This culture that we live in does not really encourage us to talk about emotional pain. It instead teaches people to suppress your feelings. People tell one another not to whine about problems or not to dwell on them. We tell people to get over it and to be strong, which instead is telling them not to feel anything and if you do don’t talk about it.
Some emotions are deemed appropriate such his anger especially for men. Anger is more acceptable than sadness or being vulnerable. So, for many men being sad and lonely disappointed, anxious or guilty get funneled into expressions that look like anger. Many people use unhealthy coping mechanisms such as alcohol, drugs or other addictive activities in order to push the genuine feelings down. These provide temporary relief, but ultimately, they undermined a person’s health, strength and functionality.
Most people, when they feel upset, can benefit by talking to someone who listens patiently, someone who is non-judge mental, empathetic, and shows that they understand that a deeper level. There is something basic and the way we human beings react when receiving hey skillful response to talking about their emotional pain.
Depression is no different from any other emotional pain. If everyone felt depressed what’s comfortable talking about it to a good listener, we would have far fewer depressed people in this world and a lot less people on medication.
Ideally, we would all have this in our lives without having to pay someone to get it. We would all have friends, relatives, spiritual leaders, or teachers around to listen and care when we are upset. Yet our culture no longer supports this basic need. We are too busy. Many of us come from families who have abused us, or from home we are separated. We often live alone, or have only our immediate family around us. We are not connected to a church or community where this kind of talking have been more available in the past. Instead we put a value on the rational, over the emotional, to the extreme. As a result, many people end up trying to hide their tears and vulnerability, thus creating more alienation and isolation. Ironically, suppressing your feelings and being deprived of warm contact makes us more susceptible to depression, making people think they have even more to hide.

Find someone to talk to, find someone to pray with, be that someone for someone else. You will never regret the decision to be a friend.

Jeff Bates