Saturday, June 21, 2014

Critical Needs for Those with Depression; Three Types of People

     If this is your first visit to my blog, welcome.  You should know that I suffer from a depressive disorder.  It's genetic, my mother was depressed, my great grandmother was depressed, my dad had a few bouts with depression.  It's in my family and in my genes.  I take some medication, I work with my doctor, I try to eat right and take care of myself.  I still have depression.  I have prayed for healing and others have prayed over me.  I spent years denying it, I have tried to "get over it" and I still struggle.  I have written previous blogs on what depression feels like.  Depression is more common than anyone wants to admit, because often people don't want to admit they have it.  I was diagnosed the first time with my disorder and I blew it off.  I wouldn't even recognize the depression, I thought I was just angry.  I have joked that I have two moods, happy and angry, and I was angry.  I have learned that I was depressed and hid behind the anger.

     Over the years I've had advice from the qualified and the less than qualified.  People who want to help me, and people who want me to just get over it.  Over the years I have learned a few things that I want to share with you, if you have struggled or know someone who struggles.  Depression is real and people need help.  I need help and you need help.  If you don't think you need any help, then my friend you REALLY need help.  There are thee types of people that we come in contact in during the course of our lives, and they impact us when we are dealing with depression.  Let's take a look as these people and how to behave.

     First are the people who are clueless.  They haven't been depressed, they don't really understand depression but they are usually nice enough.  Sometimes they give well meaning advice like "you just need to get out into nature, you'll feel better".  They have no idea of the debilitating nature of depression, that making yourself get out of bed some days is a feat in itself.  They will smile and hug you and tell you if you need anything to call.  These people are ok to be around on good days.  During bad days, you may want to steer clear.  They are going to say things that show they are clueless, try to forgive them for this.  Many of them will be significantly younger or older than you.  They will tell you what helps them when they are sad.  That would be great if the problem was just that you were sad.  If they could tell you a way to increase your dopamine release and absorption, that would be helpful.  Unfortunately, they can't.

     The second group, these people are fixers.  Stay clear of these people as much as you can, you don't need them in your life.  Fixers are clueless and prideful and sometimes arrogant.  I wish they were few and far between, but they are common.  They are going to tell you why your depression is just you being selfish or weak or lazy.  They are going to list off all the reasons you shouldn't be depressed.  They have no idea why this is like telling a man with glasses on that he isn't near sighted, just too lazy to see.  That he shouldn't need glasses, there are plenty of carrots available.  These people for some reason made it their mission to destroy any sense of well being that those with depression have.  They will call you lazy and weak and sad-sack and other things that will make you mad and sad and annoyed.  They can't help you, but they can make things worth.  Don't be around these people.  You can even tell them that they are gasoline for the fire you call depression.  Tell them to leave you alone.  This is hard if this person is a family member, but if the goal is healing and recovery, you have to heal.  You can't heal a wound that keeps being cut open.  These people will destroy your soul.

     The last group is the people you need.  They get it, even if they have never been depressed.  These people understand you have limits and that you struggle each day to breathe and function.  They will help you, sometimes through prayer and kind words.  Some days they will come over, grab you, make you get up and go somewhere with them.  The best thing for me has been people who have made me go to lunch or fishing or even to the mall or the store.  Depression must be struggled against, you have to fight to keep it at bay, or it will overtake you and devour you.  Sometimes you need people to help drag out out of the pit, even if you don't like it.  These people can save your life.

I hope that you have thought of people to help you, and maybe even some you need to run away from.  Depression is real, it's difficult and it's painful.  Make sure you have the people in your life that you need and the people out of your life that will cause pain and suffering.  Praying for your journey.

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