I want to know what you really would like to see from people who are supporting you?
I see these ads for a self-help depression website on TV and online a lot. It’s depression.org.nz and it’s for New Zealanders (though I’d imagine others can access it). Heaps of the media messages have been about getting out there and telling people, family and friends, about how you are feeling. However no mass-media campaign in NZ has yet to inform people specifically how they can help.
Since I started talking about my experience, I’ve had mixed reactions to my struggles ranging from “Oh that sounds hard” to “Don’t worry, sometimes its just chemical” to “Stop being a drama queen, you aren’t going to get any attention from me.” People seem to either under interpret distress or over interpret their ability to help (i.e. stop talking to you cause you are bipolar and woah those people are serial killers aren’t they?) A large portion of people just do not know what to say.
Advice like “Listen” is great, but what if people are telling you things that disturb you to the point where its affecting your life? I remember at my worst, calling my boyfriend at 2am to tell him how suicidal I felt and how I was going to kill myself. Every last detail. I can’t imagine how stressful that must have been for him, given we were only 17 at the time
Personally, I would like someone with a difficult lived experience talking about their own struggles and helping me stay motivated to maintain a healthy lifestyle.