I have a friend - we went to the same high school, same college, we got married one after the other, moved to the US so basically we have been friends and in touch for a major part of our lives. Over the past 25 years or so, she has progressively become more and more frustrated and depressed with life. And one would think that she has faced insurmountable difficulties or something and tragedies all her life. That is so not the case.
If you look at her on paper, she is a Chartered Accountant, she is a merit holder CPA here, she is smart, she is talkative, she has an extremely loving-fun loving-friendly husband, her in laws are quite nice, her mother in law is proud of her, she has a younger brother, parents, friends......would you say she is lacking in anything? She has really not faced anything earth shaking or horribly painful in her life apart from the usual stuff that millions of others face.
But fast forward to today, and here she is at 33, quit her job, stays at home all day and even on the weekends, doesnt pick up the phone, doesnt talk to her friends, sends her husband away even on her birthday, has put on a lot of weight, her family still thinks that she is working and all is well with her.
I don't understand depression. When I am depressed, I am incapable of doing anything. I will sulk on the sofa and sigh like Meena Kumari. She has met all her milestones successfully, managed to hold down good jobs, get promotions, study for and pass difficult exams, get married to a good dude. Depression has never gotten in her way. Some days I feel like she gets depressed at her convenience.
I remember this one time when we were studying for our tenth standard exams; she told me over the phone that she was depressed and felt like killing herself. So I ran over with my books - I was always a last minute crammer and hadn't finished studying. She, on the other hand, had not only studied the entire material but had finished revising it twice!! So while she sat and sighed and looked pitifully outside, I sat next to her and desperately studied. Doesn't it seem like a case of "An empty mind is the Devil's workshop"?
Anyways she will never commit suicide, that I am sure of, and she has also told us. But I dont like how she is wasting her life sitting at home all day, locking herself up, even on weekends, her husband goes out by himself while she continues to stay home. I have a cousin who passed away at 30 of blood cancer. So what she is doing to herself is frustrating me. What wouldn't his family/or he have given to trade places with her? He was so full of life and life was so cruelly snatched away from him. There are so many things you can do in this life - if you dont want to work, volunteer! There is an unending list of volunteer opportunities and relatively fewer people who can give so much of their time and efforts. Why does she always look at the glass as half empty? Is she being fair to her husband by destroying every shred of their married life together?
She never wanted to have children but her husband adored them so they tried to get pregnant; unsuccessfully, and now she has added that to her list of things she doesnt have. But you never ever wanted kids in the first place and fought your husband for years on it. Have you forgotten it? My sister has fertility issues too, but she is diverting her energies somewhere else and is staying happy and content.
I dont know what to do with her or how to help her. We have told her over and over, pleaded with her to get some medical help. I don't agree with her husband's approach of "Leave her alone, she will come out of it". She hasn't come out of it for 25 years, how do you expect a miracle overnight?
Well sad to see youth wasted this way, instead of being grateful for this healthy life that God bestowed upon us, why is she spending her time moping away! How can I help her? Or does she even want to be helped?