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What to Know If You Don't Understand Depression

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Let me first start off by saying I was in your shoes for quite some time, and never really understood what having depression meant — until I was diagnosed with it.

Before, when someone told me they had depression, I assumed it meant they were just sad and it was somehow their choice to stay that way. Let me assure you that depression is no choice, and it is a lot more than simply feeling sad. In my experience, depression is a deeper form of sadness, one that cannot be shaken or simply pushed aside. Depression has a way of permeating through every aspect of one’s life and makes it seem like a brighter day will never come. It makes simple things that much harder and has a way of lying to someone and telling them it will never get better.

When someone tells you they have depression, try simply saying you will be there to listen to them, not that you understand. Because I guarantee that unless you have depression, you may not fully understand.

Most of all? When someone with depression tells you they are struggling, seriously pay attention to them. Listen to them, and be there as an extra ear and comfort to bounce emotions off of.

Life with depression can be hard, but it’s easier with people who care by your side.

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Thinkstock photo via KatarzynaBialasiewicz

Originally published: March 29, 2017
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