Rhyme Of The Ancient Wanderer (Support for Dysthymia, BPD, and Depression)
Dealing with depression in a friend or family member.


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Really good advice for family that means well but doesn't know what to do.

Dealing with depression in a friend or family member

Depression is no joke. Especially, these days when there is ample scientific evidence about the onsets of depression and the seriousness of its causes and effects. It may be difficult to deal with someone close who is suffering. Much patience, tact, and empathy are required to soften the blows for the depressed person.

Rule #1:

DO NOT advise a depressed person with the following phrases and words:

Snap out of it, Oh, it will pass,, Everyone gets blue now and then,, Why do you get SO down in the dumps?, Lighten up, and so forth and so on...

The list is endless with similar cliches, which are often what depressed people have to hear from society and from their families and friends. This is very dangerous to the depresssed person. It is also very frustrating, because the depressed are aware that others are not seeing things through the glasses that they are consistently seeing things through, so communication proves to be very difficult. Identifying with a depressed person may also be difficult for the normal, as well. The depressed need people to identify with them and what they are going through.

Rule #2:

Do not try to take over the wheel on the depressed persons life. Just because that person is feeling either overwhelmed, incapable, or extremely frustrated doesnt make them a lazy or unguided person. This is a tough call, because the depressed do not desire to be bossed around or watched like a hawk as a result of their illness. And it is a legitimate illness. Sometimes, just healing, support and some confidence or kind words work in place of trying to reconstruct the persons life for them, because often, they cannot at the expense of the depression and their dulled desires, goals, hopes and even thoughts (especially pertaining to themselves).

Rule #3:

If it is a must to give advice to the depressed person, give it in the form of some options, which the person can choose from if they wish. Many times a personal reference, such as a new doctor, medicine, or support group is appreciated. Activities may not always be the answer, as the depressed cannot will themselves into social situations requiring a lot of effort and talking about oneself. Sports may also be tough to get the depressed to participate in, as energy and fatigue are often factors that continually drag and drain the depressed. But, if the person feels ambitious enough and walking or something light form of exercise is the answer for them, then so be it. It is scientifically proven that exercise helps to alleviate the symptoms of depression for some people, but it is often stated that it should not be used as a replacement for drugs or counseling.

Other Advice:

Certain types of psychotherapy have been known to help certain individuals, whether it be support groups, one on one, or the use of a personal friend or guider; even spiritual support is highly recommended. Alternative forms of therapy such as yoga, vitamins, or homeopathy have recently taken shape in the medical field and may help relieve symptoms of depression.

Written by Rachel Ricucci

Title: Dealing with depression in a friend or family member
Description: Dealing with depression doesn't have to be impossible. Depression is a serious medical illness which can be treated. Oftentimes, it is a chronic and ongoing illness, which causes frustration in family, friends and co-workers.

Added October 22nd, 2001.

This information is not intended to replace "traditional" mental health therapy. If you have questions or concerns about your physical and/or mental health ... contact your family physician and/or mental health professional in your area.