Let’s Sit Down & Talk Depression

Learn how I beat Depression

Talking plays a major role in recovering from depression. When feeling blue, talking with someone they trust can help someone with depression pull out of that horrible rut. If you are the trusted friend or relative of someone who suffers from depression, you know that sometimes it is hard to know what to say.

Talking It Out

If someone you love suffers with depression, there is a good chance that you often find yourself struggling to find the right words to say to him or her.  Especially, if you have not had to deal with depression yourself, this can prove to be an extremely difficult task; but you will be doing that person a great service if you learn how to help them talk depression out.

Talking to someone with depression is quite similar to walking through a minefield, except instead of watching your step; you have to watch your tongue. It is important to avoid any topics of conversation that will trigger feelings of shame, embarrassment, guilt, fear or rejection, which are extremely sensitive emotions during a depressive episode.

When a person is depressed, there is an invisible wall between them and the rest of the world combined with a strong feeling of negativity. It is important that you stay focused and do not let yourself become discouraged. Remember not to take it personally when your loved one is withdrawn or hostile.

Best Efforts

You do not have to know exactly what someone is going through to be helpful. As a matter of fact, if you try to hard to sound as if you do understand exactly what they are going through, you risk giving off a vibe of insincerity and making things worse. It is best to simply admit that you do not know what they are feeling and ask them to tell you about it. Not only will you have a new insight into depression, but you will also be helping to make the depressed person fell better as well.

Since people suffering from depression seem to have trouble with the ability to articulate their emotions effectively, remember not to get too discouraged if conversations that the two of you have are a little one-sided. Also, remember that you do not always have to fill the silence. Sometime it is enough to be there just in case they do feel the need to talk to you.

It is important to acknowledge your loved one’s condition without trivializing it. Let them know that you realize that they are not just being lazy or wallowing in self-pity. Let them know that it is okay to be depressed. If you exhibit sincerity in your wish to help your loved one cope with their disease, you will provide the support they require to come through victorious. Remember to be supportive and never judgmental. Simply providing them with a shoulder to cry on will aid their recovery in a tremendous way.

Learn how I beat Depression

19 Comments

  1. Marty
    Posted October 24, 2009 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    I’ve read through most of your articles here and this one hits the bullseye for me. I’m going through a bout at the moment. The feelings of being misunderstood and my own hostility are very real. They are, of course accompanied by shame and guilt. Thank you for writing the truth.

  2. admin
    Posted October 25, 2009 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    I am glad we could shed light on it for you Marty !!

  3. fish in a tree
    Posted January 12, 2010 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    This is so helpful. Talking to people and feeling included is just what I need.

  4. admin
    Posted January 13, 2010 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Yeah , it great to talk and get things off your chest :)

  5. cogsy
    Posted January 17, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    My partner is going through a bout of depression. It’s the first time I have had any experience with it. At first I felt rejected as he has been pushing me away and has even decided we should split up. He’s been staying with friends for the past few nights and I am really trying to get him to come home so we can talk. I am really trying to be there for him but he won’t allow me to be. Reading ways of speaking to him is helping, just hope he agrees to see me soon. I am getting past the point of taking things personally as I am reading all of his symptoms on the internet. He doesnt think I understand, and I can’t say I know what he is going through, but knowing other people are in his position makes things slightly more hopeful that he will get through this. Hopefully with my help! Just hope he will allow me to support him… Any advice would be great!

  6. Anonymous
    Posted February 5, 2010 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    I have been suffering with depression for a few months now. I’ve only just come across this website, and i wished i had looked at it before i went to the doctors. But reading it now is still helping me through these bad times.
    I’ve tried talking it out to my friends, but they really didn’t understand – they actually shouted at me and said i was going over the top. i only wish they had read this article. I understand they may not know how to deal with this illness, but i wish they had been more sensitive about it.
    Thankyou for creating this website for us :)
    @cogsy
    it is incredibly difficult to talk to people about how you are feeling. even to those close to you. i found myself pushing everyone away myself. even my boyfriend.
    i’m not sure how old you both are, but i am still in my late school years and i’m not sure if this will apply to you.
    but i suggest to still keep in contact, let him know you care. but dont say you understand, for me that was the worst thing anyone ever said. let him know he can talk to you at anytime. tell him your worried, and just let him know how you’re feeling.
    the most important thing is, not to react badly to anything he may say to you. watch what you say and make sure its sensitive enough for him to hear, as wierd as it sounds.
    i hope this helps, good luck :)

  7. admin
    Posted February 6, 2010 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    one of the hardest things to do is talk about your problems , but you feel great once you have done it !!

