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      National Mental Health Awareness Month, 2016   05/01/2016

      Proclamation 9433 of April 28, 2016 National Mental Health Awareness Month, 2016 A Proclamation Nearly 44 million American adults, and millions of children, experience mental health conditions each year, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress. Although we have made progress expanding mental health coverage and elevating the conversation about mental health, too many people still do not get the help they need. Our Nation is founded on the belief that we must look out for one another—and whether it affects our family members, friends, co-workers, or those unknown to us—we do a service for each other when we reach out and help those struggling with mental health issues. This month, we renew our commitment to ridding our society of the stigma associated with mental illness, encourage those living with mental health conditions to get the help they need, and reaffirm our pledge to ensure those who need help have access to the support, acceptance, and resources they deserve. In the last 7 years, our country has made extraordinary progress in expanding mental health coverage for more people across America. The Affordable Care Act prohibits insurance companies from discriminating against people based on pre-existing conditions, requires coverage of mental health and substance use disorder services in individual and small group markets, and expands mental health and substance use disorder parity policies, which are estimated to help more than 60 million Americans. Nearly 15 million more Americans have gained Medicaid coverage since October 2013, significantly improving access to mental health care. And because of more than $100 million in funding from the Affordable Care Act, community health centers have expanded behavioral health services for nearly 900,000 people nationwide over the past 2 years. Still, far too few Americans experiencing mental illnesses do not receive the care and treatment they need. That is why my most recent Budget proposal includes a new half-billion dollar investment to improve access to mental health care, engage individuals with serious mental illness in care, and help ensure behavioral health care systems work for everyone. Our Nation has made strong advances in improving prevention, increasing early intervention, and expanding treatment of mental illnesses. Earlier this year, I established a Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Task Force, which aims to ensure that coverage for mental health benefits is comparable to coverage for medical and surgical care, improve understanding of the requirements of the law, and expand compliance with it. Mental health should be treated as part of a person's overall health, and we must ensure individuals living with mental health conditions can get the treatment they need. My Administration also continues to invest in science and research through the BRAIN initiative to enhance our understanding of the complexities of the human brain and to make it easier to diagnose and treat mental health disorders early. One of our most profound obligations as a Nation is to support the men and women in uniform who return home and continue fighting battles against mental illness. Last year, I signed the Clay Hunt SAV Act, which fills critical gaps in serving veterans with post-traumatic stress and other illnesses, increases peer support and outreach, and recruits more talented individuals to work on mental health issues at the Department of Veterans Affairs. This law will make it easier for veterans to get the care they need when they need it. All Americans, including service members, can get immediate assistance by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or by calling 1-800-662-HELP. During National Mental Health Awareness Month, we recognize those Americans who live with mental illness and substance use disorders, and we pledge solidarity with their families who need our support as well. Let us strive to ensure people living with mental health conditions know that they are not alone, that hope exists, and that the possibility of healing and thriving is real. Together, we can help everyone get the support they need to recover as they continue along the journey to get well. NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 2016 as National Mental Health Awareness Month. I call upon citizens, government agencies, organizations, health care providers, and research institutions to raise mental health awareness and continue helping Americans live longer, healthier lives. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-eighth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.  
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Lindsay

For Relatives and Friends-How to Help a Depressed Person

47 posts in this topic

Posted

For Relatives and Friends

How to Help a Depressed Person

The most important thing anyone can do for the depressed person is to help him or her get an appropriate diagnosis and treatment. This may involve encouraging

he most important thing anyone can do for the depressed person is to help him or her get an appropriate diagnosis and treatment. This may involve encouraging the individual to stay with treatment until symptoms begin to abate (several weeks), or to seek different treatment if no improvement occurs. On occasion, it may require making an appointment and accompanying the depressed person to the doctor. It may also mean monitoring whether the depressed person is taking medication. The depressed person should be encouraged to obey the doctor's orders about the use of alcoholic products while on medication.

