My heart goes out to all who are worried about a loved one experiencing depression-especially in the beginning, that place where they’re hurting a lot and the medication hasn’t kicked in. They want to feel better-QUICK! And we want them to.
Depression is awful. I’ve been there and don’t ever want to go back. But it’s almost as painful watching someone you love go through it. I’ve been there a lot, too.
So if you’re the one “watching” rather than the one “experiencing”, my heart is with you today.
You have to be as patient as the “patient”. Don’t give up. If you do, they might. Don’t hover but don’t walk away. Empathize but don’t sympathize. Let them talk about it but change the subject when it turns to rumination, which it usually does.
Have expectations of them but at the same time if you can relieve them of some tasks, do so.
Most of all, remember- they are truly ill. It’s not something they asked for anymore than a diabetic asked to have diabetes.Do NOT try to minimize their suffering. I can tell you emphatically if you’ve never been seriously depressed, you have no clue as to the pain they are feeling. God forbid you ever get there yourself.
And while you’re at it, don’t pat yourself on the back. I can almost guarantee you have a number of other “issues”. The stigma associated with any mental illness is truly appalling. And the truth?
People that experience depression are usually highly intelligent, emotionally in touch with themselves, sensitive to others, creative, and all around good people. Can I just say, selfish, self-centered, shallow people almost never get depressed.
Depressed people should not be defined by their illness. Depression isn’t who they are, it’s what they “have”. To characterize a person one- dimensionally because of an illness or disability, is an affront.
So hang in there if you’re the caregiver. It’s not your fault. You can no more give someone depression than you can the flu. Let go of the guilt and find some acceptance and love for yourself.
God bless. I’m there with you and have lifted you up in prayer.