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I Told You So….Maybe Not

One of the things we seldom talk about is that people with depression will deal with it on their own time frame and sometimes that fact can causes a great amount of friction in the family structure.

Maybe it is the thousandth time that you spoke with your loved one about the need to not dwell on stuff, to quit the ruminations, the stinking thinking.  But a good friend of hers or a paragraph in a book says the same thing and somehow it gets through to your loved one.   You throw your hands up and you bite back the remark “I already told you that” and somehow you try to feel good that at least change is happening:  he’s no longer stinking thinking or dissecting the life out of a subject.

If you are the regular caregiver, you spend a great deal of time dealing with depression through making appointments, monitoring medication, juggling the family finances and finding other ways to meet your needs from your no longer healthy relationship.  Along comes an outsider, says what needs to be said, what you’ve said a thousand times, and somehow the depressed person listens.  Somehow the time is ripe.

Just as we have to work out our own problems, just as we have to hear the words at the right time, those suffering with depression have to work through it also.  They have to be ready to learn that taking the medication regularly makes a difference.  They have to be open to the fact that they might carry some responsibility when they allow themselves to ruminate about negative things.  They have to be ready to accept the fact that they are dealing with a disease that is not easily dealt with and very rarely cured.   They have to want to get out and walk, knowing that exercise helps.  We can’t force it.

We who have a loved one with depression have to respect the person, walking the fine line of caring without stripping them of their dignity.  So the “I told yous” and the “why didn’t you hear it when I said it?” and all the other ways we wish to remind the depressed one that we were right – all those things have to drop away and you have to concentrate on the fact that someone somewhere has made a difference in your loved one’s battle with depression.  It doesn’t matter who gets through, it just matters that the message is heard and acted on.

– Bernadette


One Response

  1. Excellent post! I think sometimes family members are just too close to get through to sufferers, if that makes any sense. The desire to get better is what matters….it doesn’t matter where it comes from.

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