Has a friend or family member told you to “snap out of it” or “get over it”?

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard these responses to my depression. As if it’s that easy. Anyone who tells you “You’re just having a bad day. You’ll feel better in the morning” has clearly not experienced the crippling agony and utter devastation of depression.

Thankfully, there are programs in place that help family members understand and support their loved ones with mental illness. The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) and The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) run programs and support groups for family members and friends.

The Lehigh Valley DBSA holds weekly support group meetings on Wednesdays at First Presbyterian Church on Tilghman St in Allentown from 7-9 pm. Contact information can be found by clicking here.

Another resource to help friends and family members understand mental illness and support their loved ones is NAMI’s Family-to-Family program, a free 12-session educational program taught by trained family members who have been there.

If friends and family members are not able to attend support meetings or participate in programs, there are plenty of websites to guide them. I referred my husband here.

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