Dealing with your depressed friend – the ten commandments

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1) Thou shalt not tell me to ‘cheer up’ unless thou is fond of a slap round the face with a wet haddock.

2) Unless actually possessing prior experience of depression, thou shalt not claim to ‘know how I feel’. Thou does not.

3) Thou shalt not fear picking up the phone to call me because thou ‘doesn’t know how to help’. Just staying in touch is more helpful than thou could ever know.

4) Even when I’m being the world’s biggest bitch-face nightmare, remember that thou loves me, and tell me.

5) Thou shalt not compare my situation with a starving elephant baby in Mogadishu to try and elicit some ‘perspective’. The way I’m feeling right now I would give my left bum cheek to trade places with said elephant baby.

6) Thou shalt not pressurise me to socialise if I don’t feel up to it. As much as I’d love to meet thy new boyfriend, I doubt he’d dig my pyjama-clad-electrocuted-hair look when I lack the energy to even dress myself properly for the pub.

7) Don’t walk on eggshells around me. No really, don’t – I’m too tired to clean my kitchen properly and there’s all kinds of crap on the floor.

8) Thou shalt not tell me you can’t honestly feel bad all the time. You can – it’s called clinical depression.

9) If the words ‘mad’, ‘crazy’, or ‘mental’ should slip out in conversation thou shalt not dissolve in a puddle of embarrassment. I know I’m not insane – it’s OK.

10) Thou shalt not give up on me. There’s a non-depressed version of me still inside and I’ll be damned if she doesn’t get to spend some quality time with thou soon.

 

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