In school, we were always taught briefly about the butterfly effect and its general definition. Often, we used it as a common vocabulary word in our essays for US History, a class the majority of us dreaded. However, recognizing the importance of the butterfly effect can, well… lead to greater outcomes, hence the definition.
However, if you’re not familiar with the butterfly effect, here is the basis:
The Butterfly Effect: The idea that small causes have large and potentially everlasting effects.
This concept could apply to plenty things in life, but the focal point of the message that I’m putting across today is the butterfly effect within isolation and depression, or treating it, rather.
Although plenty of people do not feel this way, I cannot sleep at night knowing that I could have been the one person to provide support for another, yet I completely missed the opportunity. As someone who once felt completely isolated and spent just about every night in tears under her sheets due to depression, anxiety, and insomnia, I know personally that having even one person at that moment would have changed everything. Fortunately, I gathered the strength to climb out of my comfort zone and reach out for help to hopefully save myself from a downwards spiral, and I eventually found that one person, who led me to all of the friends I have today. However, the amount of victims of bullying and those who feel completely isolated or like a burden to society is absolutely heart-wrenching. Thus, here is how you can be the one cause to create greater–and more positive–effects.
Before I begin, please keep in mind that I am in no way saying that mental disorders have ultimate solutions or “cures.” The following are just some things to consider when somebody reaches out.
When you see someone acting out of it or even bluntly reaching out for help, do NOT ignore it. The words of care can change how that person thinks, and though it may not be completely, it’d still be a step in the right direction. Be an easy person to talk to, and do not judge the person, no matter how concerning their words may sound. Depression occurs more on the inside than the outside, so you can’t interpret a person’s mental health from their appearance (I promise you, as someone who went through this exact situation, being brushed off for not “looking” depressed is extremely dangerous). Always be the first person to step forward and provide support. Not everybody will be willing to talk, but never step away.
Though those tips may help, never believe that depression works the same for everyone, as that is nothing but ignorance. An important factor in helping others is to end the ignoring of their cries for help and provide that care. Always speak up, regardless of how “cliche” that may sound. There is no “cure” to mental disorders (and if you believe that there is, I recommend that you do your research and educate yourself), but treatment is crucial.
Remembering all of the above can help someone’s future to shape out to be more positive than you think, which is where the butterfly effect comes into play. Some people just need that one person, and more people need to begin considering that NOW.