Loving Someone With Depression

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By Andrea Lim

There is a common misconception about a depression: that you have to have a traumatic home life, a horrible experience or witness the death of a loved one to become depressed. But in fact, depression has no rhyme or reason – it just happens.

In an article written by Hope Racine originally posted on Literally, Darling, Hope clarifies that she has never been depressed, but says that she knows a lot about depression.

“A lot of us are lucky enough to have the ability to say ‘I’m feeling depressed,’ as opposed to ‘I have depression.’ There’s a big difference between those statements, and the key word is feeling.”

She draws her knowledge from personal experiences with people close to her falling into depression.

“I had no idea what I was getting into,” she says.

Depression hurts more than just you
Loving someone with depression is hard, Hope confirms.

“We’re not inside their heads. We can’t understand why they are doing things they are doing. We can’t understand why they won’t listen to reason, and they often don’t have the ability to articulate why.”

Acceptance and help through their dark times will mean more to them than it is ever comprehendible.

Your loved one isn’t sad.
Depression is an affliction, not a state of being.

Depression has the ability to cut off people from a person’s life, to cripple their social life and to constantly put them through hell, making everything more stressful, making them doubt themselves, and making everything difficult.

Depression can bring a person to a point where they will endure actual physical pain, taking over someone’s life to the point where it’s easier to just feel nothing.

They’re not depressed because of you
So don’t take it personally.

It’s hard not to take things personally, and even more difficult to not wonder if you did something to make your loved one feel depressed.

Being with strangers can make it easier for depressed people: they get to put on a show – pretend they aren’t depressed for a short period of time. It hurts to see this, and sometimes one can’t help but wonder if it’s just you causing the depression. But it’s not.

If your loved one is acting strange around you, it’s a good sign in a strange way. It means they love and trust you enough to share this with you.

Sometimes they try to hide it, and sometimes they’ll push you away. The only thing to do is just be there.

You can’t ‘fix’ them.
Endless supplies of positivity aren’t helpful for depressed people, and actually do more harm than good. It frustrates them to be reminded that they aren’t full of cheer.

Most importantly, they aren’t sad. It looks as though they are, and most times they feel incredibly down, but cheering up won’t help. Depressed people experience a complete lack of emotion, and you can’t fix something that doesn’t exist.

All the funny animal gifs in the world aren’t going to cure them.

Just be there, remind them that this is temporary, and don’t tell them to keep trying but just remind them that there is a light out there. Listen and validate their feelings, but don’t try to explain them or cheer the person up. Just be normal, but be supportive.

Any emotion is good.
Sometimes, people start the long, long climb up out of depression, and emotions come back to them in weird ways. Some people get the crying, the breaking down and sobbing. Comfort them.

Some people get the manic happiness that seems incredibly fake. Encourage this, but be careful. It can switch quickly. Most people though, feel anger. For some unknown reason, it seems to be the easiest way for depressed people to vent after months of non-feeling.

They will get angry at you. They will scream at the cat and swear at their shoe. The strangest and even the smallest things will set them off. It seems backwards, but by getting angry, they’ve found a way to vent their frustration.
Encourage it, or at the very least, let them rage in peace.

Take care of yourself.
Your first thought will be to take care of your loved one, but loving someone with depression can mess you up as well. You’ll feel like you need to be in it with them, but you don’t.

You need to take care of yourself.

Sometimes you’ll feel like a horrible person for bragging about a new promotion or going out with friends, and feel as though you should hide it from your loved one or downplay your accomplishments because it seems like a smack in the face to them.

Don’t. They will still be happy for you. Your success and happiness might remind them of what they’re lacking, but you cannot sacrifice yourself.

Be patient.
Depression can suck the life out of everything, but you need to be careful to not let it suck the life out of you.
Read about it, find out about it – it’s amazing how ignorant and misinformed the general population is about depression.

No Greater Fury Than A Battered Wife

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by Salvador Panelo

RECENTLY, the country’s attention was riveted on a spate of celebrity couples’ published marital conflicts, three of which involve showbiz and sports personalities that culminated in the filing of cases in court – while the third, a former beauty queen married to a politician, most likely will end in a court room drama.

