young woman hugging upset friend crying on shoulder support

These seven little ways to help a person with depression come directly from my life. This is not an extensive list. It is just some things that stand out to me — things that mean a lot to me now that I am in a good place mentally and can look back on the dark times. Maybe some of these ideas can help you help someone you know who is struggling and cannot do it on their own.

Seven little ways to help a person with depression:

1. Validate feelings.

After graduating from college in Chicago, I went as a missionary to Africa. I lived and worked in a village for a year. I did not have electricity or running water. Many of the people in the village did not understand English and I did not know their tribal language, making it hard to communicate. There were many things during that year that were very good, but also things that were difficult for me.

I returned home to the US, and everyone wanted to hear stories about my African adventure. They wanted to hear stories of how God had worked. I felt I had to be upbeat and tell stories of how wonderful it was for me to be a missionary. Inside though, I started to become depressed. That year in Africa had put me in positions that were more than I could handle. I felt I had failed. I felt no one could understand why being a missionary would make me go into depression.

It wasn’t until my pastor said to me at church one day, “Wow, that must have been hard. You shouldn’t have been sent out there alone,” rather than, “Wow, what you did was amazing,” that I finally felt a little understood. I finally felt that someone saw me.

Sometimes, just saying, “Wow, that must be hard,” to a depressed person can bring a little relief for a moment.

2. Help them get help.

I did not have the strength or know how to get help for my depression. It took a friend saying, “Can I make an appointment with a counselor for you?” for the first steps to get help to be taken.

Then it took my counselor saying, “Can I make an appointment with a doctor for you?” for me to know I may need medical help.

When it came time to go to the doctor’s appointment, it took a secretary at the church going with me to even get me to go there. My anxiety and depression were so bad. I got a prescription for antidepressants, but even that I could not get on my own. The secretary took me to the pharmacy, then took me to her house and let me rest on her bed while we waited for it to be ready.

The steps it takes to get help may seem easy to a person who is not depressed, but for a depressed person it can be more than they can handle on their own. Sometimes a friend, a counselor, or even a church secretary needs to say, “Can I do this for you to get you help?”

3. Follow up.

One of my friends knew I had gone to the doctor. He also knew I was prescribed antidepressants. I don’t know what made him think I might not take them once I got home, but his hunch was right. I was scared to take them, and probably would not have, except that he came over and encouraged me to do so. When my friend did this, it was almost like he was saying, “Can I give the courage and desire to you?” I could not find it on my own at that point.

Maybe you have seen someone you know who is depressed be given help. That is not the time to just relax and walk away. A friend is still needed to give encouragement to take that next step in the healing process.

4. Just be together.

I remember when my sister lived with me for a while. In my depression, I would lie on the couch in a dark house watching TV or just staring sadly ahead. I know it made her sad and she wanted to help, but she did not know how. I remember one day when she got home from work, and I was covered in a blanket lying on the couch. I don’t remember if she even said anything, but I do remember that she came over, lay down on the blanket on top of me, and just hugged me. I don’t know how long that hug lasted, but it made me feel loved. My sister doesn’t even remember she did this, but it is one of the encouraging moments which I remember still.

You don’t need to always say something to someone who is in a state of depression. Sometimes making a point to just be in the same room silently with them can be as good or better than giving advice. A hug or a soft touch can often communicate a feeling of being cared for that words cannot describe.

5. Be encouraging without expectations.

There was a time when something very hurtful had happened to me, which was magnified by the fact of my depression. I found myself crying deeply, shut in my room. One of my roommates must have heard me crying. Without saying anything to me, she slipped a 3×5 card with a verse she had written on it under my bedroom door. The verse from the Bible came from the Psalms. It was a verse about the love of God. She didn’t expect me to thank her or explain my hurts to her. She did an encouraging act and then let it speak for itself. I stuck that 3×5 card on my wall by my bedroom door and often looked at it as I left the room.

An encouraging quote or caring note, an invitation to do something together, or a word of love or appreciation can go a long way when a person is depressed. The person may not have the energy or ability always to respond back to you, but be encouraged — your encouragement has meaning.

6. Offer to go the extra mile.

One day I was having a very hard time. All I could think about was wanting to hurt myself or to kill myself. I knew I needed to go to the hospital. I went there and was sitting outside of the emergency room. I decided to call my dad first. I had not been very open with my parents in the past about my struggles, but now I wanted their support and love. That is what I got. My parents were very concerned. My dad even offered to get in the car right then and drive the three hours from where they lived to come stay with me. Though I did not take him up on his offer, I treasured the fact he loved me.

