Depression: What Helps (Instead of Advice)
If you're one of the millions of people who suffers from depression, you know the challenges are significant. The demands that our professional lives make of us when we are in this state are substantial and they can be hard to endure. However, many people with depression find the biggest challenges are at home.
You can't pull yourself out of it
These challenges at home include participating in family life, socialising and helping out around the house. All these are hard enough but for many the most significant challenge is trying to get your partner or family to understand that you can't pull yourself out of it.
Instead, you get told you'd be less depressed if you went for a walk / got out of bed / ate properly /spent time with your friends / cleaned up your room a bit / went to the movies / showered more frequently / read this great book / listened to this helpful tape / tried harder in therapy / drank less / drank more / stopped thinking the same thoughts / let go of the past / spent some time outside / stopped thinking of yourself all the time / manned up / thought of the kids for once ….
… and an endless list of other things. And there is a level of truth to this as well – if you did do some of these things chances are you may feel less depressed because of the changes in brain chemistry that would happen. But this is the whole point – you can't do these things, and you can't do these things because you're depressed.
If you could, you wouldn't be as depressed as you are. Depression stops you doing the things that would make you less depressed.
Three things that will help
Instead, perhaps the first thing you may well need is some understanding that depression is a serious and debilitating problem; an understanding that shows that you aren't expected to do normal things. Secondly, you may need some more extensive help. There are a range of services that can help with depression. These include antidepressant medication and help from a mental health professional. Thirdly, you and the people close to you need to understand that it is going to take some time to get back on your feet.
– Tim Hill
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