So, what do we do now? Depression and how you can help

I’ve seen a lot of arguments on Facebook over the past few days regarding the ALS ice water challenge. There are a lot of people out there who don’t think it’s helping anything. That it’s jut a stunt to help people feel better about themselves. My personal feeling is that it’s raising a ton of money- so why are we arguing about it?

But it got me thinking. With the recent news about Robin Williams, people are talking a lot about suicide and depression. That’s amazing. Because a big roadblock in people getting help is often the stigma. Take away the stigma, and more people get help. Period.

I wondered, though. What are some really practical things people can do right now? While we’re still having the conversation before we move on to the next topic du jour. I humbly submit the following list. Feel free to add suggestions in the comments.

1. Learn more about depression. Read about it. Talk about it. If someone you know has depression and you have questions- ask. We want to talk about it. We don’t want to hide. When you don’t ask, we feel like it’s taboo.

2. Write someone a “you matter” letter. Take a moment to let someone in your life know how you feel. You never know when someone might be suffering. You never know when your words might make the difference.

3. Be kind. To everyone. Always. Even difficult situations and difficult people can be handled with a kind heart.

4. Write yourself a letter when you’re feeling well. If you are feeling like you have nothing to live for, read your letter. Remember that there are times in your life when you have hope.

5. If you are suffering and have never sought help, use this time. Let this blog be your motivation. There may be resources through your school or workplace. But if you don’t know where to begin, start by looking up psychiatrists. Find the right doctor. There is help. There are people who can help you feel better. I know it’s scary. But it is their job to help you. You will not be judged. You will not be locked away. You will not be put on medications that make you feel like a zombie. And if you are put on medication that makes you feel strange, TALK to your doctor. Together, you can find the right treatment.

What else can we do? Post your ideas in the comments. And please share- you never know what might motivate someone to get help.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Anna Peters
    Aug 14, 2014 @ 19:05:20

    Very insightful and meaningful. I feel that I can relate as I myself suffer daily with depression. Really like the ideas to help people understand the struggle people go through with this illness

    Reply

  2. Johanna coppock
    Aug 14, 2014 @ 21:36:30

    I loved the idea of the “doubtfire face” challenge. My favorite part of this particular challenge is instead if just completing the challenge and then posting it, you first challenge people to donate and then tell them you will complete the challenge. They are donating money to help raise mental illness and then you smash a pie in your face!

    Reply

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