‘You can help someone with depression. How? Pretend they have the flu.’: Woman urges to let those battling mental illness to ‘rest and ride it out’

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“If you want to help someone with depression when they are in one of their lows or bad depressive episodes – you can.

How? Pretend they have the flu.

A really bad awful flu, worst case you’ve ever seen! But the bonus is, it’s not contagious. You wouldn’t expect the person with a really bad flu to get up and do stuff, no way! So, tell them to rest up. Lay down in their pajamas if they want. Surround them with pillows and things that make them happy. You would never tell them to snap out of the flu!

They can’t… they’ve just got to rest and ride it out, so put on their favorite show, favorite music, get ’em some movies. Some tissues, make some soup… or lots of chocolate. Cancel their appointments for them. When you’ve got the depression flu, anxiety makes it hard to cancel appointments and depression means you’re not going to make them. Be their secretary for a day.

And if their flu gets really bad and you see them going to a dark place, make an appointment for the doctor, or take them to the emergency room. The flu can take a turn sometimes, just like depression.

And the same applies if it’s just you. Just because you got everything done yesterday and today, you’re down the bottom of the roller coaster, doesn’t make you any less of a person. It means it’s time to rest. Time to recover. Recharge your battery, it’s the only way you can be yourself again.

Mental health illnesses are illnesses. Although there aren’t any runny noses, no broken arms, no visual signs to say someone is sick, it’s really debilitating… and it’s also hard to watch someone you love to go through something hard without having the capability to fix it physically. But you can help them by not expecting them to act like they are well, by not saying ‘snap out of it’ or expecting them to go out and exercise when they don’t want to get out of bed (who would tell someone to exercise when they’ve got the flu?) and by just letting them recharge – just like you would if they had the flu… Let them ride out the wave of the depression, so that they can rest and recover from it and come back to full health and be back to their old selves again.”

Courtesy Laura Mazza

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Laura Mazza, where it originally appeared. Follow Laura on Instagram here. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

Read more from Laura:

‘She’s not broken’: To the man whose wife or partner has anxiety

‘This is what my house looked like for 3 weeks. This is depression.’: Woman explains why depression ‘isn’t you,’ claims there’s ‘light at the end of the tunnel, even if your brain tells you there’s not’

‘To the woman at the pharmacist. Not the one who stared at me like I was a disgusting pile of filth. The other woman, with kindness in her eyes. You didn’t know it, but you saved me.’

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