There was another time I had a breakdown and could not handle going to work. A family I trusted offered for me to come stay with them so that I would be safe from myself. This I did, then my mom made that three-hour drive to come stay with me and to just be with me while I recovered.

Are you willing to do the big things that need to be done in times of crisis for your friend or loved one? Will you go the extra mile? It may be inconvenient and take away from other things, but it may even save a life. I know it kept me safe at those dark times.

7. Help others understand.

Depression and other mental illnesses are not always understood in our society, and there is often stigma against them. When these things show up in someone’s life, the people around often do not understand what is happening. The person whom it is happening to is often in no state to explain. Fear can build up in friends and family. Sometimes it would be helpful for the people who do have the insight to explain it to those who do not.

I remember a time I was in the psychiatric ward in the hospital. I had not been open with my roommates about my mental state. My parents explained what I was going through to my roommates for me, and explained the depression and mental illness I was dealing with. This took some of the pressure off me to try to figure out what to say to them. After that, I knew my roommates cared for me, that they still accepted me, and knew it was OK to talk about it.

Do you understand much about depression and other mental illnesses? If so, great. If not, would you be willing to learn about it? All of us need to have good mental health. People with depression and others with mental illnesses are just that: people. Let us all be open to start talking, and listening, and learning. We can learn how to help. We can learn how to love. We can break the stigma against depression and mental illnesses.

And, to all of you who I have mentioned in my examples, thank you so much for caring enough to do something to help me. Whether it was big or small, I love you all.

Follow this journey on the author’s blog.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you struggle with self-harm and you need support right now, call the crisis hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741. For a list of ways to cope with self-harm urges, click here.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via AntonioGuillem

7 Little Ways to Help a Person With Depression


I often like to think my tattoos are pieces of my soul and my journey on my skin. For years, depression made it’s home in the one place I was supposed to call my home. It created a huge disconnect between my mind, body and soul. By engraining my skin with reminders of where I’m from, where I am and where I’m going, I felt liberated from depression’s invisible grip on my physical being.

That is why we asked people in our Mighty mental health community to share with us tattoos inspired by their struggle with depression. Because depression may have molded us into the people we are today — but those people are some of the strongest, most compassionate, most courageous people I have ever know.

Here’s what they shared with us:

1. “My girl Mina, my kitty, got me through a lot of tough times. Whenever I look at my scars and consider doing it again, I see her paw prints and the bright happy colors that remind me of the positives.” — Tegan F.

colorful cat paw print tattoo

2. “Unalome tattoos are first spiritual symbols. In Buddhism, they are the visual image of reaching enlightenment. The spiral means our struggle with life, while the straight line shows that we have finally found harmony. Unalome are the ‘crowns’ of the Arahants, the enlightened saints.” — Marissa L.

unalome symbol tattoo on arm

3. “This one covers my suicide attempt. It reminds me that, even in darkness, there is something beautiful. And life can be a beautiful thing” — Toni E.

skull and rose tattoo

4. “I got the silhouette of a semicolon in watercolor on my wrist to cover my first attempt scar. My father and sister got the filled in version, also in watercolor, to show their support for me and my struggle so far.” — Amber V.

semicolon tattoos in watercolor

5. “It’s my mom’s hand writing saying “you are enough.” It’s a reminder. I’ve always felt I wasn’t enough for anything or anyone.” — Jaclyn C.

you are enough words tattooed on wrist

6. “I got this one as a reminder of all the things I’ve learned and all the people who care about me — my daily reminder that I am able to get through it. That I am allowed to stay alive. That I want to stay alive. It’s also related to Twenty One Pilots. Music helped me more then anything to get to the point where I am now.” — Celine S.

stay alive tattooed on forearm

7. “The shadow represents my depression and how I always feel suffocated by it. The girl is holding a ball of light, which is hope and finding the light in the darkness.” — Rachel A.

shadow and girl holding ball of light tattoo on shoulder

8. “Reading has helped me through a lot. My first ‘nerd’ love was ‘Lord of the Rings.’ It says, ‘even darkness must pass’ in elvish script. I also wanted to incorporate a semicolon, and I thought it’d be perfect on the book.” — Kailey W.

