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Do You Love Someone With Depression?

If you have a partner or are close to someone who struggles with depression, you may not always know how to show them you love them. One day they may seem fine, and the next they are sad, distant and may push you away. It is important that you know that as a person who is close to them and trusted by them, you can help your friend or partner have shorter, less severe bouts of depression. Mental illness is as real as physical illness (it is physical actually, read more about that here) and your partner needs you as much as they would need to be cared for if they had the flu.

Your relationship may seem one-sided during these times, but by helping your partner through a very difficult and painful affliction, you are strengthening your relationship and their mental health in the long term.

1. Help them keep clutter at bay.

When a person begins spiraling into depression, they may feel like they are slowing down while the world around them speeds up. The mail may end up in stacks, dishes can pile up in the sink, laundry may go undone as the depressed person begins to feel more and more overwhelmed by their daily routine and unable to keep up. By giving your partner some extra help sorting mail, washing dishes or using paper plates and keeping chaos in check in general, you’ll be giving them (and yourself) the gift of a calm  environment. (I’m a fan of the minimalist movement because of this, you can read more about that here.)

2. Fix them a healthy meal.

Your partner may do one of two things when they are in a depressed state. They may eat very little, or they may overeat. In either case, they may find that driving through a fast food restaurant or ordering a pizza online is just easier than fixing a meal. Eating like this, or neglecting to eat will only degrade your partner’s health, causing them to go deeper into their depression. Help your loved one keep their body healthy, and their mind will follow. This is a great article that talks about the “Brain Diet” which can help the symptoms of depression, and this article talks about how our modern diet could contribute to the recent rise in depression. Here is a recipe for a trail mix that is quick to make and has mood-boosting properties.

3.Get them outside.

 The benefits of getting outside for a depressed person are huge. And it is possibly the last thing on earth your partner will want to do. Take them to be somewhere in nature. Pack a picnic and lie in the sun, take a leisurely hike or plant a garden. Being barefoot in the dirt, or “earthing” helps ground the body and reverse the effects of living in a world of emf’s, and digging in soil can actually act as an antidepressant, as a strain of bacterium in soil, Mycobacterium vaccae, triggers the release of seratonin, which in turn elevates mood and decreases anxiety. Sunshine increases Vitamin D production which can help alleviate depression. My friend Elizabeth wrote an excellent post about Vitamin D and its link to depression here.  For more information about other sources of Vitamin D, this is a great post as well as this.

4. Ask them to help you understand what they’re feeling.

If your partner is able to articulate what they are going through, it will help them and you better understand what you are dealing with, and may give insight into a plan of action for helping your partner. Also, feeling alone is common for a depressed person and anything that combats that feeling will help alleviate the severity and length of the depression.

5. Encourage them to focus on self-care.

Depressed people often stop taking care of themselves. Showering, getting haircuts, going to the doctor or dentist, it’s all just too hard, and they don’t deserve to be well taken care of anyway in their minds. This can snowball quickly into greater feelings of worthlessness since “Now I’m such a mess, no one could ever love me”. Help your loved one by being proactive. Tell them “I’m going to do the dishes, why don’t you go enjoy a bubble bath?” can give them the permission they won’t give themselves to do something normal, healthy and self-loving.

6. Hug them.

Studies show that a sincere hug that lasts longer than 20 seconds can release feel-good chemicals in the brain and elevate the mood of the giver and receiver. Depressed people often don’t want to be touched, but a sincere hug with no expectation of anything further can give your partner a lift.

7. Laugh with them.

Telling a silly joke, watching a comedy or seeing a stand up comedian will encourage your partner to laugh in spite of themselves. Laughing releases endorphins and studies show can actually counteract symptoms of depression and anxiety.

8. Reassure them that you can handle their feelings.

Your partner may be feeling worthless, angry and even guilty while they are depressed. They may be afraid that they will end up alone because no one will put up with their episodes forever. Reassure them that you are in the relationship for the long haul and they won’t scare you away because they have an illness.

9. Challenge their destructive thoughts.

A depressed person’s mind can be a never-ending loop of painful, destructive thoughts. “I’m unlovable, I’m a failure, I’m ugly, I’m stupid”. Challenge these untruths with the truth. “You’re not unlovable, I love you. You aren’t a failure, here are all the things you’ve accomplished.”