How could fairly tale romances culminating in grand weddings terminate in an emotion-drained court battles over the custody of children – and accusations of physical, sexual, psychological and economic abuse?
Why should dashing suitors, becoming romantic lovers and grooms, turn into philandering cheats, psychological and sexual abusers – and financially tightwad monsters? Or expose themselves as closeted gays whose sexual preference is their own gender?

Why would loving, caring and faithful wives seek the comfort and solace of other men, outside of their husbands? But why not? If the husbands, in addition to failing to perform or understanding his marital obligations – would rather enjoy the sexuality of younger women – or in the case of gay husbands, would rather spend his time flirting and cavorting with men, why not?

There must be some explanations, and answers to the questions we pose. But I guess, while the psychologists and psychiatrists have their scientific analysis on the whys and wherefores of marriages on the rocks, the root of these marital problems is traceable to the failure of both the spouses in not knowing and understanding exactly their role in the marriage – and in most cases, the man does not know how to manage his time, the balance between the time he spends at work and the hours he uses at home, and in addition, the time he spends with his friends – as well as one night stands with his girlfriends – or ‘every night stand’ with his other female friends.

This is not to say that the wife can escape blame for the failure of the marital bond. A wife who does not assert her rights as a person in the face of incipient abuse from the husband contributes to the growth and the regularity of the abuse. A wife who ignores the tell-tale signs of a budding philandering husband encourages the man to go full blast with his errant ways. A wife who allows herself to be battered physically emboldens the husband to become a certified wife beater.

In the case of a popular TV host and commercial endorser, who married a sports celebrity, in getting a protection order from the court, she claimed that there was an attempt to sexually assault her in front of their son. On television, the sports celebrity fearfully denied the assault – and explained that he was merely playfully pretending to kiss his wife in the presence of their son. Given the exaggeration of the flamboyant character that his celebrity wife is known for – and considering the humble origins and the mild-mannered demeanor of the basketball star, it is puzzling why the court granted the protection order.

Regarding the movie actress, whose siblings are also in showbiz – and like her, are mired in controversies, in seeking redress in court for the issuance of a protective order from the court, she claims that she was physically beaten by the movie actor husband – who incidentally is not known for being a brute or a brawler. Rather he is known as a soft-spoken and good mannered man.

On the other hand, another beautiful and sexy movie star filed a criminal complaint against her multi-awarded movie actor husband for alleged physical abuse and rape. Yes, a wife can file a criminal complaint for rape against a husband. The actress charged the actor with violation of Republic Act 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Law before the Office of the City Prosecutor of Quezon City.

The actress claims that the actor barged into her house in Quezon City, on May 12, 2013, while she was alone – attacked her, employed physical harm, and raped her! The showbiz celebrity couple have filed an annulment for their marriage. They have been living separately since their publicized split-up some months prior. In her complaint, the actress claims that her husband’s “foregoing and other series of philandering and womanizing ways” have shattered their twelve years of marriage.

The actress said that she and her children were forced to leave their conjugal home last February of this year.
The actress moreover claims that she and her children have been deprived by the actor-husband of support, shelter and means of transportation. She has also accused her husband of harassing her, of threatening her with physical harm, obscene accusations and grave defamations. She charged that her husband “deceitfully” took custody of their children on July 29, 2013, and refused to return them to her – and she has been since then denied rightful custody and access to her children.

Image credit:
Image credit:

The movie actress filed a separate petition for a temporary protection order against the actor-husband.
Meanwhile, a former beauty queen, a Binibining Pilipinas title-holder and candidate to the Miss Universe Contest, an active social worker and business entrepreneur and married to a legislator, went public five weeks ago – and announced that she was seriously contemplating of filing charges of psychological and economic abuse against her husband, apart from instituting a petition to annul her marriage to the lawmaker.

We recall that in October of last year, the former beauty queen stated in a press conference in her hometown that she filed a church annulment of her marriage against the husband. The lawmaker-husband issued a statement in May last year confirming the separation from his wife after 12 years of being together as husband and wife, and that they have been living separately since November 2011.

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