Do You Love Someone With Depression?
If you have a partner or are close to someone who struggles with depression, you may not always know how to show them you love them. One day they may seem fine, and the next they are sad, distant and may push you away. It is important that you know that as a person who is close to them and trusted by them, you can help your friend or partner have shorter, less severe bouts of depression. Mental illness is as real as physical illness (it is physical actually, read more about that here) and your partner needs you as much as they would need to be cared for if they had the flu.
Your relationship may seem one-sided during these times, but by helping your partner through a very difficult and painful affliction, you are strengthening your relationship and their mental health in the long term.
1. Help them keep clutter at bay.
When a person begins spiraling into depression, they may feel like they are slowing down while the world around them speeds up. The mail may end up in stacks, dishes can pile up in the sink, laundry may go undone as the depressed person begins to feel more and more overwhelmed by their daily routine and unable to keep up. By giving your partner some extra help sorting mail, washing dishes or using paper plates and keeping chaos in check in general, you’ll be giving them (and yourself) the gift of a calm environment. (I’m a fan of the minimalist movement because of this, you can read more about that here.)
2. Fix them a healthy meal.
Your partner may do one of two things when they are in a depressed state. They may eat very little, or they may overeat. In either case, they may find that driving through a fast food restaurant or ordering a pizza online is just easier than fixing a meal. Eating like this, or neglecting to eat will only degrade your partner’s health, causing them to go deeper into their depression. Help your loved one keep their body healthy, and their mind will follow. This is a great article that talks about the “Brain Diet” which can help the symptoms of depression, and this article talks about how our modern diet could contribute to the recent rise in depression. Here is a recipe for a trail mix that is quick to make and has mood-boosting properties.
3.Get them outside.
The benefits of getting outside for a depressed person are huge. And it is possibly the last thing on earth your partner will want to do. Take them to be somewhere in nature. Pack a picnic and lie in the sun, take a leisurely hike or plant a garden. Being barefoot in the dirt, or “earthing” helps ground the body and reverse the effects of living in a world of emf’s, and digging in soil can actually act as an antidepressant, as a strain of bacterium in soil, Mycobacterium vaccae, triggers the release of seratonin, which in turn elevates mood and decreases anxiety. Sunshine increases Vitamin D production which can help alleviate depression. My friend Elizabeth wrote an excellent post about Vitamin D and its link to depression here. For more information about other sources of Vitamin D, this is a great post as well as this.
4. Ask them to help you understand what they’re feeling.
If your partner is able to articulate what they are going through, it will help them and you better understand what you are dealing with, and may give insight into a plan of action for helping your partner. Also, feeling alone is common for a depressed person and anything that combats that feeling will help alleviate the severity and length of the depression.
5. Encourage them to focus on self-care.
Depressed people often stop taking care of themselves. Showering, getting haircuts, going to the doctor or dentist, it’s all just too hard, and they don’t deserve to be well taken care of anyway in their minds. This can snowball quickly into greater feelings of worthlessness since “Now I’m such a mess, no one could ever love me”. Help your loved one by being proactive. Tell them “I’m going to do the dishes, why don’t you go enjoy a bubble bath?” can give them the permission they won’t give themselves to do something normal, healthy and self-loving.
6. Hug them.
Studies show that a sincere hug that lasts longer than 20 seconds can release feel-good chemicals in the brain and elevate the mood of the giver and receiver. Depressed people often don’t want to be touched, but a sincere hug with no expectation of anything further can give your partner a lift.
7. Laugh with them.
Telling a silly joke, watching a comedy or seeing a stand up comedian will encourage your partner to laugh in spite of themselves. Laughing releases endorphins and studies show can actually counteract symptoms of depression and anxiety.
8. Reassure them that you can handle their feelings.
Your partner may be feeling worthless, angry and even guilty while they are depressed. They may be afraid that they will end up alone because no one will put up with their episodes forever. Reassure them that you are in the relationship for the long haul and they won’t scare you away because they have an illness.
