Depression can be a dark and lonely time. Many people experience depression as a dark cloud that takes over everything in their life, bringing with it a lack of motivation and feelings of emptiness. Onset can happen suddenly or gradually.
Having a supportive friend during this period of time can make all the difference.
Things you should know:
People don't choose to feel this way
Lack of motivation and interest can be off-putting for friends, but it's not about you
Depressive symptoms can last from weeks to years
Things you can do:
Be there. Sometimes, people struggling with depression need to logically understand that people care about them. The best and easiest way to show that you care is to show up. You don't need to do anything, plan anything, or bring anything. Just being with a person is enough.
Be supportive. Calling a friend "lazy" or judging them for the amount of dishes in the sink is not going to help the situation. Offer to bring or make dinner. Ask them if they'd like to talk.
Be patient. Trying to offer 5,000 ways to "fix" the situation is generally not helpful. Offering to help with looking for a therapist can be a helpful gift, but only to someone who wants your help. It can be challenging to have a friend who is struggling with depression because it can sometimes feel like the relationship is one sided. Being a good friend to someone struggling with depression means understanding that this is a process and their feelings/ depression isn't about your friendship.
In the end, depression can feel never ending. It doesn't have to feel so isolating when good friends hang in there to support you through. Do you have experience supporting a friend through depression?