Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Boiling Waters PH.
YEAH, IT EXIST.
First, yeah it is most definitely real. Surprise! So don’t go around making jokes about it because if in the first place you didn’t know it existed, you don’t get to say something bad about it. That’s the rule.
Step 0 : If you can, seek help.
While you are busy reading this article, try mo rin makinig sa episode namin:
Step zero because it should be done before the first step, if that’s even possible. Professional help is available, so if you can find the courage to bring your friend to one, please do. This is important.
Step 1 : Don’t go around the fact.
You know what doesn’t help ? when you pretend to care. Your friends need genuine love. You know what’s worst ? When you go around it. When you pretend it doesn’t exist even if you can clearly see it.
So, do not act like it’s not there. When you do not know what to do, just acknowledge the fact that it’s there. Walking, talking, consuming. See it, take a nod and don’t say anything. It helps.
Step 2: If you don’t know what to say, say nothing.
Your CDF (clinically depressed friend) know for a fact that you don’t always have the right answers to their existential questions. So when time comes, and words runs out, it’s okay to say nothing. To just stay there, sit, and be alone together. They appreciate that, it’s just sometimes, they too, run out of words and they just feel the world.
Step 3 : If they start pushing you away, pull them closer and hold on tighter.
They will be stubborn and will be mean and will be causing you so much head ache and heart ache. But please, I am telling you, this is just some sort of defense mechanism. When your CDF starts to push you, it is when they need you the most. They push because they’re feeling the world a little too much that they think that it won’t help you help them. It is when they need someone to just be there and stay for them. Because this is the time that you need to fight for the both of you. This is it.
Step 4: Be there, even if s/he isn’t.
They will be hollow. So fill them with love and care and assurance and constant reminder of what life is. But don’t tell them to live just because. Don’t tell them about butterflies and love and all the rainbows and unicorns. They know that, but can’t feel it yet over the drowning mixture of emotions they’re in. So, yeah, they will be hollow but they are still there you only need to light them hearts a little.
Be there, even if they aren’t. They will come out of this hole, you just gotta hold on to something
Step 5 : For a time, be extra careful with your words.
They won’t tell you this but there are triggers, even in words. Be mindful of the things you say when they are in the moment. Or what I would like to call it, an Episode. This is not being overly sensitive but think of it as they are already feeling the world and it is damn too much, they don’t need another. This too shall pass.
There will be times that your CDF will be okay and he will seem normal. It’s a day to celebrate! But do not forget that depression don’t have a face, it will cling into a night, waving and saying hello, for the nth time.
My point is, eventhough they seem okay, it won’t harm to check up on them from time to time. Sometimes it can be the needed sunshine from the dark night.
Step 6 : Just be you, and let them be themselves.
You don’t have to act around them. They know this, just be you and don’t force them to be someone they’re not in the moment. Be the friend they knew, that is what helps.
Step 7 : If they can’t do it, do it for them
Now, what I mean is Pray. Believe me when I say that at some point, they will stop believing in prayers and will stop saying it. But you know what? Pray for them (if you’re that type of friend) they need someone to fight for them when they don’t have anymore fight in them. And, well, if you’re not the praying kind, it’s okay too. Just believe for them that this will all eventually pass. With them. Still standing. Breathing.
And this could all be you.
And that, my friend is purely based on my head and heart – and this is how you take care of your clinically depressed friend.