Depression is one of the most helpless and frustrating experiences a person can have. It’s sometimes feeling sad, sometimes feeling empty. Sometimes feeling absolutely nothing at all. There are times when depression can leave someone feeling paralyzed in their own mind and body, unable to do the things they used to love to do or the things they know they should be doing. Depression isn't just a bad day or a bad mood and it’s not something someone can just “get over.”Remember no one chooses to be depressed.
Its easy to tell someone these things because you think youre giving them a solution or a simple way to make them feel better and to ease their pain. These kinds of phrases always come across as empty, insulting. Essentially meaningless.
Saying these phrases to them only create more tension within, making them feel as though theyre inadequate. Like youre not acknowledging what theyre going through by trying to put a band aid on a much larger issue. They understand you’re just trying to help but these words only make them feel worse. A silent hug can do so much more than using cliched sayings.
What you can say instead:
Avoid offering advice but instead just let them know you’re there for them and ask them questions to help guide them in discovering what could make them feel better.
People who suffer from depressionoften get frustrated with feeling like they’re a burden on other people. This causes them to isolate themselves and push away people they need the most, mentally exhausting themselvesfrom worrying about if they’re weighing their loved ones down with their sadness. If they become distant, just remember to let them know you’re still there. Don’t try to force them to hang out or talk about what’s going on if they don’t want to.
Just because someone deals with depression doesnt mean you've to cater to all of their needs or walk around eggshells when youre around them. Depressed people need to feel loved and supported but if it begins to create a negative impact on your life youre allowed to acknowledge this and figure out how to show them love and kindness withoutself-sacrificing.
In those moments of frustration it’s important to take a step back and look at how you can help the depressed person while also maintaining your own sense of happiness and fulfilment. Be patient. Talk to them about your concerns and explain the boundaries you need to create within your relationship. Find out something that works for both of you.
Constant exhaustion is a common side effect of depression. Just getting through the day can be an overwhelming and exhausting experience. They may seem and look totally fine one moment and in the next moment feel tired and have no energy at all, even if they’re getting plenty of sleep every night. This can result in them cancelling plans suddenly, leaving events early. Saying no to things altogether. Just remember it’s not about anything you did. It’s just one of the prevalent side effects of living with the disease.
When you've a loved one dealing with depression it can be difficult to understand what they’re going through and to consider how their sadness is a reflection of your relationship with them. If they need space or become distant don’t blame yourself and wonder how you could do things differently to heal them. Understand their depression isn't about you.
Telling someone you’re going to break up with them or not talk to them anymoreif they don’t get better isn't going to magically cure them of their illness. They won’t suddenly become the person you want them to be just because you’re tired of dealing with their problems. It’s a personal decision to walk away from someone if their issues become too much for you and your relationship with them. Thinking the ‘tough-love&rsquo. Approach will make them better is unrealistic and manipulative.
Many often assume people dealing with depression want to just be left alone. While there are may be times when they want their space, this doesn’t mean they want to face their fears completely alone. Offer to take them on a drive somewhere. Ask if they want to get coffee or a meal.One on one time where you can bring them out of their routine and where you two can connect can often mean everything for them. Reach out to them unexpectedly. Remind them they don’t have to do this alone.
When someone is going through a rough time we often want to share with them our own stories to let them know you’ve gone through something similar and can relate with their struggle. When you say something like, “oh yeah, this one time I was depressed too…&rdquo. It only makes them feel like you’re minimising their pain. Express empathy but don’t suppress their feelings. The greatest resource you can share with your friend is your ability to listen. That’s all they really need.
How are they really feeling and how are they coping with their depression? Suicidal thoughts are a common occurrence for depressed people and it’s okay to directly ask them ways they’re practising self-care and to come up with a safety plan for times when their depression becomes too overwhelming.
Offer to spend time with them once or twice a week to exercise, grocery shop. Hang out together. Ask if you can cook dinner with them and plan a friend date. One of the hardest parts of depression is feeling too exhausted tocook healthy meals. You can really help them out by cooking food they can store in their fridge or freezer for a later time.
In his book , author Eric G. Wilson explores the depths of sadness and how experiencing mental anguish can actually make us more empathetic, creative people. Although he explains the difference between depression and melancholia, he rejects the idea of inflated happiness our culture and society is obsessed with. Instead explains why we reap benefits from the darker moments in life. Wilson writes:
In a similar manner psychiatrist and philosopher, Dr. Neel Burton, discusses in hisTedx talkabouthow some of the most influential and important people in history have experienced depression. He explains the way our culture looks at and treats depression and howtraditional societies differ in their approach, seeing human distress asan indicator of the need to address important life problems, not a mentalillness.
It’s important to remember depression isn't something that should beconsidered shamefuland experiencing it doesn’t make someone weak or inadequate.
Read more: http://thoughtcatalog.com/koty-neelis/2015/04/13-things-to-remember-when-you-love-a-person-who-has-depression/
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