The second most important thing is to offer emotional support. This involves understanding, patience, affection, and encouragement. Engage the depressed person in conversation and listen carefully. Do not disparage feelings expressed, but point out realities and offer hope. Do not ignore remarks about suicide. Report them to the depressed person's therapist. Invite the depressed person for walks, outings, to the movies, and other activities. Be gently insistent if your invitation is refused. Encourage participation in some activities that once gave pleasure, such as hobbies, sports, religious or cultural activities, but do not push the depressed person to undertake too much too soon. The depressed person needs diversion and company, but too many demands can increase feelings of failure.

Do not accuse the depressed person of faking illness or of laziness, or expect him or her "to snap out of it." Eventually, with treatment, most depressed people do get better. Keep that in mind, and keep reassuring the depressed person that, with time and help, he or she will feel better.

source: National Institute of Health Publication No. NIH-99-3561

Understanding Your Own Feelings Towards a Depressed Person

Taking care of a depressed person is often very stressful and frustrating. Many who are close to a depressed person have tried everything they know in order to get the person to seek help. They have also struggled with trying to make things better for the depressed person, often to the point of their own exhaustion. Sometimes, caretakers become depressed themselves as they find that their efforts have made little difference. Family and friends of depressed people miss the former person they knew. They see the dark cloud of depression not only affecting the person's life, work and family, but they see it eating away at their own relationship as well.

Those who are close to a depressed person often struggle with their own feelings toward the person. Feelings of concern, frustration, and fear combined with futile efforts to make things better can lead to stronger feelings of anger, helplessness, despair, resentment, and guilt. Please know that these feelings are very normal. No one can make another person get help for depression, and no one can take away another person's depression.

People who are depressed may behave in ways that are uncharacteristic for them when they are not depressed. It is not uncommon for a depressed person to be irritable, angry, argumentative, withdrawn, unmotivated, lethargic, and self-defeating. They may say things that are hurtful, harsh, irrational, or unusual. For those who are not depressed, these behaviors are hard to understand and very difficult to bear.

As a relative or friend of a depressed person you should pay attention to your own feelings. If you find that you are feeling overwhelmed, overly frustrated, depressed, anxious, exhausted, or guilty, then it is time to start taking better care of yourself. You cannot help another person if you are struggling yourself.

Taking Care of Yourself

Please keep these things in mind:

Your feelings and reactions are normal. Friends and family of those who are depressed experience a range of emotions, from compassion and empathy to anger, frustration, and even hatred. These feelings can be expected since it is very difficult not to take personally a depressed person's behaviors. A depressed person's life is being negatively affected by depression, but so is yours.

You don't have to be alone. Dealing with depression on your own can be a lonely and isolating task. Your friends may not understand, yet you need the support of others. Depression is a common illness, and there are many others who also have a depressed person in their lives. You may wish to join a support group and connect with others who understand your struggles.

It's not your fault. It is not uncommon for family and friends of depressed people to feel guilty or wonder if they hold some responsibility for another person's depression. Depression does not occur because of anything you say or do. Depression is a medical condition, like diabetes or heart disease, that needs to be treated.

Your feelings will change with time. Family and friends of depressed people go through various emotional phases. Initial reactions include disbelief or denial. It may seem that depression will just magically go away if it goes unacknowledged. After some time, people may experience some anger or resentment that life as they know it has changed. People also may feel grief that the person they once knew seems lost to them. After a depressed person seeks treatment and begins to feel better, family and friends often feel relieved and lucky or blessed that things are improving again.

Don't lose hope. Depression is a very treatable illness! Psychotherapy and/or medication have been shown to be quite effective. Eighty percent or more of those who seek help for treatment can feel better within several weeks.

Take good care of yourself. You will need to set boundaries and limits on how much you can and will do. this is a healthy and necessary thing to do. It is okay to take a vacation from caretaking once in a while. Schedule time for yourself and do things that bring you enjoyment and satisfaction. This is not being "selfish," it is being healthy and compassionate towards yourself. You may also choose to seek counseling in order to have a place to process and manage your own feelings.

LonelyHiker and labrat47 like this

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Posted

For Relatives and Friends

How to Help a Depressed Person

The second most important thing is to offer emotional support. This involves understanding, patience, affection, and encouragement. Engage the depressed person in conversation and listen carefully. Do not disparage feelings expressed, but point out realities and offer hope. Do not ignore remarks about suicide. Report them to the depressed person's therapist. Invite the depressed person for walks, outings, to the movies, and other activities. Be gently insistent if your invitation is refused. Encourage participation in some activities that once gave pleasure, such as hobbies, sports, religious or cultural activities, but do not push the depressed person to undertake too much too soon. The depressed person needs diversion and company, but too many demands can increase feelings of failure.