book with semicolon and elvish script tattoo on arm

9. “I have three. The first one is Princess Leia to honor the late, great Carrie Fisher who was my mental health hero. The second is the serotonin molecule.The third is my companion dog’s paw print because she saves my life every day. She is a reminder every day to keep fighting.” — Alyssa K.

dog paw print with writing tattoo on arm

10. “I have a cross for faith and a sunflower as they always grow towards the sun. The meaning to me is to keep strong and have faith that the days won’t always be so dark. Every time I feel like giving up, I look at this and it reminds me of how much I have overcome.” — Christiana W.

sunflower and cross tattoo

11. “A raven shattering through my struggles. I find hope and strength. No matter what my mental illness or life has thrown my way, I still manage to persevere.” — Samantha S.

shattering raven tattoo on arm

12. “I got this to remind me that although I have scars, they are proof that I didn’t let my depression ‘demons’ win and take my life. I’m still living and I still struggle with multiple mental illnesses now, but I’m still conquering my demons and I’m here! ‘She conquered her demons and wore her scars like wings.'” — Dara B.

conquered demons quote and wings tattoo

13. “It says, ‘Fall down seven times stand up eight.’ I’ve had depression for six years and anxiety for two. I’ve been suicidal and have been in stress centers. My tattoo reminds me to get back up after something difficult. Always get back up.” — Ciara S.  chinese symbols and flowers tattoo on arm

14. “My lion king inspired tattoo reminds me no matter what people or the voices say, I am me, only I can change myself and most importantly I am loved!” — Toni E.

lion king inspired tattoo

15. “I’ve got two, both designed by me. Peter Pan on my right, to cover my scars. It reminds me that there’s a part of me that’ll never grow up and I can embrace that. I can place it in my past, in the film it says to die would be an awfully big adventure and so would be living.” — Emma P.

peter pan inspired tattoo

16. “This covers my self-harm scars and is a constant reminder of how the ‘Harry Potter’ books were my ultimate companion during the worst of my depression.” — Olivia H.

harry potter always tattoo on arm

17. “It’s a quote from ‘It’s Kind of a Funny Story,’ by Ned Vizzini. It was the first book I came across that made me feel like someone else understood how my mind worked.” — Dominick L.

breathe in, breathe out words tattooed on wrist

18. “During art therapy in hospital, balloons became my theme. In my head, I could relate them to my mental health — they can pop, fly away, be blown up, squeezed and so many other things that my head felt. ‘Hope’ gave me something to believe in, and a reminder things will get better.” — Emma L.

hope red balloon tattoo

19. “I’ve only shared the meaning of this tattoo with a single person, but I figure I can share it with people who would understand. Contrary to what most people think, when they see what my tattoo says, it does not mean I will live forever. It means that I will not succumb to my depression and I will stay strong. The skulls represent the pain and the roses represent the beauty in it.” — Nash V.

skulls and roses tattoo on upper arm

20. “My partner has the top half. He’s with me on this journey. To me, it means we’re all living the same life at different stages, dealing with problems some different then others.” — Lettie H.

partners matching tattoos of quote

21. “;IGY6 22 it’s in my fathers hand writing who [died by] suicide. It reminds me daily to keep pushing. ;IGY6 22 means ‘pause,’ ‘I got your six (or back),’ the meaning 22 is because he was a veteran and so am I, and 22 veterans a day take their lives. I got this because I wanted others to see it in the military and know that I would help.” — Tanner M.

;IGY622 tattooed on wrist

22. “It says, ‘Some of her journey was not very nice of course but sometimes, it was beautiful just the same.’ It’s a quote from my grandmother’s eulogy that my dad wrote. My grandma passed in the midst of my struggle with depression, anxiety and an eating disorder. It reminds me that our journey’s are never perfect, but despite my imperfection, I am still loved.” — Haley Q.

quote tattoo on back

23. “It’s a lotus flower, which represents my struggle with depression because it is rooted in all the bad and blossoms into the great! It also incorporates the semicolon to show suicide/mental health awareness” — Emily W.

lotus flower tattoo design

24. “Got this when I was at a very low point in 2015. I have followed To Write Love On Her Arms and this phrase came just at the right time. It really helped me when I couldn’t find a way to help myself. It reminded me of what I offer this world and the people in it. Now it serves as a reminder every time I see it. I am important. My story is important. I matter. And so do you.” — Bernadette C.

