Advice on helping a person who's depressed

Discussion in 'Coping and Compassion' started by Philagoofy, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. Philagoofy

    Philagoofy <font color=purple>Guess my favorite dog!<br><font

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    If you live with someone who suffers from depression and/or chronic physical ailments, how do you keep your spirits up? If you are healthy and things are okay otherwise, do you feel guilty or feel like you are being unsympathetic around the person who is always sick if you go about your day and do things that you enjoy? Not that the ailing person wants you to be morose with them and they'd probably want you to be happy, but how do you be happy when they have one problem after another.

    I know there are a lot of people with problems and everyone handles their problems differently, but if your loved one is not that mentally happy to begin with and not that strong and every new problem gets them down, does that affect you to where you are down alot also? Or do you just act happy all of the time and try to seem strong even when new problems keep arising. I feel like I'd be kind of dismissing or not taking their problems too seriously if I acted like that. Maybe I need to show my concern but not keep dwelling on it continuously and try to get the person not to dwell on it. But if they always feel lousy and it's been going on for years & years, I've gotten to the point where I don't bother saying "it'll get better" or "I'm sure everything will be ok". Not that I want to give up but I said those phrases so many times it doesn't sound convincing anymore.

    The person that I'm talking about has been going to many doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists/social workers, etc over the years, so it isn't as though they aren't trying to work on their problems.

    If you are the person who suffers from depression and or chronic ailments and are not that strong of a person (I don't mean physically strong), how do you want your loved ones to be around you. What can or do they do that helps you to keep going & keep your spirits up?

    I'm sorry if I'm rambling and not very clear or concise. And I know there are people with much worse problems. Sometimes I just get so tired though and feel there's nothing to look forward to. But I want to help and I don't really know what to do. Even after all these years and even after asking him what I can do.

    Thanks for any insight or help you can give.
     
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  3. ctl

    ctl Mouseketeer

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    I don't really have an answer, but I can send you a hug and let you know that you are very normal. Anyone who has to live with chronic depression gets tired of being the sympathetic ear all the time. I don't suppose it would do any good to be honest with the person who's always depressed and let them know how you feel? It sounds like your own happiness is being drained in the process of always being supportive. Do you have a support system where you can go talk it out and have someone listen to you for a change? You are a good and caring person, try not to feel guilty about being happy. Wish I could be of more help. Hugs.:grouphug:
     
  4. mommasita

    mommasita DIS VETERAN Moderator

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    Definitely a hard one to answer for me.

    I don't live with them. I DID. It is my mother who is now 67. A great woman, with huge issues, and I often think she creates them and plays them. But I am not a Dr, nor do I play one on TV.

    Getting back to your situation and questions. I wish I knew the answer. I seek therapy for myself now, because it was that or totally walk away, and having lived through my sister doing it, I could never abandon her. I have told her straight out, that I love her and would do anything short of putting MY family at stake. Now, we have come to that. So things are different. I have 2 teens who I don't want them to go down the road I did. I have choices now, and I am still there for my mother about 6x a day, I just won't allow myself to lose my responsibilities and myself for her.

    HAve you seeked anyone to talk to? I was A MESS until then. Wondering if I was simply being a terrible person, etc, etc. It honestly helps me to realize I am not, it is NOT my fault. There is nothing I can do to help it. And just a shoulder to listen to you.

    Hugs to you. IF anything or you need a friend. I am here:grouphug:
     
  5. lovemygoofy

    lovemygoofy DIS Veteran

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    My mother is a chronically depressed and Im her only child. Somedays it is hell on earth. I suffer from guilt because honestly after dealing with it all my life I just get mad. I tell her bluntly that she makes herself sick because it is the truth. We have come a LOOOOOOOONG way though and I do give her constant praise and encouragement. I do not wallow when she wants to wallow. She knows I don't want to hear it. I have a husband at war and work with families that their military person doesn't come home. Her problems are nothing compared to that and I have told her that.

    I do not coddle my mom as the others around her do. I suffer alot from guilt because I'm not very nice to her sometimes but she needs that kick in the *** honestly. Enabling does not get that person help. Most days my mom lives independtly and I live a thousand miles away. She is in the best years now as she can function and go about her life. This time last year she couldn't even think about walmart and would just sit and cry all the time. I have helped her with some coping programs and she does take medication and see a therapist. Does it always work? Not by a long shot but I tell her to dig her toes in and come up from the dark to be with me when she wants to be down in the dark.

    Is the right approach? I have no but it is what I and my mom need in my opinion. I have contstant contact with her therapist and doctors and they can tell when I've gave her a "kick" and when the others have just "loved on her." Either way I wonder everyday if I'm doing the right thing.
     
  6. Philagoofy

    Philagoofy <font color=purple>Guess my favorite dog!<br><font

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    Thanks to each of you for your caring & advice.

    Wishing the best to each of you and your families & a safe return to Mr. Lovemygoofy!
     

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