Living With Depression

I have suffered depression, I have been down thatthese-are-the-first-signs-of-depression-that-everyone-ignores black hole, not being able to see the light. The despondency, feeling of failure, feeling the world would be better without me.

However, I came out of the other end.

Most of us will at some time have the feelings of depression, some will slip down the spiral, some will recover quicker and just have the feeling that it was a close thing.

We all have a trigger that can set us of down the spiral, but we also all have a trigger that can begin the road to recovery though at the time we will not know what it is.

With me there were two triggers. The main one was the thought of my son, the thought that I may not be there to catch and guide him. The second was in realising I was suffering from depression. They were my triggers to recovery, those and the understanding and support of my friends and my brother.

But I want to talk, not about suffering depression, but about living with someone who suffers from depression.

Suffering depression has such a stigma that many of the signs are denied by the sufferer, much in the way an alcoholic will initially deny he is an alcoholic.

Knowing the symptoms of depression will help you to realise that your partner is suffering depression or is possibly heading that way.

Change in character, feeling constantly tired, insomnia, irritable, crying, drinking more than usual, these are just a few of the symptoms.

If you notice any or combination of these in your partner you can act to help define if it is the onset of depression and maybe help stop the downward spiral and reverse it.

How do you do this? Talk and listen, not just listen but hear, pay attention to what they are saying, even when they are having an angry episode, in fact more so as the will give you many clues.

Something triggered the start of depression, and believe me it can be something so inconsequential to you, but to them it is as the whole world has just collapsed. When you are suffering from depression every inconsequential negative aspect is magnified a thousand fold and you always blame yourself.

You will need to call up infinite reserves of patience and understanding and find time. Find time on two levels.

  • Time to spend with your partner, time to listen, comfort, understand, encourage.

You need to take time to listen to them, get them to talk about what they feel, what are they worrying about and believe me this is no easy feat but you have to be gently persuading and encouraging, quite often they will loose their temper and it will be directed at you. Bite your tongue, do not loose your own temper. But at the same time do not show a weakness. Believe me this is by no way easy.

The first thing you need to achieve is for them to accept they are suffering from depression, this is often the first tentative step to recovery.

Encourage them to do an activity, any activity, from reading to cleaning to just going for a walk. Outdoor activities are quite often the best and can be nothing more than having a walk in the country or by the sea. Nature is a powerful healer.

Comfort them, tell them and keep telling them they are important, put your arms around them and let them cry if they need.

  • But you must also make time for yourself, time to recuperate your own energies, time to understand, time to think what to do next.

Living with someone who suffers from depression is exhausting both physically and mentally and you need to take time out for yourself or you will find yourself coming unstuck.

You also need someone to talk to, someone who you can confide in, be it your best friend or family member, your doctor, or indeed a good life coach.

You also need to take time out to laugh and joke and really just relax, because when you are living with someone who suffers from depression you are constantly on your guard that you do not say or do something negative.

Then there is always medication. I would strongly, very strongly advise that you first try without resorting to medication, but there are many cases were unfortunately you will have to and of course you will have to rely on your doctor to prescribe this.

There are many medications your doctor can prescribe some stronger than others.

Not all will work and some may have side effects that can be worse than the depression, nearly all will be addictive. You need to note and monitor any changes in character and of course in general health.

Your doctor should mention all this to you and you need to let them know as soon as possible to any adverse reactions or effects. We are all unique individuals and what will work for one may not for another.

Any good doctor will be looking at medication as a tool to aid recovery over a short period and gradually reduce your input to try and limit any withdrawal symptoms.

I believe the bottom line is restoring a sense of worth and self belief in the person suffering depression along with a realisation that sometimes things go wrong in threes or more and that is life.

When things go wrong or you make mistakes it is not because you are worthless or a failure. It is in fact quite the opposite. It a sign that you are strong and good enough to keep trying and learning and that you don’t quit.


Words Hurt

Many times we say things in anger and some times in sarcasm or jest thinking it funny.

But sometimes the words that we utter can cut deeper than a knife.

Childrenwords_hurt_by_lissy1605-d4ul0tv are most vulnerable, tell a child he is stupid enough times and eventually he will believe it and it can affect the rest of their lives.

Adults can be just as vulnerable.

Fortunately I consider myself thick skinned, but I was not always this way, I, through life, have learned not to let words affect me, well most of the time.

I can be as sarcastic as many and maybe more than most. But I have learned to think before uttering my words and consider the person I am aiming my sarcasm at.

I know some enjoy a sarcastic banter, they mean nothing personal, but a sarcastic comment or verbal joke aimed at someone who is at that moment feeling vulnerable can and often does do damage.

We may not see the damage or the effect we have with our words, but that does not lessen the destructive impact any less.

What has brought me to write this particular blog?

Well! I was with a group of very good friends the other day. One of them has a tendency to be sarcastic with his jokes directed at us, believe me he gets back as good as he gives if not more at times. We know with these banters there is no harm intended, however the other day he directed a comment that on the surface seemed no worse than any of the other comments, but the effect was rather devastating to the individual on the receiving end.

They took the joke and even retorted, however it was a comment that had hit a raw nerve.

At the time I thought they took it well, knowing their feelings. It was not until later that night when we talked that the true impact surfaced.

The “joke” had hit, on what I know was unknown to whom made the comment, a phobia of great concern and worry.

Happily, the next day they had a private word to explain why the comment hurt so much and apologies were given and accepted, but words once said can not be unsaid, an apology can be given and accepted but the damage is never undone so simply.

