How to support friends and family who support you

Posted by resolve @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.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Depression & Anxiety group.

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

REPLY

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.

REPLY
@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.

Jump to this post

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

REPLY

I tend to see role models in the business world, although they are all around us, but the way she tells of getting through her husband’s tragic passing is very real and works for those with little and those with a lot. The other thing that I find revealing to any of us who struggle with depression is that no amount of earthly material goods can protect us from tragedy and/or depression. Your foundation better be on something more lasting and stronger than that. I know what that something is for me and anyone who wonders about that can PM me.

REPLY
@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

Jump to this post

Peach,
For me, information is confidence building. Learning to is 24/7/365. Teaching yourself to let your emotions out, instead of holding them in and getting more depressed is a good thing. Even something as simple as a song that triggers tears can help relieve some emotional pressure. When frustration has me ready to explode, I have several songs that will move me to tears almost immediately. The sentiment that goes with them is such a strong reminder of loved ones I’ve lost, that it’s cathartic to cry along with the memories those songs bring. Just keep learning and trying new things. You’ve got this!

REPLY

The problem is others read info online and think they are experts and try to tell me how to live my life. Besides, one cannot believe everything read online, in books, said by others, etc. Too much education can lead to more problems and snide comments.

REPLY
In reply to @resolve "@parus" + (show)
@resolve

@parus
I agree with you completely about non-experts who may post I a way that makes a reader assume they are experts. That is how news reporting, in general, has changed the way we get the news.

My request was about the experience people with behavioral health issues deal with supporting the very people tat support them.

Everybody experiences and interprets the world differently (in using the works of depression). My hope s for soulful inquiry to the question posed and ine’s personal experience or observation of it. I am also grateful for references to information from people who are experts.

I believe the value of the posts are sharing personal experience. There are plenty of books to read.

REPLY
@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

Jump to this post

So true, Vicky, @vsinn2000

Sometimes you need to just to allow your tears to flow.

Teresa

REPLY

@resolve It seems I veered off the question. I apologize for doing so.

REPLY

Hi, @resolve — you’d talked about having major depression come on you suddenly and the challenges you’d seen with parenting and working in the healthcare field to meet their needs when you were facing significant needs of your own. Wondering how things are going with your depression and also with your work and home life in the midst of that?

REPLY

I do not share how severe my depression is with family or friends. Rejection would be their answer. My youngest sister once threatened to have me locked up in a state hospital. I was not suicidal. She does not understand depression and it is not her fault. I do need to be locked a way. She has POA of my medical. I no longer speak with her. Anything negative is “toxic”. She saw a therapist that told her to avoid negative people in her life. It works for her. Her definition of negative is different than mine. People who do not live in nice houses and have money are toxic. There are people like this…
Major depression is something I have learned is best not discussed with family. There is nothing they can do. I “get it”.

REPLY
Please sign in or register to post a reply.
  Request Appointment