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-   -   Depression and Polyamory (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=48121)

Lucianna 05-31-2013 01:59 PM

Depression and Polyamory
 
I'm part of a quad relationship that is relatively new, and one of the members of the quad has chronic depression. Other then medication and professional guidance how can the quad best support this person?

I'm happy to give more detail for anyone who may have positive advice for us. However, Iím not sure what information would be the most helpful.

polywindsor 06-02-2013 04:58 PM

hey there depression is a clinical disease, and the best thing you can do for this person is help to keep them on a positive path. You can help them by doing little things for them to show that you care, many times with depression the person also has lower self esteem, so this may help to make them feel wanted and loved.

As for what you can specifically to for them why don't you ask him/her if there is anything they would like to see you do. Tell them you love them and if they need anything that you are there and reinterate it when ever you can/want to. Also stay on top of what medication they are taking and be sure to ask about how their appointments went (no different then you would with someone who has a heart condition). With the medication many people who have depression tend to take themselves off the meds when they feel better, so if this happens encourage your partner to continue taking his/her medication and seeing the doctor because the symptoms will return with out it and then you are in the same boat.

if you see that they are having a down day then just try to cheer them up with a loving simple gesture. remember it doesn't have to be huge to turn the day around, just a simple note in a lunch u made them for work, or a text saying your thinking of them, a flower you picked on your walk with the dog, stuff like that does so much to help someone who thinks negatively. Just remember that this isn't something that they can entirely control and stay patient and loving. These are the best things I can advise you, but most of them would be things I would do in any relationship not just one with a depressed person.

Best Wishes
Amy :D

CherryBlossomGirl 06-02-2013 07:34 PM

Depression.
 
Yoga. Jogging. Detox and diet. Depression is a physical reality, so I approach it from a physical standpoint. Hard to feel great if you're not sleeping, eating or moving your body in a healthy way! Hard to feel crappy when you're exercising, eating delicious and nutritious food and taking time to detox and relax the body! Best of luck, depression is a dog from hell.

Vixtoria 06-02-2013 10:04 PM

Here is an article i have shared with both my partners. http://www.lifescript.com/health/cen...ign=depression

Another thing to offer is if your partner would like someone to go with them to appointments. Sometimes it's nice just to have someone there with them. If your partner is on medication they might need to talk to the doctor about it, how it's working or not and might need help remembering to take it. The problem with depression is it affects pretty much everything. I forget things, and have a hard time with motivation.

If you want to talk privately please feel free to message me. I've been dealing with depression as long as I can remember, and have worked hard to be self aware enough to discuss how I'm doing with my partners. I've recently gone on a new medication that is an amazing difference from all the different 'cocktails' I've been on in the past, but there's still things I am careful of and trying to be self aware of when communicating. There's also lots of little things that DH and I have learned are helpful or needed in helping deal with it.

Marcus 06-06-2013 01:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by polywindsor
These are the best things I can advise you, but most of them would be things I would do in any relationship not just one with a depressed person.

I would include friendships, family, whoever I care about. I find it is important for people to separate themselves from this idea that their relationship is a "thing". For example, "the quad" is not an actual thing, that's just four people who currently love each other and are sharing certain aspects of their lives. Putting the external pressure of "well now we're a quad which means we relate to each other as a quad" is problematic.

OP: I don't know anything about your situation and you might have just used "the quad" as shorthand to describe "me and her other loved ones" but for the sake of the other readers I thought I'd make the clarification.

Quote:

Originally Posted by BaggagePatrol (Post 207724)
Yoga. Jogging. Detox and diet. Depression is a physical reality, so I approach it from a physical standpoint. Hard to feel great if you're not sleeping, eating or moving your body in a healthy way! Hard to feel crappy when you're exercising, eating delicious and nutritious food and taking time to detox and relax the body! Best of luck, depression is a dog from hell.

I like this approach BP. In the unfortunate periods of my life when I discover that I'm feeling depressed it is always enforced by how I'm living my life. Meaning, I realize I haven't been outside in a while, that I haven't gotten any exercise, that I've eaten nothing but stale Cheerios for the last 4 days... once I change a few of these really unfortunate situations I invariably find that my mood improves.

That is not to say that there aren't some mental conditions which require additional chemical input to address, but ignoring the fact that the body is a machine which responds to what we give it would be a mistake.

Vixtoria 06-06-2013 02:16 PM

Just an FYI, telling someone with diagnosed chronic or severe depression that they need to get out more or exercise to feel better is about the same as saying, "Buck up!" It typically has a negative affect rather than a positive one.

Yeah, exercise and getting out more helps, but depression isn't just being sad. So rather than say 'hey do some yoga, exercise, be physically fit and you'll feel better!' Offer to go for a walk together or do something together. Motivation is an issue when depressed and even as often as you see articles on it and how mental illness is still stigmatized yet talked about, people don't understand it and I get people are trying to be helpful and upbeat to help the person that is depressed but many times it is going to backfire. We don't need to be reminded that for everyone else it's a matter of 'bucking up.'