no one else can play your part; tattoo

25. “I designed my tattoo. It has a huge personal meaning. It looks grim, but it reminds me every day how much I’ve endured and gotten through on my own, always coming out stronger in the end. I wear my heart on my sleeve. My art also helps me deal with my illness as well.” — Sophie D.

tiger and heart tattoo on forearm

26. “This is my recovery tattoo. To me, a treble clef is more than just a music note. Music is my refuge, whenever I feel like self-harming or laying in bed all day, I turn to music. It makes me feel alive, it shows me I’m not alone. The ‘so it goes’ is a Billy Joel quote that represents just letting life be, things are going to happen that I have no control over. And that is OK.” — Courtney A.

treble clef and words tattooed on wrist

27. “I got the tattoo to remind me that ‘my story isn’t over’ and my battle continues! I will fight every day, harder and harder, to win.” — Renea C.

wings and words tattoo on forearm

28. “It’s a ‘Harry Potter’ spell that casts off Dementors, and Dementors basically suck your soul. With the spell you have a patronus, which is basically what fights for you and saves you. The Dementor is a metaphor for depression and the patronus is the feelings of love and hope that fight against it. With this tattoo, I am reminded that even though I struggle, I still have hope.” — Sydney T.

expecto patronum tattoo on arm

29. “I got this on top of my scars to remind myself that although the battle seems endless and I have an anchor weighing me down, I will not sink to the bottom because I am stronger than that.” — Bree N.

anchor and infinity sign tattoo

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “HOME” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

29 Tattoos Inspired by Life With Depression

The term self-care seems to be a common buzzword these days. It might even conjure up the image of people lying around with their feet propped up, sheet masks on their faces, while they eat ice cream right out of the carton and watch a reality TV show.

While this can sometimes be the truth, as I can absolutely attest to, sometimes self-care isn’t so extravagant— especially to someone with depression.

To many people, including some people with mental illness, getting out of bed and showering is an everyday occurrence. Brushing your hair, changing your clothes and making breakfast is often routine.

But for some people with depression and other mental illnesses, completing routine tasks can feel impossible. Even the thought of getting out of bed feels like a monstrous effort, never mind doing anything else. Maybe the dirty laundry is piling up and you don’t even want to think about the state of the kitchen. It’s not that anyone wants this to happen, but they can’t always control it.

What many people don’t always realize is that the act of simply getting up and brushing your hair can make a world of difference in how you feel that day.

It might not seem like much, but if depression is your mind’s way of keeping you stuck, doing such a simple thing for yourself can help get you unstuck, even just a little bit. It can sometimes be a little bit easier to feel better when you face the world with clean hair and clothes.

That is self-care – looking after yourself when your illness doesn’t want you to. It’s making the things around you just a little bit better, and getting up when all you want to do is crawl back to bed.

Of course, there will always be days when the thought of picking up a hairbrush seems completely impossible. That’s OK. But on days when things seem bleak and hopeless and stretch into nothing, maybe, just maybe, doing something simple for yourself can ease it and help you feel more in control. And maybe that will help you feel just a little bit better about yourself so you can tackle the rest of the day.

Let’s redefine self-care. We are more than our illnesses, and we can be strong enough to pick up that hairbrush.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via ChesiireCat

For me, this is what depression looks like:

Eating three-day-old pizza because while you don’t really want to eat, you already wasted your money on takeout, so you kind of have to. It’s staring at the avalanche of tissues and scribbled pages and oily boxes and wondering when you let yourself slip so low. It’s sleeping in to the very last moment you can before getting up and forcing yourself to go to work, because you need to pay rent and you need to feed your cat and you need to be a functional human being.

Maybe if you go, you’ll kickstart your brain into being “normal” again.

Depression looks like soap scum on your shower curtain, because you didn’t clean it last week like you’d planned to, and you haven’t been in there since. It looks like the pieces of rubbish on your floor that you walk over every day and never bother to pick up, even though tell yourself you should every time you nearly slip on them in your socks. It looks like the spider webs joining together the dry, dead leaves of your Japanese peace lily that you haven’t watered for four months. You haven’t taken the plant to the dump yet because it’s there to remind you that you can’t take care of anything, even yourself.

