Meeting Everyone's Needs During Depression
My focus over the past couple of Shareposts has been towards ways of supporting someone with depression. Showing understanding during depression is a skilled but emotionally taxing endeavor. It requires a conscious effort to listen carefully and refrain from allowing impatience or home-baked solutions to take over in an attempt to hurry the process towards recovery. Compassionate talk to aid depression recovery further enhances the path to rehabilitation. This is about gentle persistence and giving hope through the knowledge the person is not alone and that recovery will happen.
I've said previously that supporting a person with depression is a challenging experience. I have even seen a few situations where I believe the caregiver is suffering as much, or more, than the person they are looking after. If there is no prior experience of depression in a family the early symptoms alone can present quite a challenge. Frankly, it's a puzzle why the person is acting the way they are and the pessimism of a person who is slipping into depression can have an infectious quality. They become more moody, difficult to talk to and reason with, and sometimes it seems they are out to pick a fight.
The natural reaction in such circumstances is to look for a cause where there may not be one. Marital relations can sometimes become strained as the partner suspects an extra-marital affair or that the relationship has hit the rocks. The person they used to do things with is now always tired and looking for excuses to be alone. They have become irritable and even troublesome and this is making everyone feel edgy and frustrated. They perhaps won't help with running the home or taking the kids to school. In some homes this can be especially problematic where a large family or perhaps elderly relatives are involved. It doesn't take long for a partner to feel abandoned, isolated and increasingly emotional.
The most helpful advice I can offer is to seek help from others. Usually this is from friends and relatives, but it might be from a volunteer group, an internet forum, a religious organization, or the family doctor; any one of which may be able to give advice or suggest specialist help in your area. This is important because it is not uncommon for a depressed person's relative to succumb to despondency. Where younger children are involved it is important to understand they too are being affected by the atmosphere. They may feel the mood relates to something they have or have not done. They may even start acting out in the hope that attention will be focused on them in order to reduce tensions between adults.