Marcus 06-06-2013 03:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vixtoria (Post 208417)
Just an FYI, telling someone with diagnosed chronic or severe depression that they need to get out more or exercise to feel better is about the same as saying, "Buck up!" It typically has a negative affect rather than a positive one.

Yeah, exercise and getting out more helps, but depression isn't just being sad. So rather than say 'hey do some yoga, exercise, be physically fit and you'll feel better!' Offer to go for a walk together or do something together. Motivation is an issue when depressed and even as often as you see articles on it and how mental illness is still stigmatized yet talked about, people don't understand it and I get people are trying to be helpful and upbeat to help the person that is depressed but many times it is going to backfire. We don't need to be reminded that for everyone else it's a matter of 'bucking up.'

It would be a little insensitive to say 'buck up' to someone with depression. It's a good thing no one here has said it!

Recognizing the reality that the body is essentially an organic machine and that it responds to what it is given is merely stating a fact, it's not a judgment or some kind of statement of how you someone should live their life. How one chooses to go about utilizing that fact is up to them. You would recommend asking someone if they want to join you for a walk... awesome idea!

nycindie 06-06-2013 03:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BaggagePatrol (Post 207724)
Yoga. Jogging. Detox and diet. Depression is a physical reality, so I approach it from a physical standpoint. Hard to feel great if you're not sleeping, eating or moving your body in a healthy way! Hard to feel crappy when you're exercising, eating delicious and nutritious food and taking time to detox and relax the body!

This may be true for someone who is trying to get past occasional times of feeling down or sad, but it wouldn't really help to tell that to a person with chronic depression. When one is chronically depressed, the fact that exercise and moving the body might feel good is not very likely going to be enough of a motivation to actually get up and do it. For me, something has to click inside my head to prompt me to do something that will make me feel better. We all know what's good for us, but oftentimes when you're deeply depressed, knowing what you could be doing or should be doing and how much better you would feel if you got up and did some yoga (or whatever), only makes the depression worse. There's a step in there between being depressed and doing something about it - that click.

If wanting to feel better and being relaxed was enough, chronic depression wouldn't be much of an issue. Every depressed person wishes they felt better. We just feel too stuck, lethargic, hopeless, and unmotivated to get out of it. Plenty of times, somebody had told me, "You have a gym membership, go use it - you'll feel so much better!", so I got dressed in my workout clothes, sat down on my coach to tie the laces on my sneakers, and soon became lost in my thoughts of how shitty my life was, only to wind up laying down and going to sleep instead of going out to exercise. Life in general is tiresome when you are chronically depressed.

And yes, I agree with Vixtoria that asking someone to take a walk with you, or go grocery shopping, visit a museum, etc., is a much better way to motivate someone to get out in the fresh air and move their body, than to try only verbally encouraging the depressed person to do something we think would be fun or energizing. Lots of times, being around people really helps, especially if the depression makes one tend to isolate, and not wanting to disappoint someone will get me out of myself. But it's tricky because you need to be compassionate without being pushy when trying to encourage someone to go out with you.

YouAreHere 06-06-2013 04:12 PM

Since I do not suffer from clinical depression, I found this an interesting take on understanding it:

http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.co...epression.html

http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.co...-part-two.html

Quote:

At first, I'd try to explain that it's not really negativity or sadness anymore, it's more just this detached, meaningless fog where you can't feel anything about anything — even the things you love, even fun things — and you're horribly bored and lonely, but since you've lost your ability to connect with any of the things that would normally make you feel less bored and lonely, you're stuck in the boring, lonely, meaningless void without anything to distract you from how boring, lonely, and meaningless it is.
I have (a couple years back) gotten to the point where I was completely overwhelmed with emotion and started to emotionally drop out, which she sort of alludes to in the beginning, but I didn't go that far down the hole. All I know is, if that's just the beginning (maybe it's not?) then there's a whole lot to depression that a pick-me-up can't fix. My sympathies for those who struggle with it.

LovingRadiance 06-06-2013 05:08 PM

I suffer from clinical depression.
I know what things I need to do.
But-in the midst of it-I am unable to self-motivate.

Someone telling me "you should go for a walk today" does nothing.
Someone asking "would you like to go for a walk today" does nothing.
Someone saying, "come on, lets go for a walk today" does something-it triggers a completely different part of my brain and even if I don't want to-I am compelled to "follow the instruction". Which-does do something.

I found the hyperbole and a half write up on depression extremely spot on and would suggest those who haven't suffered from depression to read it several times over.

Also: I wrote a post delineating stages of depression (that do not fall in an order-but can happen at any time in any order) with explanations last year. Maybe it can help with understanding too.

http://aafteota.wordpress.com/2012/0...rkness-inside/

If you have questions or thoughts-feel free to pm me or email me via the blogpost.


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