Here are some signs of depression from the National Institute of Mental Health:
- Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" mood
- Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed
I'm not alone in this. Many people I love also suffer from depression or another mental illness. I wish that mental illness wasn't so stigmatized, and it was easier for people to understand. I'm lucky in that I have people who love me and care about me (even if they're far away from me), but not everyone is. If someone you love is depressed, the Uplift Program offers 9 rules to follow:
1. Understand the disorder.
So many popular misunderstandings about the illness and so much denial about its origins exist.
2. Keep in mind that he/she can't "snap out of it."
Remember that the other person has a real illness. Like someone with cancer, they can't simply "get over it."
3. Ask about his/her feelings and his/her childhood programming.
4. Admit your own powerlessness against the disorder.
Many people believe they can cure someone they love just by the sheer force of their love.
5. Do not try to rescue.
6. Don't make excuses for him/her.
7. Encourage him to seek help.
8. Discover your own programming.
His/her behavior may seem to give you an excuse to vent angry feelings, or an opportunity for you to play the knight in shining armor or perhaps a reason to excuse your own real or imagined shortcomings.
9. Tell him/her what you need.
If you aren't honest about what you're getting from the relationship, or what you want to get, you will make the other person feel even worse about himself.
Here's a couple songs I like to listen to when I'm feeling down.
Save Your Generation - Jawbreaker
Keep on Livin' - Le Tigre
There's Never a Reason Not to Party - Latterman