Do not accuse the depressed person of faking illness or of laziness, or expect him or her "to snap out of it." Eventually, with treatment, most depressed people do get better. Keep that in mind, and keep reassuring the depressed person that, with time and help, he or she will feel better.

Thank you Lindsay,

I will print this and put it on my coffee table so the next time I feel ignored about my depression or pressured into doing things I am not ready for, I will have this person read this first!!

Sarah-nicole

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Posted

For Relatives and Friends

How to Help a Depressed Person

The most important thing anyone can do for the depressed person is to help him or her get an appropriate diagnosis and treatment. This may involve encouraging

he most important thing anyone can do for the depressed person is to help him or her get an appropriate diagnosis and treatment. This may involve encouraging the individual to stay with treatment until symptoms begin to abate (several weeks), or to seek different treatment if no improvement occurs. On occasion, it may require making an appointment and accompanying the depressed person to the doctor. It may also mean monitoring whether the depressed person is taking medication. The depressed person should be encouraged to obey the doctor's orders about the use of alcoholic products while on medication.

The second most important thing is to offer emotional support. This involves understanding, patience, affection, and encouragement. Engage the depressed person in conversation and listen carefully. Do not disparage feelings expressed, but point out realities and offer hope. Do not ignore remarks about suicide. Report them to the depressed person's therapist. Invite the depressed person for walks, outings, to the movies, and other activities. Be gently insistent if your invitation is refused. Encourage participation in some activities that once gave pleasure, such as hobbies, sports, religious or cultural activities, but do not push the depressed person to undertake too much too soon. The depressed person needs diversion and company, but too many demands can increase feelings of failure.

Do not accuse the depressed person of faking illness or of laziness, or expect him or her "to snap out of it." Eventually, with treatment, most depressed people do get better. Keep that in mind, and keep reassuring the depressed person that, with time and help, he or she will feel better.

source: National Institute of Health Publication No. NIH-99-3561

Understanding Your Own Feelings Towards a Depressed Person

Taking care of a depressed person is often very stressful and frustrating. Many who are close to a depressed person have tried everything they know in order to get the person to seek help. They have also struggled with trying to make things better for the depressed person, often to the point of their own exhaustion. Sometimes, caretakers become depressed themselves as they find that their efforts have made little difference. Family and friends of depressed people miss the former person they knew. They see the dark cloud of depression not only affecting the person's life, work and family, but they see it eating away at their own relationship as well.

Those who are close to a depressed person often struggle with their own feelings toward the person. Feelings of concern, frustration, and fear combined with futile efforts to make things better can lead to stronger feelings of anger, helplessness, despair, resentment, and guilt. Please know that these feelings are very normal. No one can make another person get help for depression, and no one can take away another person's depression.

People who are depressed may behave in ways that are uncharacteristic for them when they are not depressed. It is not uncommon for a depressed person to be irritable, angry, argumentative, withdrawn, unmotivated, lethargic, and self-defeating. They may say things that are hurtful, harsh, irrational, or unusual. For those who are not depressed, these behaviors are hard to understand and very difficult to bear.

As a relative or friend of a depressed person you should pay attention to your own feelings. If you find that you are feeling overwhelmed, overly frustrated, depressed, anxious, exhausted, or guilty, then it is time to start taking better care of yourself. You cannot help another person if you are struggling yourself.

Taking Care of Yourself

Please keep these things in mind:

Your feelings and reactions are normal. Friends and family of those who are depressed experience a range of emotions, from compassion and empathy to anger, frustration, and even hatred. These feelings can be expected since it is very difficult not to take personally a depressed person's behaviors. A depressed person's life is being negatively affected by depression, but so is yours.

You don't have to be alone. Dealing with depression on your own can be a lonely and isolating task. Your friends may not understand, yet you need the support of others. Depression is a common illness, and there are many others who also have a depressed person in their lives. You may wish to join a support group and connect with others who understand your struggles.

