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Just. Be. There

Robin Williams was the number one trending topic in 2014. Maybe it was because we had just learned that a man who we grew up watching on TV and in movies had committed suicide. Suicide of all things. Maybe we were searching for answers or looking for clues to help our own loved ones. Perhaps it was the loss of a comedic genius that left our minds spinning that left us grasping for answers.

He was so great at what he did that he had us all convinced that nothing could be wrong, in fact, many of us didn’t even think about it. Surely this man, who made the world laugh with his quirky jokes and acts, couldn’t be depressed. I have little doubt that while making others laugh, he was trying to find his happy place. I’m sure covering the world in laughter was a source of light for him but it wasn’t enough in the end. Humans are prone to find dark places. Most have seen some of the shadows of depression and many have been much further in. We have to remember that we all are pretty good about putting a smile on our faces and trying to move anywhere but the place we are.

Depression is a crazy creature. It will kick you while you’re down. It doesn’t care about your age, skin color, height, weight, or anything else. It doesn’t always look like sadness and crying. It doesn’t always look like cuts on skin or black hair and makeup. Sometimes it affects those closest to you and you don’t even know it. Don’t be afraid to talk to someone about it. Whether it’s you who is suffering or a loved one, ask. Be there. Listen. Don’t offer advice. Just. Be. There.

One can’t just be happy, that’s not very helpful advice. Surround yourself with people, even when you don’t want to. Seek help from a professional. But keep in mind, your counselor cannot just magically take the depression away. They can walk beside you. They can help you redefine happiness and even depression. They can help you get to the root of the darkness. They can support you. They can help you get to your happy but it’s not always easy. Talk to your doctor as well. They can help monitor you. They can prescribe meds that might help. But counseling can help resolve the issue long term.

If someone has started to become withdrawn, make your presence known. If someone talks about hurting themselves, seek out help for them. Doesn’t matter if that person has sworn you to secrecy, find someone to help. Don’t assume the person will ask for help. They probably already feel like they are a burden, so go to them. Sometimes they will want a distraction, be that. Sometimes they will want to sit in silence, that’s okay to. The most important thing you can do to help someone who is depressed is to just be there and seek out help for those who can’t or won’t.

Parents, if this is your child...please stay connected with them. Listen to their favorite music with them, even if you don't like it. Sit and watch them play video games, or play games with them. Sometimes you have to push them really hard to get them to join the family...that's okay, do it. If you aren't sure if your chld is depressed, and they won't tell you, find them a counselor to help. It may even take several tries to find one your child connects to, it's worth the me.


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