#Blackdog

2 Jun

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Many of us know someone who suffers from depression, we may not always realise it though.  I am one of those people.  Depression is often referred to as a black dog.  It can at times feel as though a large hound is sat on your chest pinning you to your negative thoughts.  I would dispute that it is always the same black dog, for me there seem to be a variety of them that appear at different times for different reasons, ranging from little terriers that worry at the back of the mind to a large hound that feel as if  outweighs my very soul.

I have learned to recognise each of these dog’s characters and how to deal with them in the best way that I can.  It always begins with a detached retreat deep within myself to discover which it is and how best to deal with it for I know it will pass.  It may take hours, it may take days or even weeks but it will go.

Most people would not even know when this is happening to me as I am good at functioning in different spheres, keeping the plates spinning in order to survive. I learnt how to do this the hard way.  I have in the past been completely incapacitated by it’s strength and depth.

This post is not really about me, it is about how do *we* deal with someone who is extremely unhappy or depressed.

The most tempting course of action is to try and *fix* the person.  All the best intentions in the world and often trying to cheer someone up can be the right thing to try.  What about advice?  “snap out of it!”  “there are plenty of people worse off than you”  “get a grip” all things that seem to come into our heads even if they don’t make it off our tongues!  If the person in question rejects our advice or seems to get further out of reach it can be tempting to go through a whole repertoire of strategies getting ourselves more and more mired in indignation that the *other* is not listening or *trying* to help themselves, we have made it about *us* and not *them*.  None of this is helpful to either person!  It seems so obvious but often the last thing from our minds to just be still and listen, even if  all we are listening to is the sound of silence.

If it is someone you know well you could try asking them when they are ok  how they would like you to be when the cycle hits them.  It is a good starting point!  Some people want to be pursued and coaxed out.  Some want to be left alone.  Everyone is different, but their needs have to be considered.  It may be just giving a bit of space.

When someone we care about is already in that spiral before we’ve had the chance to ask it is harder.  All you can really do is convey that you care and be there with them either physically or metaphorically.  The last thing they need is meaningless platitudes or insincere comments.  If you cannot do those things without making it about you the best thing you can do is back away.

The best healer is time… give that

NB:  if its me send music! 😉

Jules xx

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