what’s going on with them. Just being there is good enough.

2. Take care of yourself as well.

Don’t stress yourself out trying to make someone else happy. Don’t make yourself weak by trying to make someone else strong. People who have depression struggle to be good and engaged friends and it’s okay to get frustrated about that sometimes. Take a step back and time off if you need to. You can’t help anyone if you’re not in the right place mentally. Also remember that it’s not always your job to lift up someone who has depression.

3. Help them stick to a healthy routine.

Whether you realize it or not, your life runs on a routine, from the time you wake up and brush your teeth to the time you go to sleep. If you find yourself in a bad state regularly it could be caused by a very negative routine that you have developed over a long period of time and you don’t even realize it. Finding these negative habits will transform your way of spending time and help you feel better. Even parts of your life that may not seem to affect mental health, like diet and exercise, are hugely important and can be the easiest and best way to help you. Changing little things in your life will really do a great deal of good, like getting a gym buddy and working out, going for a walk, taking your medicine on a regular basis, writing, and getting healthy!

So when people dealing with depression don’t respond to their friends, it doesn’t mean they don’t care. It doesn’t mean they don’t want to be your friend, and it doesn’t mean they aren’t interested in maintaining your friendship. Depression is hard, but friendships are stronger, and being there for someone during a period of depression helps them to maintain a support system that is very important for overcoming mental illness.