When you have a friend or spouse who is suffering from depression you inevitably feel more than a little helpless. You want to do something that will point them in the right direction but how do you do that and what do you do?
You can't decide whether to try to push them to "make more of an effort" or nurse them or attempt to do things for them. You try to encourage and to cajole. You try to push and to pull them back to "normal". It is easy to transition into a situation of co-dependency, or for you to become their "mother", their "nurse" or their "fixer".
Depression is difficult for an outsider to understand. You look into another person's world and see how much they have or how good their life should be. Yet that person who is suffering from depression clearly does not see things in quite the same light.
And whatever you do in your efforts to assist has an impact upon the depressed person. You are in danger of making that person feel guilty or pressurized or backed into an ever-smaller corner. They may feel that they have been "taken over" by you are your actions.
However difficult it might be for you, it is sometimes best to take a step back and allow the depressed person to deal with their issues in their own way. The most important thing to ensure is that you do not sink into a state of co-dependency whereby you are feeding the other person's depression and prolonging their suffering. If you are a "fixer" or a "pleaser" this is exactly what you are most in danger of doing.
I remember a couple where the spouse believed that the depressed person couldn't choose her clothes in the morning, couldn't choose a meal, etc. Yet when a total outsider entered the equation and told the depressed person that they had to dress themselves and must choose a meal (and prevented the spouse from taking charge of these simple actions) she managed to do both quite easily.
In addition, she quickly got a whole lot better once she discovered that she wasn't as incapable and dependent as she had previously thought. I'm not saying that this method helps everyone with depression. It does however typify the co-dependency problem.
In reality you can be there to talk things through with when they are ready and try to suggest different appropriate methods of assistance. You can keep an eye on them so that you are as aware as you possibly can be of their state of mind and protect them in this manner from going over the edge, so to speak. There are different types of depression and different degrees of depression that a sufferer experiences.
Roseanna Leaton, specialist in hypnosis mp3 downloads to overcome depression.
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