The giant elephant in the room — depression
It's time to stop ignoring the giant elephant in the room. Depression is a real deal animal to overcome. We might have experienced it for ourselves at one time or another or have loved ones who suffer from it — some for years on end and right under our noses. The fact of the matter is that it shouldn't be taken lightly. As a society, we have endured countless tragedies due to mental illness and it's time that mental health be declared a top priority
How can we offer support to those suffering from depression?
- Get educated on mental illness and depression.
- Be a listening ear. And I mean really listen. Depression is not just a bad day or week or month, etc. It's a heavy burden that can totally break a person if it remains untreated or unreported. Don't discount the person's feelings.
- Offer real help. Spiritual support is nice, but in addition, please connect them with reputable, reliable healthcare professionals/resources for evaluation and ongoing medical care.
In our day-to-day, what are some ways to self-care?Self-care is essential; you can't pour from an empty cup. We must take care of ourselves. Don't be embarrassed or afraid to talk with your trusted friends, family and healthcare professionals if you're feeling overwhelmed, "blue," outside of the norm or are experiencing suicidal thoughts. Many have encountered depression at some point of our lives — more than you know. It can also be a mentally draining to take on other people's problems as our own
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You do not have to suffer in silence.At times it can feel like you don't have a strong enough support system or people in your corner who will understand or "get it." But the best approach is to seek the outside help of trained medical professionals. In fact, you can't afford not to. The resources are there for the taking and strongly encouraged
There is no shame in seeking professional help to treat mental illness.