10.Remind them why you love them.

Look at pictures of happy times you’ve had together. Tell them your favorite things about them. Reminisce about your relationship and all the positive things that have happened, and remind your partner that you love them and they will get through this.

(via The Darling Bakers)

More people need to know this.

This is so incredibly important. I’ve seen people with depression ostracized so many times, and I cannot stress how much it means to each and every person I’ve tried to reach out to after whatever “falling-outs” they’ve had due to depression. Remember to always be compassionate and kind to all friends like this, because you never know what they’re going through.

6, 8, 10 probably the most helpful if your not living with the person you know who is suffering. Although cooking someone a meal is always nice haha

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One of the amazing things about life is how it is so easy to make progress in learning things every single day. Yesterday while hanging out with friends, in under an hour I made progress on a trick I had taught myself the very basics of like a year ago. This progress has kind of emboldened me to want to try to do even more things and to learn crazier variations of that same trick.

I’ve also found some music a friend have me that I lost thanks to another friend. As well as more new music thanks to her. It’s always fun finding new music to listen to, adds more to your day and brightens it a bit.

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I think while I have all this free time I need to start looking into new music again. The last time I really gave a new band a try was back in the spring when a friend took me to see courage my love and crystlyne play live. Before that, back in the summer when another friend introduced me to our last night. Need to find some more new music to listen to now. Whether it’s electro-swing, ska, or rap. I need to explore music again and find some more new stuff to listen. Any recommendations from people reading this are welcome.

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It’s weird just like wolves have packs humans have groups which are pretty much packs. And just like a wolf pack has an alpha, there is an alpha in a group of friends. The difference being that the wolf alpha is the strongest in the pack. Where as the alpha for human pack doesn’t necessarily have to be the physically strongest, just the most charismatic, intelligent, or has the strongest will. Usually everyone will defer to this individual’s opinion or take it in a higher regard then the others. Unlike a wolf pack there is only ever one alpha at a time there can me multiple alpha personalities in a group of people.

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I’ve spent so much time lately around other skaters that I’ve forgotten how extremely judgemental majority of non skaters are. It’s kind of disappointing

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Why does putting things in boxes have such a heavy sense of finality to it.

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So today I decided I need to make a change to two of my really bad habits.
1. I always have such high expectations of people or events or days and i don’t think anything (aside from boardmeeting) has consistently met or exceeded them. It always ends up making me disappointed or annoyed or just generally feeling shitty about it afterwards. So starting today I’m going to try to keep my expectations for everything at like 0, at least that way even if something is just mediocre it will feel more exciting and fun and I’ll enjoy it more. I won’t be disappointed because i expected it to be more then it was going to be.

2. I have a REALLY bad habit of picking at scabs. Thankfully I only do this at home where I can clean it and keep it from getting infected after it been reopened but it slows the healing process because now it needs to scan over again. Need to stop doing this.

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Can I haz pizza? Too bad I’m taking it anyways.

Can I haz pizza? Too bad I’m taking it anyways.

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what the entire and actual existing fuck?

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It’s funny when my parents first asked me if I would move upstairs so that my brother could move back home I wanted to say no. I did say, but I wanted to be selfish, just once and say no. I went from the largest bedroom and more then half of the basement to myself, to one tiny bedroom and very little privacy. The thing is though, it’s my brother we have always been pretty close, even though I’m always hard on him and he’s always acting like a completely dick to me, we have always looked out for each other. Actually to put it bluntly we would take a bullet for each other. Plus he’s supporting a wife and kid and paying both of their debts off himself, and he can use the help he will get moving home. It also means more uncle/nephew time for me. It just sucks, and is hard trying to move everything into one tiny room. Although I am getting used to it and it is rather cozy, I think I’ll feel much better about it once everything is move and the pictures are hung. Maybe I’ll have a few close friends over for dinner and a movie once its done.

Also I know a lot of people always ask why I don’t move out. I just want to be debt free if possible first. Its so much easier to move out if your not paying extra bills like a line of credit down. If everything pans out with this job then I’m hoping maybe 1-2 years after my probation is up to move out to my very own place. That will give me time to save up for a good down payment and to have some money put aside just in case. Also I’ll have bought and paid off a car in that time.