When a family member or friend (me, perhaps?) is struggling with mental illness, please treat them with compassion and do not be judgmental. A few useful articles:
How to Help a Stressed or Depressed Loved One:
Please understand that these illnesses cannot be “snapped out of.”
Supporting Friends and Family Who Have Mental Illnesses:
Helping Someone with a Mental Health Concern:
A key point in being a good listener is not to judge or be judgmental, and also to not barge in offering your own opinions and advice. When someone wants someone to talk to about their depression or other mental health concerns, they’re not really for an intellectual discussion or argument. In fact, check your intellectual brain at the door and pull out your emotional brain. It’s not a time to disagree with someone who’s looking for guidance, direction or help with an issue. It’s a time to offer support, hope, and help in guiding the person through the realities of their situation. Doing so in the most gentle, open-minded way possible is usually far more helpful than a matter-of-fact, “Why don’t you just get over it?” mindset.