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resolve
@resolve

Posts: 11
Joined: Nov 23, 2017

How to support friends and family who support you

Posted by @resolve, Dec 13, 2017

I have major depression. It struck like mighty lightening without warning when I was fifty. As a healthcare provider and mother of five, my role of prioritizing the care of others became suddenly and drastically reversed. For many, depression does not leave politely through the back door after striking.

I am interested in learning about the experience of others as they manage the challenge of supporting those you love when you, yourself, are in such desperate need.

Liked by vsinn2000

REPLY

I feel exactly the same way. I am following your post and want to hear what others say. I have been this way for five years now starting on oxycodone rehab twice and I am in so much depression when I get off I can only go a couple of weeks and have to go back on. My family doesn’t understand except my husband. He sees the pain and suffering I am under when not on them. I have no life can’t eat throwing up etc. This all started with back surgery and now stomach issues.

Liked by vsinn2000, valb68

Hi, @resolve — that is an important aspect of depression–how to support your loved ones in the midst of your own condition. Thinking that @jimhd , @amberpep, @gman007, @alfalfa, @lilmac44 and @peach414144 might have some insights on this.

@resolve — is there anything that has helped you with this thus far?

@resolve, I appreciate your sensitivity to your family members while dealing with your own depression – how very thoughtful of you!

I believe a small step approach would work well in this situation. As you probably can think of a lot of things that you did prior to your depression, it must seem overwhelming to think that you would have to accomplish it all now. Perhaps, however, you can think of one supportive thing that you could do for each family member during the week or on an every other day basis. Like a word of praise for some good quality, buying or making a favorite food, leaving a small note of appreciation.

Perhaps small steps of support, love and kindness would be very meaningful to you and to your family members!

Teresa

this site is good for me because i can vent. there is no family for me and my friends are passing away with age. so sometimes when things are bad i thank you and this site for being here. the latest is: i have been wondering why i have been so very, very depressed lately. so i went hunting on the internet and realized “my anemia is worsening and this can contribute to the sadness.” it has never been this bad before. knowing what i am dealing with is a great help. tomorrow i will cook liver and onions with mashed potatoes. (and beets) have a nice evening to all. peach

@peach414144

this site is good for me because i can vent. there is no family for me and my friends are passing away with age. so sometimes when things are bad i thank you and this site for being here. the latest is: i have been wondering why i have been so very, very depressed lately. so i went hunting on the internet and realized “my anemia is worsening and this can contribute to the sadness.” it has never been this bad before. knowing what i am dealing with is a great help. tomorrow i will cook liver and onions with mashed potatoes. (and beets) have a nice evening to all. peach

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Peach,
I had no idea anemia could contribute. I have to admire your willingness to tackle liver and onions and beets! I do not have that much courage! I think you just scared my rbc count up a few points points! I hope it works for you and you have a better day tomorrow!
Vicky

@peach414144

this site is good for me because i can vent. there is no family for me and my friends are passing away with age. so sometimes when things are bad i thank you and this site for being here. the latest is: i have been wondering why i have been so very, very depressed lately. so i went hunting on the internet and realized “my anemia is worsening and this can contribute to the sadness.” it has never been this bad before. knowing what i am dealing with is a great help. tomorrow i will cook liver and onions with mashed potatoes. (and beets) have a nice evening to all. peach

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dear @vsinn2000 thank you for your confidence in me. i always enjoyed the holiday music and wondered why this year all of a sudden i started to cry. what is this? for me and perhaps for others it is a good thing to look up the illnesses in the doctors books for some possible answers. (this is for all the illnesses.) now i do not think i am going crazier than normal, now i know there is a reason for the all of a sudden crying. i will try to handle this without medicines. some how we must be strong. thank you.

Liked by Parus, vsinn2000

@lisalucier

Hi, @resolve — that is an important aspect of depression–how to support your loved ones in the midst of your own condition. Thinking that @jimhd , @amberpep, @gman007, @alfalfa, @lilmac44 and @peach414144 might have some insights on this.

@resolve — is there anything that has helped you with this thus far?

