It’s better to accompany your loved one to the psychiatrist than take their body to the hospital. People who are dealing with mental health issues need support, just like someone who’s met an accident would need your help. They need you not just emotionally, but physically too.
Umm…I know, depressed people are not very easy to take care of, because they either totally refuse help, or they just lie about their feelings. No one pretends better than a person who knows how to hide their feelings.
Why do we hide our feelings? Feelings of guilt, shame, rejection, sadness, disappointment, pain.. etc. Why do we always have to look brave in front of the world? I think people who ask for help are brave. I feel people who help these people are heroes. I feel sometimes you just save a life by being there, being around.
No, a depressed person won’t confide in just anybody. Just anybody could be your husband or wife too. Sometimes it’s a parent who you cannot trust with your feelings. Please don’t get offended if your loved one who is suffering won’t talk to you about her problems. It is probably because they don’t trust you will receive it well or fail to understand. It’s not your fault but we are all humans, we have all been careless in our relationships. We have all dealt with our own shit and set of problems and heartache. And we have all locked ourselves at some point of time. But there are very few people in our lives who are extremely essential. We LOVE these people to death and seeing them suffering daily kills you too.
They are afraid you will either not understand (which is mostly what the case is)… and they are really, really afraid that you will accuse them of “being negative.”
Please don’t judge someone when they seem to be opening up to you. Just listen, just hug and let them cry. That is a medicine, trust me. Sometimes what a depressed person really wants is to be understood, without having to explain what is in the head. It takes an enormous amount of energy to speak. A huge amount of trust.
You have to build that trust by being there, constantly. Not once, not twice but every time there is an episode and they try to lock themselves up.
Give them space but keep an eye. They have to know that this person is there for me, no matter what. They have to know that this person will die if they take that final step.
I’ll tell you what has always worked for me. A hug from either my mom or dad. A totally unrelated conversation and banter with my best friends. Closing my eyes and talking to my husband.
There have been times when all these people have been preachy too. It’s very hurtful to hear something about your way of thinking when you are experiencing one of the episodes.
It is not something we deliberately think. We are just wired to go inside this dark, gloomy, horrible space where there is nothing but darkness and there seems to be no exit. You look around helplessly, your loved ones are not there, you hear faded voices of laughter too, but you are in an alternate reality where there is just you and hopelessness.
At such times, all I need is a comforting hug and someone very close to me telling me that they are here for me and things will be good.
You know your relationship with this person. You know what could cheer her/him up. Talk about that. Tell them there is so much to do and that you will do it together. Tell them again what they are good at. Exaggerate it! Tell them how nice they look, how beautiful their smile is and how important it is for you. Wipe their tears off and kiss them. Feed them. Nurse them back to health. Encourage them for every new thing they do. Be their fan on social media. Build them up. Make them feel precious.
They will be good. And they will thank you for it.
Don’t leave the hand.