I was not at surprised at the news of Robin Williams death as my husband told me over dinner. I too have hid my bouts of depression in humor to hide the pain.
As always when a famous person takes his life, the internet burst with the very broad advice for people who are depressed to talk with someone. Anyone.
What if you are that someone? Do you know what to say or do? Do you know, who among you are depressed?
As a tribute to our beloved +Robin Williams, we will discuss how you, the ones who do not suffer from depression can learn to spot the very subtle signs and to be the support your loved ones may be needing.
THEY WILL NOT ANNOUNCE IT
Your loved ones will very rarely call you one day and say, “Hey, guess what? I’m depressed, I need your help!” That person that you haven’t heard from who you lost their job three months ago? That person just may need that call from you. Or your friend that always seems to be online but won’t meet you for drinks, yes THAT person may need you to drive to their home for an actual visit.
DON’T IGNORE YOUR GUT
Sometimes you will get a feeling, a poke in your gut that something just isn’t right. You may not be able to explain it. Even when you ask your loved one if everything is ok, and they waive your genuine concerns away, ignore them and follow your spirit. You are having that feeling for a reason.
You may also ignore your gut when you see that your loved one has the trappings of visual success. You know that friend that has the MBA, the 95K job, new car and hot girl? The one you wish were you? These people who have high pressured jobs, family who depend on them, usually will never come out and say how awful they feel. They have to keep the image alive.
KNOW WHAT TO SAY
Once you have decided that your friend may indeed be suffering from depression, knowing what to say is very important. Strongly bring home the fact that your friend is needed in your life. Be specific, tell them that you enjoy the movies with them, share a good memory with them, to reinforce that they are needed in this journey of life. If they are going through a difficult time, acknowledge that what they are going through, absolutely sucks, but you are there for them. If they share that they are on medication, reinforce that they are doing the right thing and that they are not crazy. Finally, suggest therapy because ultimately you are not a therapist. Offer to drive them, or hep find low cost clinics in the area. Often people are not aware that their job may offer therapy that is free and strictly confidential.
+Robin Williams left us a wonderful legacy of love and laughter, we here at Matriarch, send our heartfelt thanks to his family who shared him with the world.