Before I begin if you think you have or do have depression click here: http://cupcakestolightsabers.blogspot.com/2012/12/dealing-with-depression.html
IF YOU THINK SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS IN DANGER FROM DEPRESSION, PEAK OUT!
There are many people who have depression. But there are also many who do not. People who don't have no way of understanding what those who do are going through. Here is some insight on how to interact with someone who suffers from Depression.
Depression isn't like typical sadness. It's deep. It kills you from the inside. It steals your happiness and leaves you hollow inside. There is no joy. It isn't a choice, it's a physical malfunction in the brain.
Often people hide their depression, deep inside. They are ashamed of it. They hide it. They smile.
A mistake many people make is to think that it can be controlled. It can't be. One of the worst things someone can do is say “Just be happy!” “Smile!” Instead ask why they're hurting. Sometimes there is not rational explanation for their sadness, but ask anyways. Get them to reveal their feelings. A depressed person feels alone and unloved. Stay with them until they know they are loved. Sometimes they are so withdrawn it is almost impossible to speak of it.
Physical touch is important. Sometimes there are no words, but hugs can mean the world. A touch on the arm, anything.
Don't give up on them. It can be hard to be friends with someone who deals with depression. But it's even harder for them to be themselves. They need friends, need to know someone's there for them. There is a never ending flow of pain that they deal with. It needs to be released. Sometimes there's only one person who can help. Maybe that person is you. When people give up on them, it sends them closer to the edge. They may not act like they care, but they do.
Depressed people, when they heal, make wonderful friends. They are understanding. Being in the dark gives you insight. When you return to the light, you see what you've learned and can share it with the world.
Finally, watch them. Sometimes they want to give up. Don't let them. Watch for signs: Withdraw, joking about hurting themselves (they are likely very serious), lack of eye contact, interest in death. NEVER tell anyone to kill themselves or joke about harmful things.
Now, I'd like to tell you something. I speak from very personal experience. Depression is haunting. We can't survive it alone. Reach out. You could save a life. This is deep and personal. Please listen. Please realize that you don't understand, if you haven't been there. But we need you to stand with us.