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.
crying because i have a close friend who struggles with this. i was always worried i wasnt handeling the situation. i literally do all of this :))) im happy im not fucking things up more
this is really good. my boyfriend does all these things for me, hes A++
Reblogging to show mine.
I will continue to reblog this until people start paying attention to it.
Camembert baking and Belgian beer in hand.
All I can think about lately is how utterly horrific the thought of being 28 and single after 6 years in a relationship is.
I am no longer carefree. I no longer feel beautiful.
my social studies teacher once told us “human beings are the most selfish of all. even when someone dies, you shed tears only because they are no more around to provide you with whatever they had been for so long”
and it has been 3 years since she said this and this is still what i think about at night
Anonymous asked: (Diff anon) but why don't vegans not eat eggs. Cause chickens don't die from having eggs.. Or milk.
They do die.
Male chicks are ground up alive on day one because they are useless to the industry.
Those who aren’t, are gassed to death or suffocated under piles of other chicks in plastic bags.
All farms kill the males that they don’t use for stud because it is not financially viable to keep them alive when they are no use to the industry. They do not lay eggs, nor are they ‘fatty’ enough to be raised as meat. So they’re killed. They can’t even just be rehomed because nobody wants loud, noisy roosters who ‘give nothing back’ to their owners in the way of eggs.
Once a hen has finished her laying cycle, she too is killed. And again, all egg industries do this. I even got proof from the UK’s most popular and ‘famous’ egg company.
Male calves and surplus females are also killed. Males serve no purpose, so they are raised as veal, if not just killed outright.
Cows, like every other female animal, need to be pregnant and then give birth in order to lactate (produce milk). So she carries her baby around for 9 months, and then he is removed from her shortly after birth so he doesn’t drink all the profits. If he’s a boy, he’s disposed of in the methods mentioned above. If she’s a girl, she’ll be raised as a reproductive prisoner like her mother was, until she can no longer have babies and produce enough milk, so she is killed for cheap meat.
Within 24 hours of birth, her baby will be removed from her. Cows become so distressed that they will try and escape their paddocks to find their babies, and even disturb nearby residents with their heartbroken cries of grief. If the baby is a male, he might rarely be kept as a breeding stud, but otherwise he will be killed straight away, or raised for veal. In places like Europe, calves aren’t allowed to be put into those little sheds that you see in America and places. However their existence is little better, as they are instead all put into a pen and they are still killed as babies.
Dairy cows are on average, killed at age 4. Many are disabled and badly suffering before death. Downers are so common - I even saw downers on Open Days at colleges I visited. Downers are cows who cannot get up, are very lame and end up hopping or dragging themselves around. Their udders - swollen and genetically modified to hold x10 the amount of milk they should - certainly don’t help matters. Cows that can’t walk or are downers can’t legally be entered in the food chain, but they still are. Animals who can’t walk to their deaths are dragged, literally.
Downed cows are often ‘encouraged’ to move by slapping, kicking, jumping on them, pulled round the neck with a rope and dragged, stabbed or shunted by fork trucks, etc. There is a HUGE difference might I add between someone shoving/pushing/urging a cow to stand, and someone literally dragging her by the neck or stomping on her.
Learn more about the dairy industry and the treatment of its animals here.
The dairy and egg industries ARE the meat industries.
‘This is not graphic or gory — but no less deplorable. Apparently, this is in Oregon. Each crate has a calf in it, removed from their mother one hour after they were born. The mother had enough time to clean up the birth, lick, smell and intially bond with the calf, before they were taken away to live in boxes. Death will ensue in approximately six weeks. Until then, here they remain, unable to move, so as to make their meat ‘tender.’ Then they become veal steaks. Please everyone, for the sake of all — go vegan.’ - Via Earthlings
This is horrific, people say they are against animal abuse but they just mean dogs and cats and pets…THIS IS animal abuse, each of these boxes contains a sentient, feeling calf, this is what their lives have been reduced to?! It’s heartbreaking :( Nothing justifies this ..