The moral I am trying to convey is that, we do not always know what is going on in someone’s life, even if they are family or good friends.

We need to be mindful with how we use our words.


You Have The Answer!

This is very true of us. We are stuck into inactivity because we feel we are not sure which direction to take, or are just scared to take the right actions.Have you ever wanted to ask a question but you didn't want to know the answer

How many times have you thought, on past actions, that you knew you should have done it differently, instead, you took a path, either because of bad advise, or the direction you took was the easiest and you did not follow your gut instincts.

Many times we know what the right answer to our question is, but we discard it because it is, to painful, to difficult, not the right time, someone will disapprove etc etc.

The truth is that, if we are not going to face the truth and accept the right answers, the difficult answers and act on them, then we will always be held back and end up in bad or worse situations.

We will end up in a perpetual downward spiral.

It is not easy to face these realities and sometimes we need help, a sounding board, someone who will help you to face the difficult answers and act on them.

This is where a Life Coach like myself can be an invaluable help. Help you to realise that you do really have the answer and accept the path you need to take to make it happen.

Do not forget a path can take many steps, it is not just one stride.

I will leave you with the following memeQuote and when you decide you could benefit from a Life Coach contact me.

I am here to help you.



Here & Now

We spend so much time dwelling on the past, mistakes, failures, regrets, or we are dreaming, hoping and planning for the future that we forget the present.

The here and now.

There is a difference between using the past as a lesson learned and dwelling on the “what if’s” and “if only’s”. Dwelling on the failures and mistakes of the past inhibit you in taking actions in the hear and now and will affect the outcome of your future.

Take more time on the present. Concentrate on what you are doing here and now.

We do so many things in our lives that have become automated, we don’t have to think about them because they have become so familiar.

Other things we see as a chore and so we do them with hesitancy often letting our minds wander to past or future, this in turn leads us to taking longer on what we are doing and often not doing it properly.

Be mindful about what you are doing now, concentrate on every action, take pride no matter how mundane or unpleasant the task is, suddenly you will find that the task is completed and completed well.

This is a relevant quote from Eckhart Tolle.

“Your mind is an instrument, a tool. It is there to be used for a specific task, and when the task is completed, you lay it down. As it is, I would say about 80 to 90 percent of most people’s thinking is not only repetitive and useless, but because of its dysfunctional and often negative nature, much of it is also harmful. Observe your mind and you will find this to be true. It causes a serious leakage of vital energy”.

When you are mourning for the past or worrying about the future the negativity this creates within you affects not only what you are doing at the present but also your health.

The mind is an extremely powerful force and can be as destructive as constructive.
But it is your mind and you have the power within you to control it and not let it control you.

When you are walking, or shopping or taking a coffee, concentrate on your surroundings, the trees, their colour, size texture. The people around you, their body language and expressions. If you are having a conversation listen to them, don’t just hear them, concentrate on what they are saying. Be mindful of your surroundings and the people, be mindful and concentrate on your actions.

Start trying it for a few minutes a day.

Train your mind to concentrate, you have let it run wild for so long you now need to control it, be master of it.

The more you do it the more natural it will become, the more you immerse yourself in the present, the more you become aware, the more you can influence the world around you in a seemingly effortless way.

“Time to change your mindset.”

When I was in the third year at school, I was well on the way to flunking maths, nothing to do with my level of intelligence, I was flunking because I found it boring.

Fortunately, I had a good maths teacher who was also our deputy head who actually cared about his pupils.

One day after class he held me back to discuss why I was flunking out. When he found out that it was because I found it boring he began to question what I did like.

When he found that I loved reading and mainly murder mystery, he told me to try and look at a maths problem as a detective solving a crime. Turn it into a game.

I passed maths with flying colours and when I applied the same principle to other lessons and aspects I found that I was succeeding more than not.

Changing my mindset, how I viewed maths made it more enjoyable and easier to achieve good results.

This change of mindset can be applied to many aspects of life.

Don’t just look at tomorrow as another day, or the next thing you have to do as another chore.

It is an adventure filled with possibilities.

Osho Zen – An Enlightenment

I was always under the understanding that all tarot was, was just another form of fortune telling. Like crystal balls, just a load of balls. Apparently I was wrong.

My life coach used Osho Zen Tarot and she explained to me that she did not tell fortunes per se. She used them to show paths and possibilities, a subtle difference.

She was always, constantly, extremely accurate in her interpretations over the years, with everyone. So much so that I began to see there was more to this than I understood. As such, this intrigued me and led me to look a little deeper.

Now this for a natural sceptic such as I, was indeed a great leap.

First of all:

It is often proven that the majority of fortune tellers are really just circus side shows. There are those who hold a greater esteem as they have a higher hit rate, so to speak.

There have been studies that say it is all down to the power of suggestion. If we believe strongly enough then subconsciously we will make it happen. Now I can understand and believe that for certain aspects but not for all.

I began using the Osho Zen cards as a sort of experiment with clients and friends, the more I used them, the more I found them to be incredibly accurate.  How was it possible for this to be.

I do not profess to be a psychic though I have always been intuitive, why, I have never been to explain, it has always been like a sixth sense, although it has been clouded at times.

Nonetheless! I do not have any definitive answer, maybe it is that through age and experience comes a little wisdom in keeping ones mind open to many other possibilities.

One thing I do believe, is that the power of Zen is more than it seems.