It’s a different story, though, when we’re being used by others for the purpose of helping them to their participation in their suffering.
Just like you can’t stop a headache with the power of your mind, most of us with depression are stuck with our symptoms, even if we are managing our depression with medication or other techniques.
While it’s wonderful that we’ve begun to fight the misinformation and prejudice surrounding depression, we’ve got a ways to go when it comes to compassionately and lovingly treating people with depression like they have a serious disease.
“Awareness” is great, but at the end of the day what I need is to be surrounded by people who actually understand my illness and know how to support me.
So here’s a guide to how to support a loved one with depression.
In his hurt, Tom tells his friends how mean and cruel Jane was. He blames others in order to cover up his own role in his recurring self-sabotage.
He paints her in the worst possible light, portrays himself as an innocent victim, and in passionate intensity convinces his friends that he was grievously wronged. As part of his defense, he enlists friends and relatives to agree with him that Jane is the problem.
Sometimes, of course, we can help others in their suffering as we listen to them and comfort them.
Friends and family members are justified in reaching out to us at times of need for our emotional support.
A while ago, I posted an article, “Avoidable Miseries of the Workplace,” that described some of the unconscious ways we chose to be miserable in the workplace, even when we hold excellent jobs. Repeatedly, I have kindly asked the owner of this small company to please keep the noise levels down (barking dog, loud walking, and distracting talking), but that suggestion was repudiated by the owner. Not only does this owner micromanage my every move by looking over my shoulders every 15 minutes, I have to deal with a barking dog, too.
A reader then sent me an email in which she emphatically chronicled the (alleged) reasons why she had no choice in her workplace but to suffer. In my trade, graphic designer, I need to maintain 100% concentration at all times . Not only was my plea for solitude disregarded, but the noise level seems to have increased .
This is accomplished with subtle or not-so-subtle comments and quirks of behavior. Nonetheless, since it’s your job and you’re working there, you can try your best to minimize the aggravation.