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Depression Perspectives

This cartoon from Robot hugs came through my Facebook newsfeed yesterday, via the “Live Well ELCA” Facebook page (the health and wellness division of my denomination, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America). Accompanying the graphic were these words from ELCA: “How do you help family members or friends who are going through a rough time? Here’s one way.” The accompanying words from the artist, Rich Matli (whose work is beautifully thought-provoking, always), made it very clear that the cartoon refers specifically to depression.

On the one hand, I appreciate the effort by the ELCA to increase awareness and understanding of depression. On the other hand, I have a couple of concerns:

+Depression is MUCH more than “a rough time.” It is a serious illness that can be extremely difficult to resolve. I’m afraid what was intended to be a supportive post ends up unintentionally minimizing the reality of depression.
+My perspective tends to be that of the caregiver. Yes, it’s a great thing for a loved one to support a depressed person with the gift of presence. But too often caregivers get sucked into the depression and suffer major consequences to their own health and happiness. So I would add a postscript: Be present, but take good care of yourself, too.

A very interesting cartoon and comment. I’d be interested to hear the perspective of others on this one…

-Amy

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5 Responses

  1. Coming from the clinically depressed mind—-my husband could hold my hand, let me talk all I want, try to prop me up, but I would still be depressed. It’s nice to know someone has our back, but it should be while helping us to see a professional.

    • April – that’s a really good point. That one was lurking in the back of my mind but didn’t quite make it out into the post. Thanks! -Amy

  2. Hi – I’ve nominated you know the for the Blogger of the Year 2013 Award. I know you already know the instructions, but here they are – again.

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    3 Let the blog(s) that you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the instructions with them – (please don’t alter the instructions or the badges!)

    4 Come over and say hello to the originator of the ‘Blog of the Year 2013’ Award via this link – http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/blog-awards-2/blog-of-the-year-2013-award/

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    6 And as a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog … and start collecting stars…

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