  8. cogsy
    Posted February 6, 2010 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for your advice. I am starting to come to terms with things a little bit, but still finding it very difficult. My partner is now seeing counsellors a few times a week. They have put him in touch with a kind of recovery house where he’s been staying for the past week. They have counsellors and nurses on site and I think he feels it’s starting to help. He said it’s a relaxed atmosphere where he can chat informally, have counselling whenever he needs it, or just have time to himself. And he can speak to other people in a similar position.

    We are both in our late 20’s and have lived together for over 4 years. It’s difficult that he is now living elsewhere but he has been more responsive towards me recently. When I have seen him, I am trying to be positive and not ask too many questions. It’s difficult as I feel like I am shut out of his life, but I am trying to do what’s best for him and I hope he will talk to me in time. I have told him to do what he needs to do to get better and I will be there when he needs me. I had a week of feeling upset but I soon realised him seeing me so hurt was making him stay away and feel much worse and guilty. He is now phoning me more often and talking a bit more so I think he knows that I care.

    Many thanks for the advice, it really helps to speak to people who are in my partner’s position and although I know I will never fully understand how he is feeling, hearing about other experiences really helps. I really wish you all the best. I am grateful to such supportive websites like this one.

  9. Anonymous
    Posted February 6, 2010 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    your welcome. :)
    the best thing to do is to be positive, surrounded my a positive atmosphere will have a positive effect upon you i find.
    he doesn’t mean to shut you out of his life, he may be wanting to protect you. i shut people out to protect them from the thoughts and feelings i’m having, because they seem so severe it may have scared them off. maybe this is what he is doing with you. protecting you.
    good luck in these times. I do hope your partner will recover well + soon. but remember to never give up :) even if this doesn’t pass, as years go by he will realise how lucky he is to have someone like you to stand by him day by day. + he may be able to share his feelings with you when he’s ready for it. be strong for him, and yourself. it will get better in time i’m sure.

  10. anon
    Posted February 7, 2010 at 2:14 am | Permalink

    Hi, I’ve been trying to help a family member through depression. Came about after the death of his father and a struggling restaurant he runs. It started a year ago and he was diagnosed 6 months ago. I understand the walls, mine fields and negativity which I never take personally. But he has always taken things for granted and I get the felling he is starting to take us for granted and doesn’t want to help himself? He’s slowly been getting worse, more shouting more dissapearing acts. Just cant talk to him any more. I feel like enough is enough and he needs a wake up call to snap him out of this cycle? Is this wrong is there a way to approach this?

  11. Anonymous
    Posted February 7, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    @ anon
    this depends on how you approach it, and how sensitive your family member is.
    if they are extremely hypersensitive then this is not the right way to approach, as they may not find you trusting.
    if their stronger then this may be the correct way to approach it but do mind what you say.
    any thing out of line may set him off for the worst and then you may never get him back.
    try a calmer solution, sit him down and try to talk to him once more. talk to him about the positive things in his life. like – does he have his own fasmily? or explain to him that there are valued family members like yourself who are willing to help him through these times.

  12. cogsy
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    Thank you. I’m trying to stay positive, but it is difficult. Even if I am not feeling positive in myself all the time, I am making sure he doesn’t see me upset or down. From speaking to other sufferers, it seems quite common to push loved ones away due to feelings of worthlessness. My partner said he can’t give me what I deserve at the moment. I told my partner I’m worried about this happening again in the future but he said that’s why he needs to get well and strong and look after himself for a while. I really hope he will be able to get well soon, but I also realise it is early days and not to rush him. I am proud that he is trying his best though with the treatment and counselling. I have heard some people live with this condition for years as they’re too ashamed to admit their problems.

    I do worry that maybe when he is feeling better, he may have lost the love he has/had for me. I really am trying my hardest to support him, be there for him and look after him when he allows me to. I only hope this will mean a lot to him when he is feeling better.