It's not your fault. It is not uncommon for family and friends of depressed people to feel guilty or wonder if they hold some responsibility for another person's depression. Depression does not occur because of anything you say or do. Depression is a medical condition, like diabetes or heart disease, that needs to be treated.

Your feelings will change with time. Family and friends of depressed people go through various emotional phases. Initial reactions include disbelief or denial. It may seem that depression will just magically go away if it goes unacknowledged. After some time, people may experience some anger or resentment that life as they know it has changed. People also may feel grief that the person they once knew seems lost to them. After a depressed person seeks treatment and begins to feel better, family and friends often feel relieved and lucky or blessed that things are improving again.

Don't lose hope. Depression is a very treatable illness! Psychotherapy and/or medication have been shown to be quite effective. Eighty percent or more of those who seek help for treatment can feel better within several weeks.

Take good care of yourself. You will need to set boundaries and limits on how much you can and will do. this is a healthy and necessary thing to do. It is okay to take a vacation from caretaking once in a while. Schedule time for yourself and do things that bring you enjoyment and satisfaction. This is not being "selfish," it is being healthy and compassionate towards yourself. You may also choose to seek counseling in order to have a place to process and manage your own feelings.

All too often I hear of people being diagnosed with various disorders, depression, schizophrenia, etc,.without a thorough medical exam. If these are actual diseases, how can one get to that diagnoses without a thorough med exam?

I have also heard that there is a direct link to depression and B vitamin deficiancy. Heck, I'd rather try a vitamin first. In my humble opinion, one should first have a thorough medical exam. Not long ago my aunt went in to the hospital and she was having violent mood swings. Severe depression one day and mania the next. A resident psychiatrist diagnosed her with Bi Polar Disorder shortly after admission. She was stand-off-ish (if that's an actual word) toward psychotherapy and talked to her doctor who did a thorough make up on her including blood work, tox screen etc,. He found that she had a hyper thyroid. My point is that if she had not done what she did, she might have been put on a medication to mask a symptom.

To me, the best way to help someone who is depressed is to encourage them to get a complete medical exam before seeing a therapist. All too often I hear of people being diagnosed without this happening first and it disturbs me.

Warmly,

Albert

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Posted

I"m only a friend, i'm not a relative or a doctor..im just a friend who can do no more then talk to him and make suggestions and listen til my ears fall off...i've been depressed myself a few years ago but he wont listen to anything i try to tell him, how do i encourage him toleave his house and try to get back into the world, and that it really does help, even if he doesnt get involved with other people yet?

well...i wnet through about 2 years of depression years ago....i'm doing great now but i'm not on this forum for me....a friend of mine has been dealing with depression for quite some time now, and he comes to me a lot for help and im afriadi cant seem to show him anything...he's just been diagnosed and prescribed.i forgot to what medicine...and he just havs no interest in anything besides talking to me and listening to his music...when he working or trying to get his GED he sits around on his computer or playing video games by himself...im trying to show him that going out, even if just by himself, is better then sitting around the house...im just here to find out how to help him and maybe later recommend this forum for his own self benefit.

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Hi

I live with my boyfriend who has manic depression it took me 18 months to get him to admit he was and go to a doctor he is now on anti-depressants and just starting therapy for both depression and his Obsessive Compulsive Disorders. It is very hard sometimes but i do love him and want him to get better as i have proved by sticking with it for so long already. I sometimes look at him and feel hatred and i hate myself for that. We do go out for walks in the country but that is mainly due to having dogs but other than that he sits in the house playing computer games and never wants to go anywhere not even down the pub anymore. He is OK with a few friends round but that is it. I have my own hobbies so 2 nights a week i do get away from it and i think that is keeping me going.

Amanda x :hearts::shocked::bump:

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Thank you so much for this information. My wife is trying to help me with all my issues and she is having a terrible time trying to do so. We love each other so much and she says it is difficult to see me suffer. She says she wants me back to my old self. I printed this off and showed it to her and it seems to be helping, she is following some of these guidelines. It was difficult for me to try to explain how she could help and this was defintely and BIG help. Again, thanks! :hearts:

By the way if anybody wasn't aware, check out the NIMH website, it has a lot of valuable info on it and you can also order printed material from them.

