When you’re feeling down, the sadness can often be overwhelming to the point of inhibiting everyday life.
Whether you’re suffering from depression, had a bad breakup, or got fired from your job, sadness is something everyone will experience during their lifetime.
A Widespread Occurrence
While being sad doesn’t necessarily mean you’re depressed, depression is still a widespread condition that’s steadily growing as the years go by.
According to this article, the percentage of the population who suffer from depression in the US is around 11.3% of adults. Depression can be a crippling condition, causing sleeplessness, feelings of isolation and anxiety, disturbed eating patterns and erratic behavior, and even thoughts of suicide.
Many people who are depressed are willing to get help, but asking the right questions or finding the right people to talk to can be challenging. With plenty of stigma still surrounding mental health, it can be difficult even for those who are just sad to talk with those they love about how they’re feeling.
Who Do You Talk to When You’re Feeling Down?
Who do you talk to when you’re feeling down? What do you say? Here are some tips on choosing the right people to talk to when you’re not quite feeling like yourself.
A trusted friend may be your first option for when you’re thinking, “I fucked up.” Things happen in life, and sometimes you’ll feel pretty bad about it. It may even be something you don’t want to talk to parents or other family members about, and that’s where good friends come into play.
Friends are our trusted allies; the ones we can share things with that no one else will know. It’s ok to want privacy when you’re dealing with personal matters, and a trustworthy friend can be the perfect outlet when you’re feeling down. They’ll listen, offer advice, and even do nice things to cheer you up like buy you coffee or take you out to eat.
The best part about confiding in a friend is that you know you’re speaking to someone you can trust. Without trust, it can be nearly impossible to open up to someone, which is why many people avoid therapy. Talking to strangers isn’t always an ideal situation, but talking to a trusted friend is easy and effective. Just be sure you listen as well!
Family is often the strongest anchor for most people, but not everyone has the luxury of being able to confide in their family members. Unlike trusted friends, we don’t choose our blood relatives, and we can’t necessarily help what they feel or think about certain things, including mental health and depression.
You might have an uncle or even a father that simply says “suck it up” when you need support, or a sister who’s incredibly judgemental of your life choices. On the flip side, your family might be understanding, supportive, and encouraging when it comes to your personal struggles.
Be wary who you speak with in your family about what you’re going through. Be sure it’s someone who will love and support you, even when you make a mistake. The last thing you need when you’re feeling down is judgment, but remember that being judgemental and truthful are usually different things. Sometimes, the best thing for you is to hear the truth!
Your significant other, whether it’s a girlfriend or boyfriend, wife, husband, or life partner, can be a trustworthy confidant. The love and support that occurs within a healthy relationship can help guide you even through the most difficult of times, and you’ll find a new strength in such support that you never knew existed.
If you confide in your significant other, understand that they may not fully comprehend what you’re feeling; in fact, whoever you confide in may not understand your feelings, and that’s ok. It’s not up to them to completely analyze your feelings and present solutions, but rather to offer love and support in a time of adversity.
Mental Health Professionals
If you’re looking for guidance and a more analytical approach to your situation, talking with a counselor or psychiatrist could be a better option for you. These professionals have training and insight that the average person doesn’t, making them the perfect option for when things are starting to seem hopeless.
Many people are afraid to open up to a stranger, and while that’s understandable, you must realize that mental health professionals genuinely care about their patients and the obstacles they face. These people have spent many years (and no small amount of money) to acquire the training and certifications necessary to help guide you through even the most difficult storms. Don’t be afraid to reach out!
Whether you’re depressed or just feeling sad about a mistake you made or specific life event, reaching out to trusted people in your life can help you get back on your feet and eliminate those feelings of isolation that often accompany sadness/depression.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help; there’s absolutely nothing wrong with needing a helping hand now and then!