Depression can be pretty scary. It’s especially scary when you’re alone in your room at 3:30am fighting a war against yourself to stay alive while the rest of the world sleeps soundly.
Intense, I know.
It’s hard to depend on others because you don’t want to be a burden.
When you do finally let someone in you hold onto them for dear life because they are the only other person that has been inside your head. They are the only ones that know everything.
Suddenly you can’t stop. Every other conversation (or maybe even more) revolves around your depression. What set you off that day, all of the negative things you have to say about yourself and the world around you, all of the things you’re feeling. Over and over and over again.
Then eventually, like any human being who is being barraged with that kind of information all day long, grows restless.
It’s a difficult maze to get out of. You hear yourself babbling away about it and you desperately want to make yourself stop. You tell yourself that you’ve already said that before, or that you can see the annoyance on their face, or that you hate yourself for not being able to stop.
It happens to all of us. It will happen to all of us.
The key is using coping skills to help yourself, and your loved ones deal with this mental illness that is, as you know, out of your control.
Coping Skill #1: Doing things for others. Sometimes when you have depression you feel like everyone ends up taking care of you. Saving you. What about taking care of others? Buy your friend a meaningful gift, or write them a thank you note for being supportive. Take them to dinner. Help them with a chore.
This helps for two reasons. The first being that helping others gives you a sense of self worth, something that people with depression struggle with. The second being that your loved one will feel appreciated and cared for. It now went from being one sided- to very well balanced.
Coping Skill #2. Don’t let depression run your life. Take your depression by the hair and kick its ass. Nobody, not even depression, is allowed to control you. When you feel super low, remind yourself that you don’t always feel this way. I know it’s one of the most difficult things to do, but it is doable.
You ever have a really bad hour of depression brain and then when its over you suddenly realize that everything isn’t as bad as it seemed? Go into your low points knowing this will help in the long run.
Coping Skill #3. Find other ways to fill up time. When I was in the hospital and didn’t have my best friend there to talk to, I painted. I’m pretty terrible at it, but that’s not the point of painting. It was therapeutic for me. It felt great.
And afterwards I felt a little less heavy. A little less burdened with depression. It didn’t last long of course, but that’s depression for you. It worked better for me than talking on and on because I didn’t feel guilty afterwards.
Coping skill #4. You are allowed to think different thoughts. Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. Instead of using every moment of your time with this person stressing about depression, use it as a little vacation away from it. Let yourself be normal you. Joking, laughing, being whatever version of you you want to be.
Now, if there is a day you just really need to talk about it, then go for it! Your loved ones are called loved ones for a reason. They care. This list is for when you really feel like you have burned your friend/mom/dad/husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend/sister/brother/etc out.
I hope this helps. This is just what worked for me, but everyone is different. I encourage you to discover what coping skills work for you!