My sister was prompted by a post about someones anxiety and depression to share her own tale. In her story, she said "I truly believe that once you have been to the dark place that it is very very easy to get back there." And I find that very true.
Imagine this: You drive to work every day by the same route. There is nothing special about it. There are stoplights, and side streets, and homes and businesses but they are simply objects you pass. You may or may not take notice of them.
Now imagine this: You're driving around town and you have a horrible accident or some other traumatic experience. You realize that the location of this incident is on one of the side streets you pass by or in front of one of the buildings you pass. From then on (or at least for a very long time), every time you pass that street or look at that building, all you can think is that just down that street or just in front of that building is where that bad thing happened. And it makes you nervous. And maybe you feel like you can't breathe. And maybe you start to shake. And maybe it bothers you all day. And maybe you wonder how you can possibly handle driving by there on your way home because it's the only way you can go. You have to drive by there.
Scene one is like those who have never experienced depression or anxiety or have only seen it from the outside. They are unable to understand what the big deal is about a street or a building or "the dark place."
Scene two is a view from the inside. Sometimes you know how to avoid the dark place. Sometimes you can't help it. Sometimes you see something that reminds you but is nowhere near the dark place but your mind takes you there anyway.
There are varying levels of depression and mental illness. Some of us never have to deal with it or can simply "shake it off" but others get trapped by it.
I don't know exactly why I wrote this. I don't even know where I'm going with it. Maybe I'm just trying to make you understand what it's like for that friend, relative or family member. Maybe I'm just trying to tell you that I understand what tortures you and to tell you you're not alone.