Depression. Of all mental health diagnoses, it is the most common of them all, affecting over 16 million people a year (National Institute for Mental Health, 2017). For us melanated kings and queens, 1 in 10 of us experience symptoms like consistent feelings of sadness, sense of helplessness/hopelessness, lack of energy, change in eating habits/weight, poor concentration, trouble sleeping and symptoms of the like. Take a second to think about it and be honest with yourself… Have you ever experience such symptoms? Has there ever been a time when it felt like the issues kept coming and coming and you questioned “How am I going to overcome this?”
If you raised your hand (I did too), it supports my idea that there are more of us who experience depressive symptoms than the studies report
but I’ll save that for another post. Which further points out the fact that so many of us of are not the getting help we need and deserve. With that in mind, who then do we turn to?
Our loved ones, our significant other and more times than not, our friends! My personal belief is that they term “friend” has been used loosely, which can serve as a source of stress.
Our friends, hittas, ride or dies… Do they really fulfill those titles? When you call your “friends” and mention the dreaded D-word (depressed), are they there for you? I don’t mean “Hey let me take you out to the movies?” or the “Girl, you’re going to be straight!,” I mean after you express how you’ve truly been feeling, are they attentive to your needs? Does that conversation switch real quick to what they are going through? Are they able to accept where you are in the moment and be right there with you? Are they even available to listen to you? Do your friends support you in seeking the healing you deserve?
While things may be okay for you now, it is important to continually assess “Does this person bring about happiness to my life?” There are situations where one feels unheard or that she is constantly giving without receiving anything in return that trigger depressive symptoms. And then when you are in “the sunken place,” it is extremely hard to find the energy to get up for the day and fulfill your regular duties, let alone find it within yourself to tend to someone else’s needs or try to survive with little to no support.
While it’s important to set a realistic idea of what you envision support to look like and people will not always be available at your beck and call, it is also important to assess your relationships with others and determine if there is a balance of give and take between each other. That can lead you to wonder the purpose one has in your life and their worthiness within your life (just causing a lot of internal conflict huh?) As a book entitled The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy suggests, people hold certain roles within your life which may be as a 3 minute friend, a weekend friend or not even a friend at all.
So grab a piece of paper (or The Crowning Workbook and take a complete the Who Can I Run To page) and begin looking at your friendships. It’s time to utilize your energy for you!