I once saw an excellent article, questioning why we bring casseroles to sick friends, but never to someone who is depressed. Here is the thing, a casserole is probably the most practical and wise suggestion I have ever seen on how to help someone going through clinical depression. It is not unusual to feel that we don’t know how to help someone going through a dark night of the soul. So we distance ourselves. Try bringing a casserole. If you call a friend who is depressed, and suggest that you eat one together, and they reject you, that is okay. Take it anyway. Leave it on the front porch. Because when you are depressed, you forget how to cook. You have no energy to go to the store or even get in the car to go to the local drive through. Sometimes, you even forget how to eat. Just picking up the fork takes so much energy, you feel you can’t do it. This lack of nutrition compounds the situation, leading to a vicious cycle of decreased energy. But if someone leaves you a casserole, now you can’t let it go to waste, can you? And so the process of nutrition and self-care begins. Worst case scenario, they let the casserole go to waste. No biggie, they still know that someone cares, that they are important, and that you will be there for them. Priceless.
Here is a recipe for a “casserole” for helping someone who is depressed:
1 cup of good listening skills.
1 dash of practical advice (keep it to a minimum, and if they don’t have energy- do tasks for them or with them, with their permission of course)
3 teaspoons of patience.
A generous heaping of prayer.
That is all that you need! The simplest casserole ever!