The original slogan for my blog was “under-spoken topics at a glance” (or something very similar, my memory is hazy on the matter). I feel that depression is too often spoken about by people who know nothing about it. Which, in a way, means that it is always spoken about and yet never discussed.
There are people all over the world telling you the right way and the wrong way of dealing with depression and the right way and the wrong way of dealing with loved ones that are suffering from depression. It is a very difficult situation to be in for either party, and the last thing you want to be told is that you’re doing everything wrong. (Granted when you are doing something incorrectly, you do need to be made aware.)
This post is not for identifying whether or not you are depressed or suffer from depression. If you feel that you are, I urge you to seek help from family members as well as medical professionals.
Based on what I’ve come across in my lifetime, I’ve found that there are a few methods that assist in lessening the pain that bursts of depression can bring. These methods may or may not be popular, but they have worked in most cases that I’ve come across.
To assist someone who is depressed due to a seemingly random burst of depression:
- Change gears with whatever is going on. You most likely don’t know what triggered the burst, but if you just entirely change whats going on around you and whomever is depressed, you are likely to avert a meltdown.
- Maintain visual presence. To do this is somewhat difficult for both parties for different reasons. But it will be worth it in the long run. Sometimes it is helpful just to know that someone else is there. It assists in keeping the despair to a minimum.
- Talk about irrelevant topics, this can help with keeping their mind occupied on mundane topics that aren’t likely to cause any stress, which in turn keeps their mind off of the X factor that caused the sudden depression.
- If you’re a brave one and feel you know the person well, I suggest talking about problems they are having that you can help them resolve. (Please note, helping them resolve and resolving for them are two totally different things.)
- Depending on the person, suggesting an activity they enjoy could do the trick. Just make sure it isn’t something that has any negative attachments. (Ex: If the depressed person fears they overweight, you wouldn’t want to suggest baking a huge cake.)
- Sometimes it helps to just listen. In my experience, people who are prone to explosive bursts of depression most likely keep the majority of their problems to themselves. This means they most likely don’t voice any of their problems and as a result may grow to feel that they should not. It can help the person greatly if you are just able to listen to them and make them recognize that their problems are important.
These are just a few things that have worked for me over the years when I have had to assist people with bursts of depression, but every person is different. My suggestion is to use this as more of a general guideline than a specific instruction.
Something to be aware of when assisting someone who is suffering from a bout of depression (this will obviously vary between people but is very common all the same): Be aware that, when dealing with someone with any level of depression, they are likely to create the most negative possible wording or understanding of anything you say. So, unless you are very good with your wording or are confident of your ability to assist someone, prolonged speech on your part is not suggested. Try to keep anything that you say to someone in a depressed state to a low word count. This will help you choose your words and have more impact.
And that’s all for today’s post! Hope everybody is having a great day.
Be kind, and do something nice for a stranger today.