As an onlooker watching a loved one live through depression it’s not for you to understand what it is to be depressed or what it feels like to breathe underwater, scream in whispers muffled by the weight of the water. Its not your job to fix it. It’s for you to offer unconditional love and support, not give suggestions or answers. Depression isn’t black or white. It’s a light gray, dark gray and every shade of gray in between, and there is no one single answer that can make it go away.
There is a standard of care, between drugs and therapy that can be applied but no matter how good that medicine or therapy is, depression just doesn’t go away. There is always an underlying cause of the pain. Only time and therapy will ease the pain. The medicine, it can only ease so much.
We don’t chose to be depressed, we can’t just get happy, like we can’t change our eye color or change our sexual orientation. Some things we are just born with. And sometimes we’re born with a chemical imbalance that tugs us in opposite directions. It feels like a violent storm, like we’re falling and flaying and grasping for something. And you can’t pick yourself up because you’re paralyzed by fear or overwhelmed by feelings you can’t understand.
Sometimes you dull that pain, hide in the shadows, masking those feelings with drugs, alcohol or self injury. But the pain is only knocked out for a brief moment. It will always come back.
I’ve been depressed before and I understand that turbulent storm, the pictures that flash in your head because it can’t slow down, it can’t relax, it can’t heal. But this time, I’m on the outside looking in. I’m forced to relive my struggle as I offer unconditional love and support. And my heart breaks because there is nothing I can do to ease the pain for someone else.
If this is you seek help. Start with your doctor. If it’s your child start with their pediatrician. There is help.