Can A Depression Chart Help People To Better Understand Depression?
Updated March 18, 2020
Reviewer Whitney White, MS. CMHC, NCC., LPC
Living with depression can come with many challenges. For some people, one of those challenges is getting understanding and support from friends and family. Some people aren't informed enough about depression to be as supportive and helpful as they might otherwise be.
Depression can impact you differently on some days than it does on others. It isn't easy to predict when you'll have a good day with it, or when you might have a not so good day. This can be difficult for people who don't understand depression to grasp.
Some people have taken to creating depression charts to try to communicate how they're feeling to their loved ones. The idea of a depression chart is quite simple, but it's a great way of showing the people that you care about how you're doing. It gives them something easy to understand that they can point to see what you're going through on a given day.
Even if friends and family aren't willing to participate in using the chart with you, it can still come in handy. It is one way to try to communicate better about what you're going through.
How Does A Depression Chart Work?
A depression chart is something that has been created to express various levels of depression. A typical chart might involve showcasing five different levels of depression and how they feel to you. For example, you might use level one as a way to express the least severe possible depression that you experience. Below the level number, a short description of how this type of depression impacts you can be read.
In the example chart that was linked to above, the creator of the chart chose to express depression variants based on whether she felt numb or hopeless. There are different types of depression. Sometimes you may feel numb to whatever is going on around you and other times you may be profoundly sad. Being able to express the differences between the two in a tangible way using the chart might prove to be useful.
Once you've created your depression chart and come up with the descriptions for how each level feels, you'll be able to show it to your family and friends. This might help them to gain a better understanding of what you're going through. It isn't always easy for someone who has never experienced depression to relate to it. If you can give your friends or family a glimpse into what you're going through, then they might be more understanding about days when you aren't able to go out with them or do other things that they'd like you to do.
Having Understanding People in Your Life Makes A Difference
It can be beneficial to have understanding people in your life when you're experiencing depression. The issues that come with depression can be very tough to get through without the proper support. You need to be able to rely on friends and family to help you when you need them. If you have a support system in place, it can alleviate some of the isolation and loneliness that may accompany depression.
Try to surround yourself with people who care about you when you're going through a rough time. Using a depression chart to show people what you're experiencing may help you communicate how you're feeling with others when it's hard to put into words.
Having a support system includes having trusted mental health professionals you work with. A licensed counselor, medical doctor, psychologist, or psychiatrist can help you find out a specific diagnosis, and help create a treatment plan that will put you on the path to wellness.
Depression treatment varies. It can involve taking medications prescribed by a doctor. It can involve attending therapy sessions, which can be very supportive. It may involve a combination of medication and therapy.
Having the support of compassionate and knowledgeable mental health professionals can be crucial to your success in managing depression. With treatment that addresses the problem, depression can ease over time.
Therapy (also called counseling) has been shown to be an effective way of treating depression. A licensed counselor can help you explore coping skills, implement new habits, support you through tough times, and guide you through research-supported ways to manage and treat depression.
Counseling can be attended either in person at local offices, or online. With online therapy there's an added benefit of being able to message your therapist at any time and being able to attend appointments on a more flexible schedule at a time and place that suits you.