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I feel horrible about all the extra time, effort, and heartache I have put on my husband and friends. Anxiety and depression we have worked through for years. Adding cancer just upped the ante. I worry about overwhelming him because I know it hurts him to feel helpless when I’m in pain. So this is what I did. I called and talked to several of his good friends, asking that they reach out to me if they thought he was needing extra help. Bless them for stepping up. Then I started a closed group of close friends that I call updates. It simplifies keeping everyone current and gets some lively discussions going when we start flipping each other outlandish ways to cope. But all I have to do with that group is send out an s.os.that hubby needs a boost and he is immediately receiving supportive posts, offers of help and words of encouragement. I truly love my tribe! This virtual tribe has been there for both of us, recognizing when I need pulled up and realizing what great strides our marriage has taken through this process of diagnosis and treatment. The cancer education center has wonderful resources for caregivers and he is open to reading those. So it’s basically boiled down to reaching out. Trust in those you know truly care for you.

@resolve

I know that the relatively sudden onset of depression took us by surprise when I was 55 (I’m now 67). It debilitated me, and I had to apply for disability and retire. My wife said that every time she looked for me, I was in bed, instead of helping pack, getting ready to move. Our daughter came home to help us move, though I don’t remember the details.

I was in a post-suicide-attempt facility for six weeks, and I was in a deep, dark hole of depression for the next two or three years. I’m afraid I wasn’t much of a husband or father, and didn’t get much better for a few more years. My wife got pretty tired of being the caregiver, understandably.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve been trying to be attentive on purpose to my wife’s needs. Several years ago, she had surgery on a knee, and I started doing the kitchen cleanup. I still do that, and do much of the house cleaning. Sometimes depression puts some of the jobs on hold, but I get around to them before too long.

Other things I do are to put love notes on her pillow once in awhile, go out for supper when she’s too tired or having physical pain, go out for breakfast, which is something she likes, and go for a drive. I still feel guilty for imposing my depression on her, and for the stress I’ve caused by the times I attempted suicide.

I make an effort to mask the depression, and I don’t say anything about my chronic neuropathy pain, and I don’t ever say anything about any thoughts of wanting to die.

These are just some of the things I do to relieve the pressure of my depression on my wife. I’m trying to aim toward normalcy, I guess. I see a therapist weekly still. I wish I could end the depression, and my wife thinks that I should have figured it out by now. Those are her words, spoken to me a year or so ago. Depression and anxiety are surely not my choice.

I think we each have to find ways to reach out to our families that are meaningful to us.

Gotta go.

Jim

@lisalucier

Hi, @resolve — that is an important aspect of depression–how to support your loved ones in the midst of your own condition. Thinking that @jimhd , @amberpep, @gman007, @alfalfa, @lilmac44 and @peach414144 might have some insights on this.

@resolve — is there anything that has helped you with this thus far?

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Vicky, @vsinn2000

The virtual tribe you described sounds like a band of angels! How great – thanks for sharing your experiences with us.

Teresa

Liked by vsinn2000

@resolve I have battled an anxiety disorder for most of my adult life (currently 57) and after I became chronically ill, dependent on opiates for pain relief and isolated by disability and not working or driving, depression became a constant companion. It is less than all encompassing at times, but never far away. I don’t suppose that is what you would like to hear, but it is not nearly as dark and bleak as it was at one point. When I am at my lowest, I remember what my brother told me years ago (it is a family thing for us); “I did not wake every day previous to this feeling like this and I will not wake every day the rest of my life feeling this way”. It often takes treatment, wisdom from suffering, support, etc…, but for me, I have always come out of the depths to something better and more tolerable. I also believe that we place far more pressure on ourselves than others do. If I am able to do anything around the house, outside the house, or make any positive contributions, that is icing. I don’t have children at home, but there are still things I would like to do with them and my grands, but they understand that my absences are not from a decision to be absent and that my real desire would be exactly the opposite. I was very much an extrovert and loved meeting new people and conversing. Now I am only that in some small corner of my brain because I try to force my self into those activities and it doesn’t happen often. If I have any advice worthwhile, it is to be OK with doing nothing. My wife is a counselor and she said that was very important for me to understand; either physical and/or mental blocks are going to be too much of an obstacle on some days and you have to accept that; no one can get you to that place except yourself. Blessings, Gary

