Depression - Getting help for yourself

Discussion in 'General Parenting Archives' started by Fran, Nov 17, 2004.

  1. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    There are a lot of folks who are feeling the effects of difficult child induced depression. Don't let yourselves not get help. It's the best thing you can do for yourself and your family.

    Depressive disorders make one feel exhausted, worthless, helpless, and hopeless. Such negative thoughts and feelings make some people feel like giving up. It is important to realize that these negative views are part of the depression and typically do not accurately reflect the actual circumstances. Negative thinking fades as treatment begins to take effect. In the meantime:

    Set realistic goals in light of the depression and assume a reasonable amount of responsibility.
    Break large tasks into small ones, set some priorities, and do what you can as you can.
    Try to be with other people and to confide in someone; it is usually better than being alone and secretive.
    Participate in activities that may make you feel better.
    Mild exercise, going to a movie, a ballgame, or participating in religious, social, or other activities may help.
    Expect your mood to improve gradually, not immediately. Feeling better takes time.
    It is advisable to postpone important decisions until the depression has lifted. Before deciding to make a significant transition-change jobs, get married or divorced-discuss it with others who know you well and have a more objective view of your situation.
    People rarely "snap out of" a depression. But they can feel a little better day-by-day.
    Remember, positive thinking will replace the negative thinking that is part of the depression and will disappear as your depression responds to treatment.
    Let your family and friends help you.
    How Family and Friends Can Help the 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 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 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.

    If unsure where to go for help, check the Yellow Pages under "mental health," "health," "social services," "suicide prevention," "crisis intervention services," "hotlines," "hospitals," or "physicians" for phone numbers and addresses. In times of crisis, the emergency room doctor at a hospital may be able to provide temporary help for an emotional problem, and will be able to tell you where and how to get further help.

    Listed below are the types of people and places that will make a referral to, or provide, diagnostic and treatment services.

    Family doctors
    Mental health specialists, such as psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, or mental health counselors
    Health maintenance organizations
    Community mental health centers
    Hospital psychiatry departments and outpatient clinics
    University- or medical school-affiliated programs
    State hospital outpatient clinics
    Family service, social agencies, or clergy
    Private clinics and facilities
    Employee assistance programs
    Local medical and/or psychiatric societies
  2. Coookie

    Coookie Active Member

    Thanks Fran,

    Alot of good info there...will print it and keep it.

  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Here is something I got online that I have given to several good friends and to my is worth passing on here too..

    Do's and Don'Tourette's Syndrome

    When someone is depressed, it is difficult for them, but also difficult for family and friends to know what to say and do. Below is a list of suggestions that I hope you will find helpful.

    Do learn everything you can about this disorder. The more you know the better equipped you will be to know what to expect.

    Do realize I am angry and frustrated with the disorder, NOT with you.

    Do let me know you are available to help me when I ask. I'll be grateful.

    Do understand why I cancel plans, sometimes at the last minute.

    Do continue to invite me to all the activities. I never know from day to day or minute to minute how I will feel and just because I am not able to participate one day does not mean I won't be able to today.

    Do feel that you have the right to ask about my doctor or therapist appointments...but DON'T ask me if I'm taking my medications if I'm legitimately upset about something.

    Do continue to call me, even when I only seem to want a brief conversation.

    Do send cards, notes, and other reminders of our friendship or relationship.

    Do offer me lots of hugs, encouragement, and love, even when I seem to withdraw.

    Don't tell me I look too good to be depressed. I may be really fighting here to stay above water.

    Don't tell me you know how I feel. Each of us is different and two people with this disorder can feel totally different. Pain is a relative thing, this includes emotional pain. Do let me know that you understand or that you can relate to what I am saying.

    Don't tell me about your Aunt Margie or the friend of a friend who is managing in spite of this disorder. We are not all the same and I am doing my best.

    Don't tell me to "pull myself up by the boot straps", "snap out of it", "what have you got to be depressed about, you have so much to be grateful for", "there are a lot of people worse off than you", "happiness is a choice" or the likes. Believe me if I could "snap" my fingers and have this depression be gone, don't you think I would have done that a long time ago? Don't you think I would "choose to be happy"?

    Don't tell me not to worry, that everything will be alright or that this is just a passing phase...this is happening to me right NOW and things ARE NOT ALRIGHT!

    Don't ask me how I feel, unless you really want to know.

    Don't tell me about the latest fad cure. I want to be cured more than anything and if there is a legitimate cure out there, my personal doctor will let me know. Also don't call my doctor a quack and encourage me to throw out my medications.

    Don't count me out. This could be the day that I'm ready to accept an invitation.

    Don't give up on me...
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Fran and Janet those are both good posts that should be saved. Thank you. I plan to print them out and save for myself.

  5. dlp30

    dlp30 New Member

    Thanks Fran & Janet I am printing and keeping this, should be very helpful. I can't say as I get a true case of depression maybe mildly, but I have never been medicated and don't plan on it(do we ever??) but these things will help me keep afloat so that I don't let myself fall into a deep depression that would require medications or more.
  6. I recently started working with a personal trainer. I'm finding the exercise is helping my mental state ...

    I know my Dr once told me long ago that exercise releases endorphins ... helping to minimize depression.
  7. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    Surfgirl, I definitely feel exercise helps. It helps me even more with frustration and anger.

    The reward is what Nomad recommended.
  8. musicmom

    musicmom New Member

    I am thinking of bagging marriage counseling and spending the co-pays on a health club instead. I can't afford both.

    With the health club, I get to burn off energy and hopefully lose some weight so I can look good for that wealthy, childless widower I hope to meet when I finally get the nerve to dump H.

    Hopefully, doing THAT will lift my depression.

  9. BonnieJean

    BonnieJean Active Member

    Thanks for the info, this is especially true for me right now, not only with difficult child, but with work, DEX wanting to come back...ugh I feel so overwhelmed and lost...ugh.....