I see it in every part of his being, the heaviness of his sole and body. Depression is a difficult entity to navigate for the person suffering its effects. It’s also hard to know how to help the people we love.
For myself, I also slip into bouts of depression at certain times of the year so I can empathize with my friend to an extent. As with all things no one can totally understand what another person may be experiencing no matter what we ourselves have gone through. For my friend, his depression was triggered by an anniversary of an unhappy event in his life.
So how do you support someone who is going through something like this? Something they experience on an annual basis. Do you say each year it will get better? God I hope you don’t say that? In all reality sometimes pain is ok for us to feel. The pain we feel are the threads in our tapestry that have become course. The coarseness signals that the threads need love and nurturing. It’s time to sit with the memories of those threads. The threads that make up the tapestry of that time in our life. By sitting with those threads you will help bring harmony and balance back into your life once more.
I have come to learn that living with a mental illness. Rather living life in general - there are times when memories and parts of our life resurface. Perhaps it’s an anniversary, a certain smell, a time of the year, a sound that brings it to the forefront. Really, it could be anything at all. These life moments that trigger past memories can trigger a time of melancholy and depression. Don’t be afraid to sit with it or allow your friend to sit with it for a while. Depression and melancholy cycle and they pass in time. We grow wiser and stronger from our scars and toils of the soul.
All in all I say the best way to see a friend through depression is to allow them the time to feel what they need to feel. Expect nothing more from them. When I ask my friend if he would like to do something I put no expectations on the invitation. It makes it nicer for the both of us.
This of course refers to more situational depression not clinical depression. The support remains the same. However, medication is needed for clinical depression. Sometimes situational depression may need medication too. Talk to your psychiatrist if the depression lingers on.