Depression, being “bummed,” or experiencing the feeling of hopelessness is a normal fluctuation in your mental state. During this period, the person experiencing it is often less likely or willing to participate in normal daily activities and other people may misinterpret the scenario as laziness. This is harmful as it fails to validate the genuine experience of the individual. Depression and laziness are two very different things.
Depression is a Biological Phenomenon
When you are not getting enough serotonin release or uptake in your body, you are in a state of depression. This is why selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors have been proven to have decreased intake when someone has a mental illness. This chemical imbalance in your body causes you to feel down. You still may feel quite motivated, but you are physically incapable of acting on that motivation and working towards a goal and the subsequent sense of accomplishment.
Laziness, on the other hand, is when someone lacks motivation altogether. It is an entirely distinct process and not driven by physiology. Confusing the two can have devastating outcomes for the individual experiencing the situation.
Condemnation Does not Work to Heal Depression
Telling someone they are being lazy or lack motivation is an ineffectual response. Even worse, condemning someone for depression will only exacerbate the situation. Instead, this individual needs psychological help in the form of tools learned from therapy and possibly medication.
Support is the Best Help You Can Offer
Serving as a shoulder to lean on is the best way to improve the quality of life of someone struggling with depression. By providing your listening ear, you can begin to understand why this person became depressed in the first place. Lending a hand can mean helping connect this individual to appropriate mental health care or planning an activity to try to get the person out of bed. Whatever you decide, coming from a place of warmth and understanding will serve you best when providing support.
Remember that depression is not laziness. Depression is a biological phenomenon and condemnation of the behavior does not heal the situation. The best support you can offer comes from a place of warmth and understanding. At Valiant Living, we understand the unique demands of depressed patients and can support them with medication if necessary. At our facility in Denver, Colorado, we offer both inpatient and outpatient services to men struggling with addiction or co-occurring mental illnesses. Our highly trained staff have the expertise to help you out of your depression from a place of kindness and understanding. To find out more about our service, you can contact us today at (303) 952-5035.