9. Challenge their destructive thoughts.
A depressed person’s mind can be a never-ending loop of painful, destructive thoughts. “I’m unlovable, I’m a failure, I’m ugly, I’m stupid”. Challenge these untruths with the truth. “You’re not unlovable, I love you. You aren’t a failure, here are all the things you’ve accomplished.”
10.Remind them why you love them.
Look at pictures of happy times you’ve had together. Tell them your favorite things about them. Reminisce about your relationship and all the positive things that have happened, and remind your partner that you love them and they will get through this.
(via The Darling Bakers)
More people need to know this.This is so incredibly important. I’ve seen people with depression ostracized so many times, and I cannot stress how much it means to each and every person I’ve tried to reach out to after whatever “falling-outs” they’ve had due to depression. Remember to always be compassionate and kind to all friends like this, because you never know what they’re going through.
every fucking day
in college like
the US is unreal like girls cant wear shorts to school, you can literally lose your job for being gay, and unarmed black children are brutally murdered on the regular but old white ppl r still like “what a beautiful country. i can freely carry a gun for no reason and some of our mountains look like presidents. god bless”
lemme know if ur more outraged at the burning of the american flag than the black lives that have been lost in this country so i can hit ya wit that unfollow real quick.
Couldn’t have said it better.
okay but when you have holocaust survivors and people who were activists during the civil rights movement supporting mike brown and then KKK members and neo nazi’s supporting the officer you should be able to figure out which side is the right one.
why do the teenage mutant ninja turtles wear eye masks? they’re fucking humanoid turtles. who the fuck is going to see them without the eye masks and be like, oh you’re probably some other sentient humanoid turtles not the ones that fight crime.
From the article:
An email to Utah State University threatened “the deadliest school shooting in American history” if the school did not cancel a lecture Wednesday morning by a well-known feminist writer and video game critic.
"Feminists have ruined my life, and I will have my revenge, for my sake and the sake of all others they’ve wronged," read the message from a sender who claimed to be a USU student.
The message threatened to rain gunfire and shrapnel upon a lecture by Anita Sarkeesian, creator of a feminist video blog and a video series on misogyny in video games. She is scheduled to speak at 11:30 a.m. at the Taggart Student Center Auditorium.
"A Montreal Massacre style attack will be carried out," warned the message, sent to multiple departments and individuals around campus. "I have at my disposal a semi-automatic rifle, multiple pistols, and a collection of pipe bombs."
After consulting with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, the university decided to host Sarkeesian’s lecture as scheduled, said USU spokesman Tim Vitale.
"We’re an institution of higher learning. We educate people. This is what we do," Vitale said. "This is a chance for students to listen for themselves to the topic, voice their opinions as they choose, and learn something."
The university planned to increase security for the lecture and forbid backpacks in the auditorium.
The writer goes by the moniker “Marc Lepine,” after a shooter who murdered 14 women at a Montreal engineering school in 1989. The writer, as Lepine did in his suicide note, wrote that “feminists have ruined my life.”
"We live in a nation of emasculated cowards too afraid to challenge the vile, misandrist harpies who seek to destroy them. Feminism has taken over every facet of our society, and women like Sarkeesian want to punish us for even fantasizing about being men."
He wrote that increased security was futile.
"Even if they’re able to stop me, there are plenty of feminists on campus who won’t be able to defend themselves," he wrote. "One way or another, I’m going to make sure they die."
Sarkeesian is most famous for her critiques of how women are depicted in video games and popular culture and has received many death threats and terror threats against her speaking engagements. Those threats have escalated since a 2012 online harassment campaign targeted her fundraising for the video series, “Tropes vs. Women in Video Games,” which analyzes female stereotypes in the games.
"Anita Sarkeesian is everything wrong with the feminist woman, and she is going to die screaming like the craven little whore that she is if you let her come to USU," the email states. "I will write my manifesto in her spilled blood, and you will all bear witness to what feminist lies and poison have done to the men of America."
Regardless of what you think about Anita Sarkeesian in particular, this is just sick.