Whilst trawling around the internet looking at articles on depression it occurred to me that a lot of sites all preach similar things but all of them talk about the need for a support network and talking about your problems. Something men in particular find hard to do, yes me as well until I saw the light and yes you over there reading this nodding in agreement, I can see you!
This was taken from http://www.helpguide.org/mental/depression_tips.htm which has lots of useful information but specifically regarding support.
Depression self-help tip 1: Cultivate supportive relationships
Getting the support you need plays a big role in lifting the fog of depression and keeping it away. On your own, it can be difficult to maintain perspective and sustain the effort required to beat depression. But the very nature of depression makes it difficult to reach out for help. However, isolation and loneliness make depression even worse, so maintaining your close relationships and social activities are important.
The thought of reaching out to even close family members and friends can seem overwhelming. You may feel ashamed, too exhausted to talk, or guilty for neglecting the relationship. Remind yourself that this is the depression talking. You loved ones care about you and want to help.
- Turn to trusted friends and family members. Share what you’re going through with the people you love and trust. Ask for the help and support you need. You may have retreated from your most treasured relationships, but they can get you through this tough time.
- Try to keep up with social activities even if you don’t feel like it. When you’re depressed, it feels more comfortable to retreat into your shell. But being around other people will make you feel less depressed.
- Join a support group for depression. Being with others who are dealing with depression can go a long way in reducing your sense of isolation. You can also encourage each other, give and receive advice on how to cope, and share your experiences.
10 tips for reaching out and building relationships
- Talk to one person about your feelings.
- Help someone else by volunteering.
- Have lunch or coffee with a friend.
- Ask a loved one to check in with you regularly.
- Accompany someone to the movies, a concert, or a small get-together.
- Call or email an old friend.
- Go for a walk with a workout buddy.
- Schedule a weekly dinner date.
- Meet new people by taking a class or joining a club.
- Confide in a counselor, therapist, or clergy member.
How did reading them make you feel? would you do these if you was depressed?
I can’t turn to my immediate family to discuss my feelings and thoughts as currently I don’t speak to either of my parents, my twin brother lives miles away and my younger siblings couldn’t care less in all honesty. I can talk to my wife and I’m blessed she is so supportive BUT it wasn’t until I acknowledged I had depression and spoke to my Dr that I started confiding in her because I didn’t want to put my problems onto her which is, quite frankly, ridiculous but I can bet any men reading this who have depression but haven’t spoke to anyone about dont talk to anyone!
I even stopped doing my social activities as a result of my depression! For the past 5 years I have been coaching kids football teams but gave it up in May because I couldn’t handle it anymore!
And as for going to a support group well in all honesty I couldn’t think of anything more depressing! Funny isn’t it but I cannot see myself in a room full of depressed people talking about their problems helping me but obviously research suggests otherwise.
So out of the 3 main points in aiding your recovery from depression I managed a total of 1 at a push maybe I can give myself 0.5 for finally speaking to Sheryl.
This is where i value the virtual friends I spoke about in a previous blog https://thedepressedmoose.wordpress.com/2012/06/19/social-media/
I have spoken to some of them candidly on my feelings in the past to the extent that they know more about me than my own flesh and blood and I know what I tell them will never be used against me and be shared with others. They don’t judge me they help me and shows me how important their support is!
If you are in the same boat I was in you will know what it feels like to be isolated and think that no-one cares but you will be surprised at how much support you get and usually from the unlikeliest source and when you find the strength to acknowledge your problem your beginning to win the battle and can start on winning the war!
Its not a sign of weakness to suffer from depression nor is it a sign of weakness to ask for help!
Asking for help or even just talking to family or friends shows you have the strength to admit your only human and suffer like everyone else so please seek help if you need it! I am not ashamed to admit I cried my eyes out when I finally saw my doctor the overwhelming feeling of relief that I was not mad and could get help was too much for me and I sat in his room like a baby crying.
It was the start I needed on my journey and could be the best thing you have ever done!