Depression is 18 mugs in your sink — some growing cultures of bacteria, some hosting bundles of spores — because you have the strength to fill the sink with water, but not the strength to actually wash the mugs in it. It’s stagnant and it stinks, and every once in awhile you drain it to try again. Depression is a filthy fridge, because you try to have healthy food in there to eat, and then forget what eating is for and it rots.

Depression isn’t pretty. Depression isn’t inspiring. Depression isn’t aspirational. Depression is heavy and tiring and seemingly endless. Depression does not make you a better artist or a better writer, it doesn’t give you “cred” or an “in.” It doesn’t guarantee your immortality or that your work will be seen. It is such a dangerous stereotype to put on people seeking to express themselves creatively, and it really needs to stop. The stigma needs to be broken around those people who struggle with their mental health, and the underbelly needs to be turned to the light. People fighting depression are warriors. They are much stronger than anyone thinks they are. But even they wouldn’t wish this feeling on anyone, not a single human being.

Depression shouldn’t be seen as a stepping stone to becoming stronger. It is an obstacle, it is harmful and it is hurtful. It’s a road that some people accidentally veer to.

I have depression. I have anxiety. I have borderline personality disorder (BPD) and I am not ashamed to admit it. But I will not hide behind the shiny false masks of how it makes me a more creative individual, and I will not stand for people using it as a trend piece.

Follow this journey on Val Prozorova Writer.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via eranicle.

Known for playing goofy Kimmy Gibbler on the popular sitcom “Full House,” and its current reboot “Fuller House,” actress Andrea Barber recently opened up to InStyle about a more serious topic — how she manages her depression.

In a personal essay, the actress wrote that she’s struggled with anxiety for most of her life, and experiences depression seasonally. “Depression is a thief,” she told the publication. “A thief of happiness. A thief of hope. A thief of a life well lived.”

Barber said there’s no “single prescription” she uses to manage her depression. Adding that she’s tried medication, talk therapy, meditation, prayer and self-help books. What ultimately made the biggest difference though, was running.

When I crossed the finish line of my first full marathon, I cried. I cried not because of the pain, not because of everything I had lost. I cried with the realization of everything I had gained.

For Barber, running is more than a temporary release of endorphins. She says it actually taught her how to be resilient — a skill that can help a person move forward, even slowly, when they’re experiencing depression.

Running helped me find an inner strength I didn’t know I possessed. It taught me to become more comfortable with things that make me uncomfortable, like pain. It taught me how to endure; how to keep moving forward no matter how much it hurt. It showed me the difference between fearing loneliness and embracing solitude. It taught me that I cannot always change my life’s circumstances, but I can change myself…

Running has been the single greatest thing I have done for my mental health. Therapy has always been healing by helping me discover my triggers for anxiety and depression and giving me the tools to combat them. Meditation helps me stay in the present moment and stop worrying about the future. Anti-depressants helped by making me feel less—less sad, less hopeless, less lethargic. Running, however, makes me feel MORE. More alive. More confident. Stronger. Happier.

We wanted to know what other activities helped people grow resilient in the face of depression, so we asked our mental health community to tell us one thing that helps them. Because while doing something you enjoy won’t cure depression, it can help you push through tough moments — and sometimes that small push can make all the difference.

Here’s what they told us: 

1. “As materialistic as it sounds, I’ve started taking pride in my nails. During my most depressive episodes I would bite and pick my nails until they were sore and infected — I did it as a distraction but often took it too far. Recently I’ve started to grow them, and now I enjoy learning new tips and practicing different styles of nail art on myself. It makes me feel proud that just a few months ago my fingers had basically non-existent nails and now they’re pretty gorgeous! I suppose other people might think I spend a lot of time on my beauty and appearance, but actually it’s taken such strength to do this and it does really help to distract me when I’m down.” — Ella K.

2. “Honestly, playing video games and interacting with my people online. It helps having someone to talk to, and the game keeps my mind distracted from the deafening thoughts that constantly swirl around due to my anxiety.” — Ashley B.

3.Roller derby. I joined at one of my lowest points in life, and found not only a community that loves me and really understands mental health and wellness, but a strength in myself that I didn’t know I had. It keeps me active, sure, but it has also allowed me to become more at peace with who I am and what my heart and soul and mind can do.” — Allie M.

