Wounds and bruises that appear on our bodies as a result of falling or receiving a blow are usually not complicated to treat. On the other hand, there are wounds that can’t be seen on the body which are harder, deeper, and more painful than anything that bleeds outward.
These are depression and heartbreak - two experiences that are not easy to deal with, for those going through them and for those around them. Marc Chernoff - life coach, mentor, and a popular blogger for over 10 years, who has himself coped with depression and heartbreak, as well as helped patients who have been afflicted with them – has some important things to say about coping, and we highly recommend you read through them!
Unfortunately, there are people who have not experienced real depression, yet they conclude that they know it well only because they’ve been through a bad divorce, were laid off from work, or lost a person who was dear to them. Although all these states of life may cause depression, they do not in themselves create depression by default, because while they bring with them very strong emotional feelings (as a byproduct of heartbreak), depression is actually a flat, hollow and almost unbearable empty feeling, which rids the person of all feeling, hope or reason for life. Therefore, heartbreak or deep sadness can be a catalyst for depression, but it is not in itself a direct response to these difficult situations, but only a later development, and therefore they must be separated and know how to be dealt with.
Being depressed is like getting lost in the woods. It is only with time that you begin to notice that something is wrong, that you have already gone too far of the familiar route, and you are now deep in the thicket, no longer able to tell where the sun rises or where it sets. You do not choose to be where you are, but cannot see your way out of there!
Depression is one of the most helpless and exhausting emotional states a person can go through, no doubt. Sometimes it is expressed in a sense of disorientation, sometimes a total loss of hope, sometimes a general lack of sense, and sometimes even a terrible sense of death. But in no case at any stage does someone choose to be depressed, and no one can "turn off" this difficult feeling just like that, at any moment they want to. This is a state of consciousness that must be dealt with, and in order to recover from it, it is necessary to go step by step, very carefully, over a long period of time.
Depression is a situation in which a person feels deep loneliness and a need for distance, all which cause them to seek isolation. People who suffer from depression will often feel very anxious about the very feeling of them being burdens on the shoulders of their close ones, which makes them want to isolate themselves even more and even reject the few people they really need.
So if your loved one gets depressed and becomes distant and isolated - do your best to remind them that you are still around to help them with whatever they need, but do not try to get them to socialize with you or talk to you about their feelings if they don’t want to. Try to create opportunities for one-on-one informal conversations, even if they’re only for a few minutes, and thus you may be able to break the barrier of loneliness that the individual has created for him or herself.
Relentless exhaustion is a common side effect of depression, as well as severe heartbreak. In such situations even getting out of bed in the morning can seem like an agonizing experience and an impossible task for those suffering from internal distress. In addition, people with depression tend to be fickle - they can look all right one minute, and a moment later they are completely depleted of energy and show extreme exhaustion, even if they have eaten a good meal or slept for hours.
So, if you love someone who is suffering from depression, you should remind yourself of the simple truth: Depression, and, to a lesser degree, heartbreak, can take from almost anything you have. While all your words and actions should come from the heart, do not expect them to return that love. Accept the fact that this is the case when a person is caught in such a feeling, and once you do not take their cool attitude towards you personally, you’ll free yourself from great suffering and will be able to give true unconditional love.
"Time heals all wounds," "it’s not that big of a deal," "you just need to breathe some fresh air," "it's time to move on with life," – these are clichés which people with depression often have to deal with, which are sometimes true and sometimes really not. Even if they come from a good place, many of those with depression will be very suspicious and feel that the person saying them isn’t really paying attention, doesn’t really understand their problem, and is just trying to pacify the depressed person with phrases that are essentially worthless.
If so, what should you say to a relative or friend suffering from depression? First, it is clear that there is no one answer for every situation, and it is recommended that you simply do your best to speak openly, sincerely and with a genuine desire to help and be supportive. You can say something like, "I love you, and I'm not the only one, please believe that it's worth living for those who love you, even if you do not feel that way now. “Take a deep breath, be strong - live here and now - and take a tiny step forward every day, I'm here now, and I'll be here tomorrow, by your side.” Then give them a long hug.
Heartbreak has never been a pleasant thing, but it can serve as a catalyst for healing, and empowering the mind once it is properly internalized and processed. The difficult experience of heartbreak, which comes in the wake of the loss of a person close to you, is indeed very difficult, but you can overcome it by perpetuating the uniqueness of that beloved and turning it into your daily inspiration. By doing so, those loved ones you have lost will continue to live in your broken heart, which will not fully heal but will continue to grow, and experience life in full force, despite the hole that has been created within it.
This can be compared to a person who has broken their ankle and never recovered from it. Although it is still difficult for them to dance, they do so with a slight limp, but one that makes their performance deeper and illuminates their personality in an authentic light. This world and this life makes us, the people, bigger and stronger first of all by breaking us. The journey to recovery is careful and precise - one that begins with a great crisis and a severe fall and ends with a life that fills our hearts and minds with compassion, understanding, love and deep wisdom, qualities that we probably could not have acquired in any other way.