A recovery story from depression is hauntingly unfathomable. Most
of us have heard about the story of Doctor Fred, who got a rude culture shock when he went abroad to study. The focus of this story was so sharp that it pioneered a foundation in the name of dealing with depression.
Basically, this is what ensued, when he arrived the“Honeymoon phase” ended in weeks, and what followed was a rough culture shock that led to depression. After months of trying to cope with the new environment, he had to go back home and had to adapt again to his roots and now more than ever he felt a sense of deep isolation.
The whole situation became unpleasant and ugly, so much so that he dropped his scholarship, it couldn’t have been worse. Long story short, Dr. Fred is now a child psychiatrist, with a foundation he started to help students with scholarships abroad cope. From his experience, there are better ways to handle depression without negatively impacting friends and family.
How do you know when you affect other people around you?
There are some clear signs that people experience when
around a depressive individual. Some include gloominess when around them and mixed feelings, avoiding contact with other people, they feel guilty because either party has had a great day while the other hasn’t, or feelings of resentment towards the depressed for not being tolerant.
People who are around a depressed person may develop some unhealthy habits to distract them. They include habits such as making excuses to avoid responsibilities, indulgence in illegal substances and alcohol or avoiding calls from you. Additionally, most of these effects are rarely felt right away. So here's how you can deal with depression without spreading it to family and friends.
1. Spare some time for yourself.
This comes off as selfish, but it’s understandable; the need to “breathe” and process your emotions. Introspect, and isolation will give you the freedom to digest everything happening around you without taking others down with you. When isolated no one is draining or tugging at your emotional strength. This not only salvages the situation with people around you, you’d be surprised how much better you feel when you pull it off.
2. If you can't beat them join them.
This is a tall order to ask from people with depression. However, a gesture as simple as a smile can be reassuring. The impending risk of getting drowned by your negative emotions will always be lingering in the minds of people who are close to you. Therefore, the least you could do Is give them an “I'm still in here guys” sign.
Listen to their issues and be mindful as you would under normal circumstances. The limits are stretched on this one, but this enhances the feeling of belonging. Realize that socialization is a game.
3. Realize that your output is enough.
What you’ve done is enough. When talking to other people, there is no point in beating yourself up about whether you've said the right thing, or where you fit in or not. The basic rules of psychology say “You get better when you stop listening to others. ” Take a stand when around people and don’t second guess your choices. People are often caught up between passive (thinking about others) and aggressive like the proverbial bear (thinking about how other people are imperfect).
4. Learn by talking to people about their challenges.
Adding more to your plate is the last thing you want. However, the sense of being wanted and being a part of someone’s life is crucial
especially to family. Being around when they need you is a small price to pay in the long run. Revaluate the impact you are causing to the relationship, are the scales tipping in the negative direction? Often expressing what you feel is hard, and for most people the
closer they are to other people, the harder it becomes to share their problems. A stuffed relationship full of unknown variables may end up being manipulative. Don’t be trapped in your subconscious mind, work on engaging people around you.
5. Appreciate the feedback from other people.
If you feel the atmosphere changing when you are around people, ask them if they feel comfortable around you. Ask them what they think you should do about it. Be kind to others while watching out for your own emotional growth. Getting them to share their opinions on the situation will help them get out of their box; the box where they feel trapped, to only bear with you rather than help you.