I am an author who focuses on faith and mental health issues, particularly depression, anxiety, and fluctuating moods. My blog (faithsignanddiy.com) focuses on these issues as well, with a little DIY thrown in now and then for some relief.
I’ve been reading a number of new blogs since yesterday. I don’t this often.
There is a reason.
Many times, it seems as though the comments are more of a rehashing of one’s symptoms and a general commiserating with each other. Very few times do I read that someone is actually working on getting better.
Depression is one of those illnesses where the line between “sharing” and “reinforcing” is so thin you can barely see it.
Let me explain.
It is very good to share our experience with others. But those “others” will almost always be someone we feel will understand because they, too, have or do suffer from depression. We don’t feel someone what hasn’t “been there” will understand. More importantly, we don’t want to share with someone who might give us advice we don’t want to hear.
What we end up doing is “rehashing” our illness over and over again. We say the same thing so often, we reinforce its power over us.
So how do you know when you’ve crossed over that almost invisible line?
I think there are two ways but they both require paying close attention to yourself.
The first way is to listen to yourself.
Is what you
Is what you’re saying pretty much verbatim what you’ve said to everyone? If so, you’re reinforcing your depression.
Next, listen to your body. Are you feeling better or feeling worse? If you’re feeling worse, then you are reinforcing your depression.
It’s important to share with someone who will listen empathetically but who will also lift you up in some way. It should also be someone that will be honest with you and if they were to offer you good advice, you would be willing to listen.
Remember that the person you are talking to the most is yourself. You hear every word you say and every time you use hopeless and helpless words to describe your depression, those words are circling right back to your own ears. You are actually reinforcing your depression.
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I have friends that suffer from depression. Some I simply listen to but always with a keen awareness of the direction of the conversation. If it gets to be the same thing over and over again, I might well change the subject knowing I’m doing them no good by letting them reinforce their depression. Others I listen and offer help.
There have been one or two times that I’ve severed a relationship. This was not done easily but I’ve learned that negative people can be destructive for me. And one-way relationships are no relationships at all.
I hope this helped you today.
God bless and have a good one.
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