How To Save A Life – What to do when someone you love is depressed.
In the recent days we’ve seen report after report of celebrities, politicians, and young people making the decision to end their lives, some after lifetime long battles with depression and others seemingly by surprise (although with most cases there are signs if you look hard enough- things they say, things they do or stop doing, changes in eating or sleep patterns).
The only good thing that has come from this is the outpouring of love, support, and awareness to those with mental illness, and stories coming forth of those who have thought about suicide and or battled with depression.
One of the top questions I’ve seen a lot is “What can I do if my friend/spouse/child is depressed or thinking about killing themselves?” . While posting and passing along the Suicide hotline numbers is great- it’s always wonderful to have that tool out there for those that may not know where else to turn, many people would rather talk to someone they love and trust instead of just a stranger on the other end of a telephone line.
So, the best thing you can do is ask, and listen. Ask your friends how they are, not just a passing “oh how are you?” but a genuine ask, make time for them, and when you ask, leave time to listen.
Sometimes the best thing that someone with depression and or suicidal thoughts needs is someone to simply be there. I personally feel like there is a deep lack of intimacy within our culture today. We’ve lost contact with the outside world and each other. Instead of taking the time to stop by someones house, we choose to text them. We send virtual hugs instead of real ones, we message them on facebook with “prayers” instead of telling them that they are important to us. One of the most healing things for someone could be just being in the presence of another. No words need be exchanged, just a hug…..an embrace- just reach out.
For those of you suffering with depression, anxiety, or suicidal thoughts, I want you to know you are NOT alone. All 3 of us (The Mason Jar Mamas) suffer with some form of mental illness (Anxiety/Depression) and we want you to know that you are loved, you are valid, and your life is important. If you are having thoughts of suicide, please reach out- call the hotline (1-800-273-8255) or call a friend or family member.