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Posted

Thank you for posting this! One of the biggest problems I had in my most recent bought of depression, was the fact that my family/friends weren't sure what to do or how to help me. I'll print this out for them!

:hearts:

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Posted

THank you for this info.

It helps me to understand what a close one is feeling and going through.

It helps me understand not to take the hurtful outbursts personally.

It also teches me thats it takes time.

Something deffinaltey to print out and carry with me.

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What about the 20% that don't respond to medication? They just have to live their lives out being sad? I don't know, there may be something we didn't try, but last time I went to a psych he said I must be one of those people because we had tried all conventional avenues and now would have to begin to "think outside the box." We didn't get to that because shortly afterwards I was badly injured and had to take pain medicine for several months. So we agreed to postpone treatment ideas until other things improved. I am fairly well recovered and don't take anything for pain anymore but haven't followed up with that doctor again, either.

I'm so bummed about this. You know what I got for finally asking for help after twenty five plus years of low level depression? A black mark on my medical records that never goes away ("history of depression") and causes life insurance companies to quote me five times the normal rate. Unbelievable. As if I am now a suicide risk. Fortunately I am not now and never have been suicidal. But geez, it seems like asking for help was a mistake...

What should I do? Should I go back to the guy and see what else he suggests... find out what "outside of the box" means?

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Posted (edited)

I dont rely on medications to make me feel less depressed. All I need is an optimist person, who will encourage me to live and see everything positively..I need someone to listen and humour me. Pills are like sedative: you wake up a dn BINGO= life is stil the same!

For all the depressed people out there: YOU HAVE GOT ONLY CHANCE OF LIVING THIS LIFE IN YOUR OWN SPECIAL WAY: do not shed tears because of others, grab the chance, and mould it in your own nice manner...

Edited by KeepingAwake

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Posted

thank you Lindsay.

this is an excellent read and helps understand i think.

something i want to add, that i think could also - in certain situations - help a depressed person, or someone suffering with too much anxiety:

there can be - on top of the depression - "real problems" too, with the situations the depressed person has to cope with. they might not look like a big problem to a not-depressed person, but can be overwhelming for someone struggling with depression. and those "situational problems" can grow bigger if not dealt with, worsening the situation, and worsening the depression too. it can be a big relief to have help solving these problems. sometimes it can be as "small" as being too depressed or anxious to get outside and buy groceries, or get to the doc appointment, or too depressed even to get a letter posted. sometimes it can help when someone else will do these things or help to do it.

i don't mean to do everything for a depressed person and completely take responsibility for their life, this would NOT be good. but on some occasions it can be helpful some little practical help, like for instance offer to go get the mail from the mailbox and then sit there, be with them, while they open the letters and deal with the bills that are in the mail. it makes life more difficult when such 'everyday things' get out of hand.

don't know if this makes sense to you.

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Hi everyone,

I'm glad I found you all, because things are getting really bad and I don't know who to turn to for help.

Please bear with me because I really need to vent.

My boyfriend's depression is really wearing me thin. Emotionally, psychologically, physically. I read the books, I try to understand his situation (I've managed to get a semi-stable grip on my own for the past year now), I try to provide whatever possible to make life more bearable for him.

I listen to him when he wants to talk, when he pushes me away I give him space, when he hurts my feelings with mean-ness I keep telling myself that it's the depression talking/he's in pain and lashing out, the sudden mood changes I see EVERYDAY, holding my tongue as I figure out a non-aggravating response to questions he asks so as to not trigger anything that might start a fight, or him sulking in silence, or more often than not, direct it all to me as a target, the source of everything that's messed up in his world.

I literally carry a little notepad with "Rules" because I just want him to have a good day, at least when we're together. I mean, I know he loves me but it frustrates me that many times I don't think I make him happy. Not even a little bit. The world IS messed up, there are so many things that are wrong, and there are many things that can't be changed. But we all deal with it, and there are things that you can find in your life that will give you some reprieve, some relief, a blessed break, from the crap the world deals you.

He gives me that. Even in his worst days, when he hurts my feelings, attacks my principles and the things I like, when he brushes me off like I'm nothing - I tell myself that it's not who HE is, that the monster that has consumed him so much has won again that day.

