Like 20% of the U.K. population, I have battled with depression on an off for twenty years. Depression is almost impossible to overcome by yourself. External help is important but difficult to access. Mental health services in the U.K. are stretched notoriously thin and often an initial appointment can take up to 16 weeks to materialise.
Medication helps but is merely a first step on the road to recovery, not a cure. Recovery is scary. When you spend such a long time living in a certain way you become used to it. Having someone come in and tell you they’re going to help you up-end your life is a terrifying prospect. Many people resist therapy or medication for precisely this reason.
Having a support network at this time is crucial. Often though, friends and family are unsure how exactly to help. I wrote this piece to explain why people with depression struggle with recovery, and how simply showing up and offering support can make a big difference. Even if it is rejected at first, it’s important to keep trying without being forceful. Sometimes it can be the difference between life and death.