Depression and Anxiety Resources for Loved Ones Trying To Support Me

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by Raire, Jan 3, 2019.

  1. Raire

    Raire Turquoise Helicoid

    Hi.

    My brother has been trying to help me build healthy habits and do things that I need to do as part of living a full life despite depression, and trying to be gentle and helpful. But sometimes he says things that hit me as judgmental and hit all my "you are a failure, doing all the wrong things, you are going to fuck things up and hurt your brother, retreat, retreat" and it's actually making it harder to do the things that it would be better for me to do (exercise, for example).

    But he's genuinely trying to help. And I've been quiet and just retreating, instead of pointing out when he hurts me.

    So... does anybody have good write ups, whether they're on tumblr, or a help site, or something, that can help me explain how to support someone with anxiety and depression? I'm going to talk with him about how what he's doing is nice but it's just, aggravating the issue and my self worth problems, but I'd like to have something to point him to, and something that has more authority than me going "this hurts plz stop". I'm pretty sure he's already done some research on depression and anxiety, and I think I showed him spoon theory before, so there's a start?
     
  2. idiomie

    idiomie I, A Shark Apologist

    so, advice for helping loved ones with depression or anxiety tend to be really vague beyond "support them," i think because like, what support actually looks like for any given person can be highly subjective. my personal experience of trying to give resources to my family on how to help my depression, was my parents getting "we should have cut you off from the internet, and your friends we disapproved of (which was all of them)" out of them. which is to say, because they're so vague, it can be really easy for someone to read into those articles what they want to do, not what you want them to do.

    that said, mayoclinic's article is pretty specific (https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/in-depth/depression/art-20045943) and personally i like the advice in this webmd one (https://www.webmd.com/depression/helping-depressed-person).

    tbh i'd specifically try to emphasize don't try to solve the problem because (and i might be wrong!) i'd guess that's probably the thing you're running into? i'd also recommend like going over the article with him and talking about what that kind of support looks like for you, or if that support is even helpful. if it isn't helpful, explain why, and try to offer a helpful alternative.

    for example, when i was at my lowest, i literally could not conceive of a future where i felt "okay" let alone "happy." things like the it gets better campaign actually triggered me really badly, because i felt like such a huge fuck up that i couldn't even do depression the Right Way Where You Recover, and people trying to tell me that things would improve just made me feel defeated and like no one was listening to me. for me, acknowledging that i felt horrible in the here and now, and staying away from making sweeping claims about the future, helped. coming up with concrete ways to ease things that were hurting me in the here and now, without generalizing it to "and this will improve your happiness in the future!", helped.

    additionally, i know in the first article i linked, the advice of "give positive reinforcement" would personally make my skin crawl and make me feel like i was being made fun of, because my self esteem is more therapy territory than sibling affection cures all territory. on the other hand, "make plans together" quite literally saved my life. having social commitments that i value and look forward to, and then actually doing things that let me forget how depressed i was for a bit, helped a lot. because i suck at initiating social interaction when depressed, having my friends pick up the slack of inviting me to things, or asking to come over and spend time with me, was really helpful.

    i hope that helps?
     
  3. Astrodynamicist

    Astrodynamicist Preciprince

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