Didi’s Story: Finding Love and Support Through Depression
May 23, 2023
Families for Depression Awareness is pleased to share new videos featuring Didi, a member of our Family Caregiver Advisory Panel, who lives with depression. In the first part of her story, Loving Your Sister and Friend Through Depression, Didi’s brother and her dear friend talk about how they came to understand more about Didi’s struggles and identify how they could help. Although finding support through depression was not always a straightforward process, having the right people by her side made a world of difference.
Didi’s experience with treatment-resistant depression has spanned two decades. In that time, she’s had support from her dear friend Lynn and her brother Greg. Lynn describes Didi as a caregiver, champion, and cheerleader. Greg says that Donna (Didi’s given name) has always been loving, caring, and nurturing.
At the start, Lynn thought that Didi was suffering from a lot of stress. She and Didi were together working at a bad job. A lot of people were stressed out in that work environment. When Didi reached out to Greg, he was in denial and didn’t believe that Didi had depression. He thought that depression was just for “crazy people.”
There was also a communication gap: Greg and Lynn didn’t understand why Didi was struggling, and, in her state of mind, she couldn’t explain it to them.
Learning to Support Through Depression
Over time, Greg came to understand that Didi was dealing with something more serious and complicated than he initially thought. He also realized that, because of their shared genetic makeup, the depression Didi was experiencing could just have easily affected him. Greg believes that his faith has helped his mental health. He urges faith-based communities to take more action on mental health, knowing they can offer education, support, and compassion.
Didi recognizes that she manages her depression better when she is doing things – going out of the house, advocating for mental health care, working on her blog and podcast – and Lynn supports her in staying active and connected. Lynn knows that Didi is susceptible to the negative thoughts that depression can bring, so she offers a compassionate ear. Among her roles, Lynn sees herself as Didi’s champion and cheerleader.
By educating themselves and listening to Didi, Greg, and Lynn learned about depression and how they could be effective caregivers.