“You’re Not Depressed, You’re Just Down”

Medically, mild to moderate depression is suspected if you’ve been suffering from low mood, lack of motivation, tearfulness and sadness for two weeks or more and there’s been no clear improvement.*

Taken from Netdoctor.co.uk

Ever been told that you are not depressed but simply feeling down?

Usually it comes from a loved one who doesn’t understand the effects your feeling from depression. How emotionally drained it makes you, how you feel unable to do even the most simple things.

Some times the biggest pressure comes from your spouse/partner or closest relative because they think your making it up, just being lazy or simply due to ignorance on their part for not being supportive enough to find ways to help you!

It seems to be a common theme with people with depression that those nearest to them are more of a hindrance than a help, that they have to battle with their loved ones and mental health, and that no amount of talking them seems to make them more understanding. Those who sleep a lot due to depression have this issue more significantly because people just assume they are being lazy!

I am incredibly lucky to have a wife who is so understanding and supportive of me and my illness. I know she hates how much I sleep during the day BUT she tolerates it because she knows it is down to my depression. I can talk to her about how I feel and why and know that she is genuinely interested and that all she cares about is my wellbeing and, eventually, my recovery.

Not just Sheryl though I am lucky to have some incredible friends on Facebook who I know I can talk to and get straight, sensitive and helpful answers and advice from. So here’s to you Teresa, Kay, Margie, Amy, Cindy, Kim, Heather, Jodi and Nikki. You may feel like I don’t appreciate your friendship but it means more to me than you could realise! Anyone notice a theme with the names though?  It’s interesting to me that all the people I just named are female.

Is that because they are more understanding or more sympathetic? Are men more programmed to not deal with these issues? I know it does not apply to all men but I see more women complaining about their husbands, boyfriends etc than I do the other way around.

How can your friends and loved ones help? Well I have taken the liberty of browsing the internet for you to answer that question and always the wonderful people at Mind have come up with this information

What can friends or relatives do to help?

The very nature of depression, which brings a sense of hopelessness, helplessness and worthlessness, can prevent someone who’s depressed from seeking help. They often withdraw from friends and relatives around them, rather than asking for help or support. However, this is a time when they need your help and support most. Perhaps the most important thing that you can do is to encourage your friend or relative to seek appropriate treatment.

Try not to blame them for being depressed, or tell them to ‘pull themselves together’. They are probably already blaming themselves, and criticism is likely to make them feel even more depressed. Praise is much more effective than criticism. You can reassure them that it is possible to do something to improve their situation, but you need to do so in a caring and sympathetic way.

People who are depressed need someone who cares for them. You can show that you care by listening, sympathetically, by being affectionate, by appreciating the person, or simply by spending time with them. You can help by encouraging them to talk about how they are feeling and getting them to work out what they can do, or what they need to change, in order to deal with their depression.

If the person you are supporting is severely depressed, you may be faced with some hard decisions about how much to do on their behalf. If, for example, they are not looking after their physical needs, should you take over and do the shopping, cooking and cleaning for them, if you are able to? Or should you try and encourage them to do it? There are no easy answers to this situation. It will help if you can find someone with whom you can discuss these and other issues.

Supporting a friend or relative who is depressed can be an opportunity to build a closer and more satisfying relationship. However, it can also be hard work and frustrating, at times. Unless you pay attention to your own needs, it can make you feel depressed, too. Try and share the responsibility with as many people as possible, and find people to whom you can express your frustrations. There may be a local support group of others in your situation. You could also talk to your GP or another healthcare professional about getting help for yourself and your family.

 

Direct them to my blog and the moose will show them the light!

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Back to “down days” vs Depressed

Here are some things that make me feel down

  • checking my bank account
  • arsenal losing a match
  • looking in my empty fridge/freezer
  • Mila Kunis not returning my phone calls – please note that I have resisted the urge to post a gratuitous photo here (that also makes me feel down!)
  • not being able to treat Sheryl and the kids to nice things

Silly things really especially compared to what makes me depressed

Here are a few examples of what makes me depressed

  • being unemployed
  • constant money worries
  • stress
  • physical pain
  • the death of my uncle

Can you spot the differences between the two lists? If you’re reading this and your partner has depression I hope this gives you a better understanding of what makes someone down and what makes them depressed!

Here are some other things NOT to say to someone with depression

  1. Snap out of it! – only thing likely to snap will be your neck
  2. There is nothing wrong with you! – wanna bet? (punch!)
  3. yeah I have been depressed too – especially if A) you have not been depressed and B) in a condescending tone!
  4. stop feeling sorry for yourself!
  5. what do you have to be depressed about?

And here is the biggie, the one most guaranteed to piss me off

  • There’s always someone worse off than you are.

 

 

Instead why not talk to them about depression and what you can do to help them? Sometimes we are just waiting for someone to ask us how we are doing! we want to talk about it but we don’t want to bring it up if we think you’re really not that interested!

Do not moan at someone with depression it will not help them feel better about themselves. So what if I sleep a lot, if my body didn’t cry out for the sleep and shut itself down then I wouldn’t be doing it!

Try the “I am here for you” approach you may be surprised at the results!

Hope this help you be a better supportive person for your friend, partner whoever need you!

Garry

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Related Posts

Depression And Me

Depression 2

Good Support Networks

For the complete list of posts please visit Moose Tracks

13 comments on ““You’re Not Depressed, You’re Just Down”

  1. think ya hit the nail on the head Garry Moose!! women are sympathetic. we listen and our brains struggle to figure out how to best help those that need it. you are writing more and more and i can tell you are making yourself happier and more focused doing this! great blog Garry! so impressed. i got Mila on speed dial, i can try to have her call you!! 😀

  2. In response to your first question: Yes, I’ve told myself that “I’m down, not depressed”. Denial only goes so far….

    Now back to my regularly schedule blog reading. 😉

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