I walk on eggshells and when he has his "good" moments things are awesome. He's a wonderful, sweet, caring, funny, loving guy - something many people haven't had the luck to see (most just get the s***ty side). The past six months though, I haven't seen much of the "nice" side myself.

I've stopped bringing my own problems home because I can't burden him with any more than he's already got to deal with. I know my own issues aren't as severe as his, I know I can't give him something else to worry about - and I don't want to get hurt if I came to him on my worst of days and get kicked aside. Sometimes I wish he'd think about me as well, even if for a little bit. I know it's selfish but there are days when my own feelings of depression will hit, HARD, and it's taken all my strength to plaster on a smile and shut up. He believes that his problems are worse than everyone else, that he's doomed to failure and unhappiness, and scariest of all - he's better off dead because there's nothing worth living for.

I wish he could see what I could see. His self-image is so distorted and his stranglehold on bad things in the past, has clouded his eyes on what he has now, what he is capable of, the things in his life that he could actually be happy about. But he's been so depressed for so long that he uses it to justify giving up or not even trying to make a change. A negative comfort spot, so to speak.

It's funny how loving someone can be so painful as well. It hurts to see him this way when all you want is to give him a little sunshine in his darkest moments. And it hurts more when he's being an a**hole and a jerk even when he doesn't really mean it.

Sorry this is so long but I really couldn't keep it in. Help me help him - please.

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Posted (edited)

oops

Edited by Lees

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hi Coudydays

I am new to this forum and i cant believe it...its almost like i have typed your post! I am going through exactly the same as you are....I just dont know whats going to happen from one minute to the next..its like living on a time bomb...one minute he is loving and tha guy i fell in love with and the next he is so cruel and mean i refuse to believe it is him!

I am trying so so hard not to react to the comments he makes even though somtimes i am boiling inside!

i have to sit and speak to myself inside my head saying "its not him its not him"!

My boyfriends depression is undiagnosed but after reading meny many posts on the net i am certain thats what it is......

He changes like the wind and it can often be within seconds of having a

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Hi CloudyDays and Lees.....my reasons for joining are very similar too!

I have a very good friend who is struggling with depression - and I am struggling to balance what's good for him against what's good for me.

The way he treats me sometimes hurts terribly, as if I mean nothing to him. Yet when I withdraw he immediately senses something is wrong and pulls me back.

It's such an emotional rollercoaster. :hearts:

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I wish that printing this and putting it somewhere in my parents' home would help but I think they are afraid of understanding.

I've put down info for them before and it was tossed in the blue box for recycling... :(

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Hi

I am the depressed one in the relationship and I can see hat my boyf isnt holding up well at the minute - im not nasty or horrid to him i just cry alot and he is desperate for me to get well - i feel frustrated becasue I cant give him that. We do love our partners and because you are the closest to us you are the ones that we trust the most to bounce off. I beg my boyf regulary to tell me what he is feeling so we can work through it together - it also gives me a sense of relief from my own head.

fingers crossed for us all

xx

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Posted (edited)

Dear Lindsay,

Thank you for your proactive efforts. Hopefully others will join in and have their say and we’ll take back our rights to make our own medical decisions as mental health patients and/or support persons as we’ve been disenfranchised far too long.

Warmly,

Herb

.

Edited by Jkm

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Hi everyone,

I'm glad I found you all, because things are getting really bad and I don't know who to turn to for help.

Please bear with me because I really need to vent.

My boyfriend's depression is really wearing me thin. Emotionally, psychologically, physically. I read the books, I try to understand his situation (I've managed to get a semi-stable grip on my own for the past year now), I try to provide whatever possible to make life more bearable for him.

I listen to him when he wants to talk, when he pushes me away I give him space, when he hurts my feelings with mean-ness I keep telling myself that it's the depression talking/he's in pain and lashing out, the sudden mood changes I see EVERYDAY, holding my tongue as I figure out a non-aggravating response to questions he asks so as to not trigger anything that might start a fight, or him sulking in silence, or more often than not, direct it all to me as a target, the source of everything that's messed up in his world.

