If you know me in real life, you’d know that I say, “I’m tired” a lot. The typical responses are that I need to go to bed earlier, or I need to exercise more, or that I need to eat healthier. None of these are solutions to me being tired.

I am tired because I have depression and usually have no motivation or energy to do anything—including eating, showering, or even just getting out of bed to change my clothes. All small things that actually take a lot of effort for me to get done. Forcing me to do things makes it worse, and I feel more miserable and tired if I do things without energy. Sometimes, that’s not the case, but it usually is.

I sleep most of the days I have off, or I sleep as long as I can if I have work. When I go to work, I am exhausted. I don’t have energy to bus tables, and I certainly don’t have the motivation to talk to co-workers about why I’m tired. I don’t remember a time before I was tired. Tired is just a part of my personality and my being.

I’m not just tired from my depression, though. I’m tired from the way people treat me because of my disorders. I’m tired of being treated like a child and like I need someone to hold my hand constantly. Sometimes, I do need someone to help me and hold my hand, but most of the time I just need an extra push and some encouragement. Most of the time, I just need someone to tell me that one day I won’t be tired and that things will turn out OK.

If you know someone who says, “I’m tired” a lot, maybe that’s what he or she may need because maybe they have depression as well. It’s different for every person, so make sure you ask what he or she needs before trying to help. If they don’t know what they need, support and empathy are always a good go-to.