Are you depressed or know someone who is?
If you found this article because you are thinking about or have tried to harm yourself, please stop what you’re doing and call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 right now. There’s a 24/7 live chat option on their website if you’re more comfortable speaking with someone that way.
You don’t have to be ashamed and bottle it up. Don’t push it aside and hope that it will go away.
You have people who love you. There are places to go and people who can help. You’re not alone. If you’re in a bad place, please get help. If you have a loved one who is struggling, ask them about their problems and listen. Be there for them and show them they are loved.
This podcast episode is with Reba Malandra. She’s a life coach and owner of Atherial Fitness in Denver, Colorado. You can scroll below for her contact information and additional resources for depression and suicide prevention.
The following is the abbreviated transcript from this podcast episode:
Jason: The way I’m thinking about this is that the person listening to this is probably in a bad place, depressed, or possibly suicidal, or perhaps, it’s someone who has a person in their life who is going through something like that.
We all struggle with depression on some level from time to time. It’s part of being human, and we don’t always know how to handle it, whether it’s ourself or another person. We don’t know how to talk about it or how to approach them. Oftentimes, we don’t say anything at all, and that’s probably not a good thing.
I’d like you to imagine that you’re speaking to one specific person, and that you’re trying to help them, as best you can, with what they’re going through. What would you say to that person? What kind of advice would you give?
Reba: My first instinct is to not say that I know how you feel, because I don’t. Every single individual has their own feelings. As you said earlier, we’re all human, and we feel in our individual ways.
Even though I can relate to feeling depressed and having anxiety and panic, that’s my anxiety and my panic. So that might resonate with someone, but that feeling deep down inside, it’s different for everyone.
For me, it would be getting curious, asking them questions, and have them share what they’re feeling inside.
It might be a little hard for them. They might be thinking, well, what is this person going to think? It might be hard for them to tell me that they’re depressed because they’ll be wondering what I’m going to think about them or if I even love them. And the answer is yes, I do love you. Even if I don’t know you that well, I hold lots of love in my heart.
I just want to listen and have them know that they’re safe. They’re safe with me. They’re not judged. And that’s the other thing, people might feel judged.
For me personally, as someone who has had anxiety and depression, it’s wondering if you’re going to get judged. So, for me, it’s about opening a space and having it available for them to come forward and feel safe.
It might be just asking questions, simple questions and getting curious and letting them know and feel the passion that’s inside of me, that they are safe and loved.
Jason: I think that connection is something that we all need. When we don’t have enough connection in our lives, we can really start to focus on the wrong things and get in a bad place.
It sounds like communication, just talking and being there to listen and being a shoulder to cry on, offering the help and love is what people really need.
Reba: It’s love and helping them see that there’s connection.
If you are feeling depressed or in a panicked state, I am connecting with you right now. You are safe, and I hold nothing but love in my heart.
There are people out there who have this same feeling towards you. You just have to find it. If you can just find one person, then I think you’ll start making the connection and start thinking that maybe my mom really does love me or my spouse really does love me.
The spouse, because they’re so close to us, sometimes gets shifted into the corner. And guess what, my spouse, he loves me so much, and he’s been with me.
When I’ve talked to other people who have been in these positions, they come forward and say that the reason I felt so safe and loved is because I had my spouse who believed in me.
There could even be a best friend or someone who comes up from the past that went dormant in your life. If you reach out to them, they might reach back out to you.
When you’re isolated and feeling alone, you might feel like there’s no one else around, but I’m here for you. I’ll hold you safe and love you.
Connect with Reba:
NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1(800)-273-8255
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is a voluntary health organization that gives those affected by suicide a nationwide community empowered by research, education and advocacy to take action against this leading cause of death.
The Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) is the nation’s only federally supported resource center devoted to advancing the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention.
“A friend once told me that killing yourself is like taking your pain, multiplying it 10x, and giving it to the ones who love you. I agree with this, but there’s more. Beyond any loved ones, you could include neighbors, innocent bystanders exposed to your death, and people — often kids — who commit “copycat suicides” when they read about your demise. This is the reality, not the cure-all fantasy, of suicide.”