I literally carry a little notepad with "Rules" because I just want him to have a good day, at least when we're together. I mean, I know he loves me but it frustrates me that many times I don't think I make him happy. Not even a little bit. The world IS messed up, there are so many things that are wrong, and there are many things that can't be changed. But we all deal with it, and there are things that you can find in your life that will give you some reprieve, some relief, a blessed break, from the crap the world deals you.

He gives me that. Even in his worst days, when he hurts my feelings, attacks my principles and the things I like, when he brushes me off like I'm nothing - I tell myself that it's not who HE is, that the monster that has consumed him so much has won again that day.

I walk on eggshells and when he has his "good" moments things are awesome. He's a wonderful, sweet, caring, funny, loving guy - something many people haven't had the luck to see (most just get the s***ty side). The past six months though, I haven't seen much of the "nice" side myself.

I've stopped bringing my own problems home because I can't burden him with any more than he's already got to deal with. I know my own issues aren't as severe as his, I know I can't give him something else to worry about - and I don't want to get hurt if I came to him on my worst of days and get kicked aside. Sometimes I wish he'd think about me as well, even if for a little bit. I know it's selfish but there are days when my own feelings of depression will hit, HARD, and it's taken all my strength to plaster on a smile and shut up. He believes that his problems are worse than everyone else, that he's doomed to failure and unhappiness, and scariest of all - he's better off dead because there's nothing worth living for.

I wish he could see what I could see. His self-image is so distorted and his stranglehold on bad things in the past, has clouded his eyes on what he has now, what he is capable of, the things in his life that he could actually be happy about. But he's been so depressed for so long that he uses it to justify giving up or not even trying to make a change. A negative comfort spot, so to speak.

It's funny how loving someone can be so painful as well. It hurts to see him this way when all you want is to give him a little sunshine in his darkest moments. And it hurts more when he's being an a**hole and a jerk even when he doesn't really mean it.

Sorry this is so long but I really couldn't keep it in. Help me help him - please.

Whoa! that totally sums it up on how it is with my boyfriend and i. Sometimes it is so hard to keep positive when your loved one is so negative and down.

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Posted (edited)

Hi All

I feel like I have wrote all the posts in this topic especially CloudyDays, Lees and Joelle's.

I too have a depressed boyfriend whom I live with and have done for 6 years but the last 2 have been hell. I am fed up with walking on egg shells and thinking about what i say in case it upsets him. I love him but not sure how we are going to get though this anymore.

He made me depressed and I have had counselling myself but I am now free of tablets and just having therapy.

Is there a light at the end of the tunnel?!? :bump::hearts:

Edited by Amberline

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Maybe you could go with him to the appt. and tell his doc that he's so irritable and see if the doc can adjust his meds, he won't tell the doc himself.

Most of us know when we're irritable, but have a difficult time admitting it. It's like the crummy inside feeling comes spewing out, and we feel so bad, we don't care. Have you tried talking to him about it? Does he get more upset?

Jackie :hearts:

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He stopped taking his medication as all the books he read said it did nothing. But he has gone down hill since and i feel like a nagging fish wife and can't make him take it.

We talk all the time that is why we always fall out - but i think you need to talk.

He won't let me go with him to see his doctor or his psychiatrist and have thought about writing a letter to his doctor to tell him everything. So at least he is aware and will hopefully help him. I know his doctor can't reply to me though which would be hard.

I just want the man back that I met 6 years ago. :hearts::shocked::bump:

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Posted (edited)

I am so sorry that you are having to endure this with him. I guess you need to establish where you draw the line in the relationship, which is very difficult, I know.

When people we love have problems and refuse to get treatment, you have to decide how much you can take. (I notice you're coming and asking for support, not him.)

Jackie :hearts:

Edited by Jkm
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For Relatives and Friends

How to Help a Depressed Person

The most important thing anyone can do for the depressed person is to help him or her get an appropriate diagnosis and treatment. This may involve encouraging

he most important thing anyone can do for the depressed person is to help him or her get an appropriate diagnosis and treatment. This may involve encouraging the individual to stay with treatment until symptoms begin to abate (several weeks), or to seek different treatment if no improvement occurs. On occasion, it may require making an appointment and accompanying the depressed person to the doctor. It may also mean monitoring whether the depressed person is taking medication. The depressed person should be encouraged to obey the doctor's orders about the use of alcoholic products while on medication.