    Are you still suffering with depression? Have you seen any signs of recovery yet? Do you feel like you are finding yourself again? Do you feel like your illness has changed you as a person? Sorry for all the questions, but I really do worry if he will still the same person when he comes through this. Thanks

  13. Anonymous
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    I understand how hard it must be for you, i can’t begin to imagine what i’m putting my partner through. It will be difficult to stay positive. Especially seeing a loved one in that position, but it is vital to do so.
    As long as you’re there when he wants you to be, everything will be okay. I expect he will open up eventually. I’ve started opening up to my partner + i was diagnosed about half a year ago.
    If your love for each other is that strong, and your willing to stay and support him – and he knows that – your love shouldn’t fade. This illness may infact make you stonger.
    I know for a fact my partner and I have felt stronger feelings towards each other since this began.

    yes I am still suffereing with depression, i’m still on my medication.
    no, I can’t say I have. But i guess only time can tell. It may differ when I leave to go to another school this year.
    I still can’t seem to find myself no matter how hard I try. It’s almost a numbing sensation, I can’t really feel anything anymore. It can be quite scary.
    I didn’t think it had changed me, but my friends informed me that I had got ‘sadder’ which is obviously reasonable. But that depends, I do a lot of Drama and acting. I’m used to changing characters and ‘putting on a show’ as it were. I feel like i’m not myself, but it’s what i usually do.

  14. cogsy
    Posted February 11, 2010 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    I am hoping this will make us stronger. Sounds like you have a loving partner who is worth holding on to! At the end of the day, if the love is strong enough, then the relationship should survive… But at the same time, how long can a person be rejected and pushed away for? I feel sad as I don’t know what is going on in my partner’s life and that is taking a lot of getting used to. I don’t deal with rejection very well so it’s difficult to understand it’s not intentional rejection (at least I hope not). I’m trying not to think of myself though. All that matters is that he gets well.

    Some days he seems more chatty and more perky, but others he barely speaks to me. I guess good and bad days are normal… I can identify with you saying you ‘put on a show’ with your acting. My partner has a public job and has to be very professional with his clients. Even if he does have a bad day, he still has to provide a ‘service with a smile’ so to speak. Sometimes he comes home and doesn’t want to speak to me which upsets me but it’s as if he’s been speaking and ‘acting’ all day, he just needs to come home, relax and say nothing… I guess this makes things difficult to work out who you are for real.

    Thanks for your support. Like I said before, it really helps to try to understand things from a sufferer’s point of view. And hopefully I can help you to understand things from your partner’s view. I really wish you well and hope things start to get clearer for you soon.

  15. kezz
    Posted February 15, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    I am suffering with depression and i feel like i have been for as long as i can remember. i went to a doctor and it was like they didnt even care. they didnt ask me any questions or give me any advice, just prescribed me anti-depressants and told me in a few months i would be ok.
    when i try and talk to anyone (ie friends and family) its like people just think im being silly and all i get told is i need to grow up n snap out of it, it makes me feel stupid and really immature, and i just think what is the point. i feel as if the only thing keeping me going is my little boy.
    my boyfriend doesn’t understand how i feel and i dont know what i can do make him understand. he makes it really hard for me to talk to him as we are always rowing and i am constantly being told he will leave if i dont change. i know it must be hard for him to live with someone with depression but i dont know what i am ment to do. its like i just have to bottle it all up inside and hope it goes away soon because when i do try and talk to him he makes me feel as if he doesnt even care, deep down i know he does but i dont think he knows how to show it. in a way i think he may be making me worse but he doesnt even realise or mean to. i dont know what to do, he makes me feel as if im going mad but i just want him to understand depression more so he can try and help rather than making it worse for me. how can i do that without pushing him? is there even any point in trying?
    its just im so scared he will leave soon because of how i am, but i thought maybe if he can understand a little bit more about depression he may try to be a little bit more sensitive and understanding.

  16. kezz
    Posted February 15, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    can anyone help me or give me any advice please?

