During the many years I have spent in support groups it has been painfully apparent of just how burdensome and dispiriting the effects of mood disorders can be…for the persons who have the illnesses as well as the companions, family members and caregivers doing what they can in trying to help.
The symptoms of ongoing depression can steal our passion for living and push us deeper into a downward spiral of unworthiness with an unshakeable sense of failure. Bipolar disorder, too, can yank us from a moment of welcomed exhilaration only to send us plummeting into hopelessness and feeling we’ve no way to turn from the belief, however false, of no way out.
Helping a loved one to rediscover their own value and self-worth is one of the most effective ways out of these dark places. Stopping the downward slide is key, certainly, and may require a creative approach along with a sizeable amount of love. Actions that might be helpful could include:
- Attending a support group regularly, perhaps once or twice a week.
- Regular meetings with their therapist.
- Seeing their doctor in case a medication adjustment might be necessary.
- Spending time with people who are loving and accepting and help your loved one to feel respected, loved and necessary.
- Adjusting daily habits to ensure proper nutrition, adequate rest and minimal stress.
Uplifting thoughts, too, are believed by many to be as important as actions. After all, they point out, thoughts usuallyprecede effective actions. It is from thoughts of hope, encouragement, healing, right choices and loving ideas that we discover the actions that truly help.
Jerry Malugeon, Author, The Black Dog and the Cyclone Racer