The second most important thing is to offer emotional support. This involves understanding, patience, affection, and encouragement. Engage the depressed person in conversation and listen carefully. Do not disparage feelings expressed, but point out realities and offer hope. Do not ignore remarks about suicide. Report them to the depressed person's therapist. Invite the depressed person for walks, outings, to the movies, and other activities. Be gently insistent if your invitation is refused. Encourage participation in some activities that once gave pleasure, such as hobbies, sports, religious or cultural activities, but do not push the depressed person to undertake too much too soon. The depressed person needs diversion and company, but too many demands can increase feelings of failure.

Do not accuse the depressed person of faking illness or of laziness, or expect him or her "to snap out of it." Eventually, with treatment, most depressed people do get better. Keep that in mind, and keep reassuring the depressed person that, with time and help, he or she will feel better.

source: National Institute of Health Publication No. NIH-99-3561

Understanding Your Own Feelings Towards a Depressed Person

Taking care of a depressed person is often very stressful and frustrating. Many who are close to a depressed person have tried everything they know in order to get the person to seek help. They have also struggled with trying to make things better for the depressed person, often to the point of their own exhaustion. Sometimes, caretakers become depressed themselves as they find that their efforts have made little difference. Family and friends of depressed people miss the former person they knew. They see the dark cloud of depression not only affecting the person's life, work and family, but they see it eating away at their own relationship as well.

Those who are close to a depressed person often struggle with their own feelings toward the person. Feelings of concern, frustration, and fear combined with futile efforts to make things better can lead to stronger feelings of anger, helplessness, despair, resentment, and guilt. Please know that these feelings are very normal. No one can make another person get help for depression, and no one can take away another person's depression.

People who are depressed may behave in ways that are uncharacteristic for them when they are not depressed. It is not uncommon for a depressed person to be irritable, angry, argumentative, withdrawn, unmotivated, lethargic, and self-defeating. They may say things that are hurtful, harsh, irrational, or unusual. For those who are not depressed, these behaviors are hard to understand and very difficult to bear.

As a relative or friend of a depressed person you should pay attention to your own feelings. If you find that you are feeling overwhelmed, overly frustrated, depressed, anxious, exhausted, or guilty, then it is time to start taking better care of yourself. You cannot help another person if you are struggling yourself.

Taking Care of Yourself

Please keep these things in mind:

Your feelings and reactions are normal. Friends and family of those who are depressed experience a range of emotions, from compassion and empathy to anger, frustration, and even hatred. These feelings can be expected since it is very difficult not to take personally a depressed person's behaviors. A depressed person's life is being negatively affected by depression, but so is yours.

You don't have to be alone. Dealing with depression on your own can be a lonely and isolating task. Your friends may not understand, yet you need the support of others. Depression is a common illness, and there are many others who also have a depressed person in their lives. You may wish to join a support group and connect with others who understand your struggles.

It's not your fault. It is not uncommon for family and friends of depressed people to feel guilty or wonder if they hold some responsibility for another person's depression. Depression does not occur because of anything you say or do. Depression is a medical condition, like diabetes or heart disease, that needs to be treated.

Your feelings will change with time. Family and friends of depressed people go through various emotional phases. Initial reactions include disbelief or denial. It may seem that depression will just magically go away if it goes unacknowledged. After some time, people may experience some anger or resentment that life as they know it has changed. People also may feel grief that the person they once knew seems lost to them. After a depressed person seeks treatment and begins to feel better, family and friends often feel relieved and lucky or blessed that things are improving again.

Don't lose hope. Depression is a very treatable illness! Psychotherapy and/or medication have been shown to be quite effective. Eighty percent or more of those who seek help for treatment can feel better within several weeks.

Take good care of yourself. You will need to set boundaries and limits on how much you can and will do. this is a healthy and necessary thing to do. It is okay to take a vacation from caretaking once in a while. Schedule time for yourself and do things that bring you enjoyment and satisfaction. This is not being "selfish," it is being healthy and compassionate towards yourself. You may also choose to seek counseling in order to have a place to process and manage your own feelings.

thanks for this info. any parents out there who have children with depression...I would love to chat with you!

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thanks for this...good info.

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