  17. Anonymous
    Posted February 15, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    @kezz
    i feel like i’m in your postition, however i’ve managed to get people to listen to me.
    first of all, your friends and family SHOULD be supporting you. if their not, then sit them down and talk to them about it. help them understand it more, or do they not know?
    but it is rather difficult to be with someone with this kind of thing, they may not understand how to react to you, or how to make you better.
    maybe your boyfriend is scared about saying the wrong thing.
    just tell him that you just need somebody to talk to, and he should feel proud that out of everyone, you’ve gone to him for help.
    maybe do the same thing and sit him down and talk about what you have to help him understand more. like; when it started, what triggered it. stuff like that.
    i’m sure people may begin to understand more, but this needs time.
    for now, i strongly advice maybe going back to your doctor and seeing if they can get a better dosage of anti-depressants. and, feel free to talk to me, its better to talk to somebody you dont know, i find.
    you can also book councelling sessions, this helps but can often be pricey.
    good luck.

  18. Vicki
    Posted April 5, 2010 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    i really want to beat this bout of depression on my own as i have been the drugs way before and i didnt find it worked for me. Talking it out would be better for me i think. has anyone else found that the person they thought would be the person that would support them the most simply cant handle it? my best friend has now started to avoid me, which i can understand to a point as i know i can be hostile and very moody at times at the moment, she does know i have depression at the moment but is totally ignoring it!!! i want to talk to her as she has had something simular happen to her and thought she would understand more than my other friends. she has shouted at me, telling me i over react to everything, and tells me she cant take anymore of my misery. its making me feel worse as i feel very hurt by what she is saying and feel like she doesnt care and at the same time i feel awful for putting my burden on her!! i dont know what the best course of action is to take – do i just not try to talk to her about it anymore and let her live in the world of me pretending everything is fine or do i sit her down and make her listen? any advice would be really helpful right now as this is tearing a very close friendship apart!!!

  19. Angie
    Posted August 29, 2010 at 3:53 am | Permalink

    It has been very interesting reading peoples experience here.

    My partner suffers from what he feels is depression. I can’t judge this as I havent had this neither am completely conversent with the different types but reading and talking to other that have suffered, I would say that he also does.

    He goes into a ‘closedown’ state where he feels no self worth. He says it isn’t right that he loves me so much and says that he must let me go or I must let him go. He truly acts in such a loving manner usually.

    During the 2 1/2 years that we have been together, he has taken steps, little by little to trust himself to have a relationship and love but he has these episodes. We don’t live together and around 60 miles apart.

    His is currently on the continent staying with his daugther and her maternal family. Today he told me out of the blue that he has stuggled so much with his inner demons that if it wasn’t for his daughter, he feels he could kill himself. He said he has the courage to do this. He has had these episodes around every 3 – 4 months. They seem to form a pattern of when he’s been on the continent to stay with his daughter and the family. It’s all very civilised with shared parenting which I encourage wholeheartedly. These episodes manifest themselves with him not contacting me or taking a call or by text or sms if we aren’t in the same place. This could last for 4 days to a few weeks.

    Gradually, over the last 2.5 years, he has come out of them a lot quicker and he has had extreemly difficult time and felt utter desolation when he split with his ex-partner and they moved back to France. Despite that, he has managed to arrange constant telephone access and that he visits or his daughter or she visits with him for all the school holidays.

    I don’t know if his ex realises his depression or if he had this before his daughter went to live in on the continent.

    I advised him to go to his daughter’s room and give her a kiss as she loves him dearly as he does her. He is such an incredibly loving father, I feel that he wouldnt go through with his threat but I really worry about the possiblity and have said to him that I will help and support him in whatever way he needs and together we can find a counsellor. I hope that is the kind of advice someone in thier blackest hour will hold on to.

    We do not live together and it has taken 2 years for him to let me into his home – I think that is because he felt ashamed of the decor/state of it – although to be honest, it wasn’t at all bad – He first let me see it when he’d cleared all the furniture and had the builders in to refurbish it. I think the other issue may be that he loves me so much, he has been terrified of losing me and by not letting me into his home, that he had control over his emotions. He is the most intelligent, loving gentle and funny man I have ever known and possibly the most confused.

    It is very tough not being able to put your arms around someone who feels so low and this is the first time he has been so vocal about these demons as he calls them. His low self worth now manifests itself in the respect that he will be moving when his refurb if finished and doesnt even know where he will be staying. I said as previously, he would be welcome to stay with me for as long as he wishes and think about his plans for accommodation.

    I don’t know if this sounds remotely familiar but I would really appreciate someone who has a similar type of behaviour during depressive episodes or for a partner who has similar experiences to help me give the best kind of support that I can to him.

    Many thanks

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*