4. “Cleaning. I now take joy and find pride in a clean tidy house. And on the really bad days where I can’t even clean, it has to be binge watching TV with comfort foods in the warm, curtains closed and low-level lights on with a comfy blanket and my dressing gown.” — Riley D.

5. “Exercise, and watching ‘The Lord of the Rings’. Both make me feel heroic and help me battle my depression with a little more strength and courage.” — Garrick O.

6. “Coloring! Believe it or not, reliving the old days as a child using a coloring book helps so much! And luckily they have hundreds of adult coloring books available now; even coloring for a half hour can completely change around my mindset.” — Julie K.

7. “Hanging out with my kids. They don’t think the same as us, and when I just go for just a simple walk with them, I listen to their stories, and stop to literally smell the flowers, or watch a bird fly by. It sounds so simple, but it is amazing.” — Morticia A.

8. “Being active. Short and to the point. For me, that’s been vital!” — Johnny L.

9. “I learned to play guitar. It’s not only enjoyable but it’s meant I can write my own song expressing how I feel. Somehow putting it into song is easier than just telling someone in a conversation.” — Teri F.

10. “Reading is the one thing I do when I’m feeling low and need to get away! It opens your imagination to so many different worlds! You can be anyone, do anything, be anywhere all while being tucked up in the comfort of your own bed!” — Sophie H.

11. “Baking. When I get into baking and decorating cakes, I focus my energy on the creativity and work. It gives me a sense of fulfillment to create something, and when I bake for other people, knowing they will enjoy my creations gives me a good feeling that helps ease my soul on the harder days.” — Rebecca B.

12. “I’ve training Brazilian jiu-jitsu for over two years now. It’s given me a great community of people to rely on, plus it’s helped me face fears I may or may not have. When I’m on the mat I can’t worry about everything else going on, I have to worry about surviving that round against my opponent and focus on my technique and breathing.” — Tabitha R.

What would you add?

It’s the pink elephant in the room. It’s the black cloud that covers me everywhere I go, and I feel it, even if others don’t. I’d like to be able to forget about it. Sometimes I try to pretend it isn’t there, but it’s sneaky and strong and always finds a way to make its presence known. What is it?


How does my depression manifest itself in social situations? Well, it happens in several different ways. Some of those ways are blunt, while others run the gamut from mildly noticeable to quite subtle. The determining factors are my current mood and the comments other people make.  The more nervous I feel, the more likely I am to blurt out something that is much closer to the blunt side of things. For example, at a cookout with people I’d just met, I told them I’d recently been hospitalized for suicidal thoughts. I knew they were aware I had depression, so I felt it was best to “clear the air” and see if they would still like to be my friends, even after knowing the full details of my “dirty little secret.” Also, I have a dark sense of humor and will sometimes make jokes about depression at my own expense. I can tell it makes others uncomfortable, but I keep doing it anyway. It’s as if I am testing them to see if they truly care enough about me to stick around for the duration. My level of bluntness is directly proportional to the amount of nervousness or perceived judgment I feel.

Sometimes I’m around people who don’t know I battle depression or that I was hospitalized for a near suicide attempt. They will say things about “crazy” people or “lazy” people who refuse to “just snap out of it,” or they will talk about some “selfish” person who took his own life. Then I give them quite an earful, which, in all actuality, they deserve. Yet still, it makes for an awkward situation. I end up being the one who makes people uncomfortable, yet again.

Then there are the times when I’m with friends or at a social event in which I don’t talk at all. Even though people try to have a conversation with me, I find it too difficult to converse back. This happens on days when fighting my depression has gotten the best of me, and it’s taken all my energy to just get out of the house. When people try to talk to me, and I don’t really talk back, well, let’s just say that makes for some very awkward silences.

On my worst days, I turn down invitations to go places. That’s when I find it too exhausting to fight the depression and also keep up appearances. This leads to isolation, which only makes things worse when I finally do go out again. Plus, if you keep turning down invitations, eventually people quit extending them.

Being socially awkward as a result of my depression has been difficult and painful. It has cost me some friendships. Sometimes it makes me hate who I’ve become. I am working on it though, through therapy and with the love and support of the family and friends who have stood by me. I am learning to be patient with myself, and I am also learning to reach out to others who appear to be struggling. I’ve gained empathy for other people, and that’s all I ask for myself as well. After all, I feel awkward in dealing with my own depression sometimes, and I could use a friend.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via IG_Royal.

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