@gman007

@resolve I have battled an anxiety disorder for most of my adult life (currently 57) and after I became chronically ill, dependent on opiates for pain relief and isolated by disability and not working or driving, depression became a constant companion. It is less than all encompassing at times, but never far away. I don’t suppose that is what you would like to hear, but it is not nearly as dark and bleak as it was at one point. When I am at my lowest, I remember what my brother told me years ago (it is a family thing for us); “I did not wake every day previous to this feeling like this and I will not wake every day the rest of my life feeling this way”. It often takes treatment, wisdom from suffering, support, etc…, but for me, I have always come out of the depths to something better and more tolerable. I also believe that we place far more pressure on ourselves than others do. If I am able to do anything around the house, outside the house, or make any positive contributions, that is icing. I don’t have children at home, but there are still things I would like to do with them and my grands, but they understand that my absences are not from a decision to be absent and that my real desire would be exactly the opposite. I was very much an extrovert and loved meeting new people and conversing. Now I am only that in some small corner of my brain because I try to force my self into those activities and it doesn’t happen often. If I have any advice worthwhile, it is to be OK with doing nothing. My wife is a counselor and she said that was very important for me to understand; either physical and/or mental blocks are going to be too much of an obstacle on some days and you have to accept that; no one can get you to that place except yourself. Blessings, Gary

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@gman007

I like and appreciate your words and the advice your wife gave, Gary. Thanks for sharing.

Jim

@gman007

I agree with Jim that your wife’s words carry an important message. Your brother’s words also created an important image, ““I did not wake every day previous to this feeling like this and I will not wake every day the rest of my life feeling this way”.

It is important to remember that severe depression is not necessarily “forever.” Thanks for sharing those great words of wisdom.

Teresa

I truly hope severe depression is not forever-feels like it when I am there. No magic pills or skills.

I have been listening to Sheryl Sandberg’s “Option B” as I walk and her psychologist – a friend who was close to her husband and her – gave her the three P’s. 1. It is not Personal – you did nothing to cause this tragedy and could not have prevented it. 2. It is not Pervasive – it does not involve every part of your life and will do so only if you allow it. 3. It is not Permanent – this goes back to my point about every day prior to depression nor every day after will I feel this far down. Of course she was dealing with the sudden death of her husband and had massive resources that most of us don’t have, but the answers came from within and not from money, vacations, nannies, etc…My experience has been that grief, or loss of any kind has followed the pattern of depression. Unfortunately, I have not found that depression does not come back, but I believe the fact that you d=got through it once makes each successive time suck a little less; still horrible, but not quite as much so.

@gman007

I have been listening to Sheryl Sandberg’s “Option B” as I walk and her psychologist – a friend who was close to her husband and her – gave her the three P’s. 1. It is not Personal – you did nothing to cause this tragedy and could not have prevented it. 2. It is not Pervasive – it does not involve every part of your life and will do so only if you allow it. 3. It is not Permanent – this goes back to my point about every day prior to depression nor every day after will I feel this far down. Of course she was dealing with the sudden death of her husband and had massive resources that most of us don’t have, but the answers came from within and not from money, vacations, nannies, etc…My experience has been that grief, or loss of any kind has followed the pattern of depression. Unfortunately, I have not found that depression does not come back, but I believe the fact that you d=got through it once makes each successive time suck a little less; still horrible, but not quite as much so.

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Thank you @gman007

The points you have shared from “Option B” are very insightful. I was not familiar with Sheryl Sandberg but “googled” her work and see how she can inspire and help.

I especially like point 2. “It is not Pervasive – it does not involve every part of your life and will do so only if you allow it.”

I also agree that when you get through depression one time, it can make it easier to get through the succeeding episodes. It is sort of like seeing light at the end of the tunnel one time, will help assure you that there will light there again.

Teresa

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