Depression is devastating. When someone is suffering from depression, their entire life is blown apart. It can be a massive struggle just to make it through each day. But they aren’t the only ones who struggle. The people who are often forgotten are the loved ones of a person with depression. No-one tells them how to cope. They don’t know what to do. I would like to try and offer some advice to those people.
I know it feels too much sometimes, and I know that sometimes it feels like you can’t keep going…but you have. You have kept fighting, kept getting through, despite the feelings you are having. You’ve made it to today. You should be amazingly proud of that.
The deliberate infliction of pain upon oneself is something that is difficult to understand, but empathising with the personal reasons behind an individual’s behaviour is unnecessary when it comes to supporting them. As someone who has self-harmed, and who has also supported and loved individuals who engage in self-harm, I would like to offer some advice based on my experience.
Everybody has the right to feel safe in their own home, yet so many people don’t. For them, tonight will be another night of violence. Another night of watching what they say in case it triggers an assault. Another night of cowering in a corner, wishing the beating would stop, hoping the person they love doesn’t go too far, praying that they’ll still be alive come morning.
Whether the shaming of women in the aftermath of infidelity will ever change is hard to say, given how rooted it is in modern culture, but hopefully this explanation of why we act the way we do can contribute to a change in that culture.
There are few things harder than knowing that someone you love has been damaged by their past. Discovering they have suffered traumas or abuses, or performed acts that they regret, inspires the protective side in us, the need to find a solution for the person we love. You can’t change what has happened, but you hope you can support them to come to terms with it and move on emotionally.
The Kübler-Ross model of the Five Stages of Grief can be applied to the end of a relationship. Although nobody has passed away, you still need to grieve. The death of a relationship; the ending of a future you had planned out; in many ways, it is harder to handle than death. At least there is finality to death. With heartbreak, there is no finality. There is no clean break. You can’t help but wonder “what if…?”