In our overly connected society, we may often confuse connectivity with connection, human connection that is. Commenting, texting, reposting, and retweeting have become substitutes for communication and we often erroneously use these to gauge the status of a relationship. That can be dangerous, because the truth is, so much gets overlooked when scrolling through our feeds. Sometimes it’s either way too apparent that a friend is suffering from depression or anxiety[i] and we are quick to catalogue them as “dark”. Other times, our friends become experts at curating their lives to showcase a surreal perfection, and the easiest thing is for us to believe that they are alright.
So, you notice your friend is feeling the blues, the reds, and every color in between. What can you do if you suspect a close friend may be experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety?
Many times, the year 2015 felt as though the world was coming up for air. The overall mood was often fast, chaotic, and overwhelming. Personally, if I had to describe my mood in 2015 I would say it felt as though I were having a 365 day panic attack. This mood was self-imposed at times, other times as a side-effect of the detriment of the society in which live. Like many, I have come to realize that I need to create a different approach. Therefore, while many were popping champagne and setting themselves up for failure in the form of euphoric resolutions, I have been working on welcoming a more tranquil and serene beginning.
I’ve done some pretty scary things in my life. I ran off a mountain in Venezuela’s Colonia Tovar to set in motion a paragliding tour in the skies under which I was born. I’ve white water rafted down the Class IV Sarapiqui River in Costa Rica…without knowing how to swim. More than once, I have spoken in front of an audience of over 3,000 people. And while I thoroughly enjoyed the combination of adrenaline and panic, I’d never really ever been scared. I attribute this fearlessness to the upbringing I have had.