• Quote of the Day
    "Too bad the only people who know how to run the country are busy driving cabs and cutting hair."
    George Burns, posted by David Baxter

Philos

Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2005
Messages
17
Points
1
Folks,

I had a couple of days of sudden depression over Xmas which confined me to my bedroom. My wife and daughter were clearly disappointed but were kind to me and got on with Xmas in good spirits. I joined the family meal, with a great effort, and then had to go and lay down again. I slept solidly for 48 hours, trapped in the depression, which has now passed as quickly as it came.

A funny thing though. The day after boxing day I also came down with a headcold, runny nose, sneezing and all that. My wife and daughter both became more obviously sympathetic to me. They said things like:

?You poor thing, you can?t go out like that; stay in bed.?

?Look at you, it must be horrible.?

? Aah, this must be what was upsetting you.?

?No wonder you?ve been feeling bad.?

Now, what is interesting is that they never say stuff like this about the depression, or anything about it, and when we talked yesterday, my wife admitted that she does kind of resent the depression and wishes I could get rid of it somehow. But she doesn?t resent the headcold, or the recurring prostate trouble that I have, these things are different for her. My daughter has said the same, calling the depression ?only headstuff.?

These are kind and sensitive people, trying to be helpful. The evidence is that they don?t have the personal experience to empathise about depression; however they can empathise about a headcold! In some sense, for them, is a headcold worse than depression?

What do you folks think about this?

P.
 
Joined
Jun 11, 2006
Messages
5,390
Points
36
i think they understand how a head cold makes you feel because they've had them themselves. they know how miserable it can make you.

when it comes to depression, it is kind of hard to understand if you haven't been there yourself. it's too abstract for them probably. but people understand physical discomfort because we've all been there.

the other thing about depression is it affects everyone around you. your head cold doesn't. also, the head cold we know will pass in a few days. that is something that is obviously temporary.

maybe it would help to explain the physical symptoms of depression to them? that it's not all just "head stuff"? depression physically wears you out, you're tired all the time, you have little energy, you may have lost your appetite. a lot of diseases make you feel that way, actually. it just happens that the pain you have with this disease mainly is emotional pain rather than physical, even though there are also aches and pains that do go along with depression.

i have a link for you that might be helpful for your wife and daughter. it's written with a bit of humor and also in pretty simple language. i found it very comforting when i first found this link (i was just starting to realize i might be suffering from depression). take a look and see what you think. Mental Help Net - Depression Primer - Depression: A Primer
 

Philos

Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2005
Messages
17
Points
1
i think they understand how a head cold makes you feel because they've had them themselves. they know how miserable it can make you.

when it comes to depression, it is kind of hard to understand if you haven't been there yourself. it's too abstract for them probably. but people understand physical discomfort because we've all been there.

the other thing about depression is it affects everyone around you. your head cold doesn't. also, the head cold we know will pass in a few days. that is something that is obviously temporary.

maybe it would help to explain the physical symptoms of depression to them? that it's not all just "head stuff"? depression physically wears you out, you're tired all the time, you have little energy, you may have lost your appetite. a lot of diseases make you feel that way, actually. it just happens that the pain you have with this disease mainly is emotional pain rather than physical, even though there are also aches and pains that do go along with depression.

i have a link for you that might be helpful for your wife and daughter. it's written with a bit of humor and also in pretty simple language. i found it very comforting when i first found this link (i was just starting to realize i might be suffering from depression). take a look and see what you think. Mental Help Net - Depression Primer - Depression: A Primer

Into the light,

I read the whole thing. Maybe I'll print it out and leave it around in the house.

Thanks,

P.
 

Top Bottom