The last week of December. The last week of the year. People spend this time with their families and look back at the past year as lessons learnt and try to convince themselves to look forward to the next year with hope and expectations. There are some of us who automatically look at the next year with hope. Some have to be told to look at it with hope and believe that things will change for the better even if they have no way of knowing. Then there are few of us who believe that the only thing that is going to change next year is the calendar. The week will be the same, the days will be same and any idea that things will change suddenly because the calendar has changed is idiotic and naïve at best. I was one of the latter last year. I was certain that nothing would change in 2017. I had barely made it past 2016 and I didn’t carry a lot of hope with myself when it came to 2017.
Things changed for me, I took some big steps and today I am in a much better place than I was but that is not necessarily true for everyone else. Hundreds of thousands of people committed suicide this year and will in 2018 as well. The only thing I can do with through my blog is hope to reach at least one person who would be able to say that my words helped them get better. Of course 1 person among a hundred thousand and more is still not enough but it is a tiny tiny start. I have previously shared some tips on how you can help people who are fighting depression. You can see them again here.
According to some statistics 10% of the world population is in the clutches of depression. What makes it harder to deal with is that rests of the 90% people don’t know what to do about it. Here are a few more tips that you can use if you come across a person who is depressed.
- Ask them how they feel.
It is advisable to start by asking them how they feel. No matter what they tell you, you need to appreciate the fact that they chose to share their feelings with you.
- Follow up.
Once you have told them all the contrived platitudes about how things will get better with time, believe in god, this too shall pass, I am here for you etc etc. Make sure to follow up on them. That is something that gets ignored very often. You may not follow up thinking that you will be contacted in case they need help but that is not necessarily so. You may have to bug the person time and time again to actually gain their trust.
- Don’t use negative connotations.
There are many words which have negative tones when used in a sentence. “Just” being one that is used very commonly. “Weird”, “enough” and “immature” are other such words.
The last week of December is almost hell for people like me. When the world is drenching in optimism, whether forced or natural, we are going through the emotionless flow of depression. If someone who has depression is reading this right now, I cannot promise you that you will definitely get better in the New Year but I can tell you from my personal experiences that it is possible to get better. Against all odds, things can change.
I hope things change for you like they did for me but for that to be truly effective, you will have to take some leaps of faith as well.
All the best!