Ups, downs and what to do about a friend who’s depressed
I have been through some ups and downs the past week. Sometimes I just don’t know what’s gotten into me. It’s like my hormones have gone crazy and my brain and body are deciding it would be fun to join them on the trampoline. It’s really not fun. I try my best not to bring those closest to me into it, but unfortunately there is sometimes some collateral damage. It also makes me very tired.
When I was in high school I had some crazy highs and lows, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve learned mostly how to deal with them. I know if I exercise, eat healthy, keep a balance of work and play, connect with my family and friends, take time to think and organize myself, take time for myself, and use some sort of creative outlet, I can control the ups and downs to a degree. My friends and family would say I am tame compared to the intensity of my teenage years and early twenties. So now I just feel a little sad and tired here and there, or a little manic. I’m okay with that, though. I’ve learned to laugh about it (or cry a little) and do things on the above list to kick myself out of it. It makes me appreciate all ranges in the spectrum of emotion. I think it’s also something many creative people live with. Those intense emotions help force us into a creative release.
I went to a piloxing class today (cross between boxing and pilates – new to Toronto, class information here from greenfitness.ca) that my friend ran and it made me fell great. All those endorphins released certainly does help pick me up. And I had a delicious, healthy dinner. Everything is coming into perspective again and I’m happy my ups and downs are mellowing out.
How can I help my friend?
“Major depression can occur in 10 to 25 per cent of women — almost twice as many as men. Many hormonal factors may contribute to the increased rate of depression in women — particularly during times such as menstrual cycle changes, pregnancy and postpartum, miscarriage, pre-menopause, and menopause.” – Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
A couple of days ago I was speaking to a friend and co-worker of mine about depression. We are both concerned another friend of ours is depressed and we don’t know what to do to help her. I’ve tried to give her advice about finding something to do that she enjoys and isn’t drinking and partying (which she does a lot of right now), but she just gives me that look that anything she tries is futile. She pretends like she’s fine, but then will say something about being depressed and not being able to get out of bed in the morning and I worry. It’s been going on for months now and it doesn’t seem to change. I don’t think this is something a few veggies and a run will help.
I looked up some websites about depression and I will try to follow their advice (depressionhurts.ca, Canadian Mental Health Association, to name a couple). But I’m also turning to you out there in the blogger abyss. I’m sure many of you have dealt with depression in either yourself or someone you loved. How did you handle it? What can I do to help my friend?