A new push towards mental awareness has stepped up this year as we face the growing grip on brain related issues as a society.
We’ve come on a long way in the last ten years but we’ve also created a society still bound by constraints and one that can fall into the trap of understanding the core of it when in reality we;ve discovered more issues than solved.
In particular, Depression. Every man and his dog feel they’ve experienced or know someone with depression and whilst that may be the case, telling someone to ‘pull themselves together’, ‘until you get help I have no sympathy’ or ‘look at what youve got, you should be thanful’, are frequent reactions and replies and are by far more damaging than good.So, how do you help someone with a mental illness be it multiple sclerosis or addiction? One answer most certainly does not fit all so this edition we look at DEPRESSION and great advice from the ground breaking charity MIND…
How can friends and family help?
This information is for friends and family who want to support someone with depression.
The support of friends and family can play a very important role in someone recovering from depression. Here are some suggestions for how you can help.
- Support them to get help. You can’t force anyone to get help if they don’t want it, so it’s important to reassure your loved one that it’s OK to ask for help, and that there is help out there.
- Be open about depression. Lots of people can find it hard to open up and speak about how they’re feeling. Try to be open about depression and difficult emotions, so your friend or family member knows that it’s OK to talk about what they’re experiencing.
The best things that friends and family can do is simply listen. They often don’t need to say anything, just being willing to listen to your problems makes you feel less alone and isolated.
- Keep in touch. It might be hard for your loved one to have the energy to keep up contact, so try to keep in touch. Even just a text message or email to let them know that you’re thinking of them can make a big difference to how someone feels.
Talking… not even talking about how I felt. Just talking about stupid things that didn’t matter over coffee, without pressure and knowing that I can talk about the tough stuff if I want to.
- Don’t be critical. If you’ve not experienced depression yourself, it can be hard to understand why your friend or family member can’t just ‘snap out of it’. Try not to blame them or put too much pressure on them to get better straight away – your loved one is probably being very critical and harsh towards themselves already. Mind’s information about depression can help you learn more about it.
Just a simple call or text asking me how I am helps. I don’t want sympathy, just to know they are there if I need them.
- Keep a balance. If someone is struggling, you might feel like you should take care of everything for them. While it might be useful to offer to help them do things, like keep on top of the housework or cook healthy meals, it’s also important to encourage them to do things for themselves. Everyone will need different support, so talk to your friend or family member about what they might find useful to have your help with, and identify things they can try to do themselves.
- Take care of yourself. Your mental health is important too, and looking after someone else could put a strain on your wellbeing. See our pages on coping as a carer, managing stress and maintaining your wellbeing for more information on how to look after yourself.
Listen carefully, don’t judge and most of all, don’t say, ‘Cheer up.’ It’s just not that simple. Sometimes solutions are unnecessary, so don’t feel you have to provide one.
If you need help for yourself, a loved one, colleague or anyone you know, contact MIND or you local GP foradvice but don’t ignore it, it won’t go away it will merely esculate.
You’re in good compny though. Check out these five stars who have fought the crushing illness…
Jim Carrey repeatedly makes the short list of history’s most influential comedians, but in an magazine interview he confessed to a life battling the illness. After the second of his two failed marriages, Carrey sought the help of a psychiatrist who prescribed him Prozac. He then decided that he had to stop taking the treatment and swapped it for natural supplements, a healthy diet and facing his demons almost daily.Johnny Depp
Actor Johnny Depp may now be known mainly for dog-gate and as Captain Jack Sparrow but his career has seem him reach the highest heights whilst never deserting many left field projects don for the love of it rather than the fee. If you observe his mannerisms during interviews though, it would be easy to forget he’s one of the world’s most famous and desirable people with muffled words, little smile and frequent shuffling. That’s because Depp has suffered from severe anxiety for most if his life. This in turn has lead to depression on many occasions and Depp always has access to his therapist on set or location at all times.
In his memoir, The Way I Am, Eminem goes into detail about his battle with depression more than a decade ago. Though the rapper grew up through tough circumstances, in 2006 he found himself reeling after the murder of his close friend and D12 member Proof. That coupled with his turbulent on/off relationship with his ex-wife has led to prolonged bouts of depression.
His continuously rocky relationship with his ex-wife wasn’t helping either. Eminem recalled, “
Yep,even superheroes aren’t immune to it. The actor who has played Captain America has often spoke about his crippling anxiety and depression.
When asked about the red carpet experience he responded…
As Captain America, he may not be scared of much. But as himself, actor Chris Evans has dealt with depression stemming from his debilitating anxiety. In an interview, Evans described the feelings that overwhelm him in the spotlight: “A red carpet lasts, what, 30 minutes, tops? But that to me is like walking over hot coals. You can fight a whole army if they line up one at a time. But if they surround you, you’re f-ed.”
Can you believe Han Solo and Indy had a horrible childhood which affected him forever, although the word depression has never been confirmed, all but in name though.
A very shy child, Ford was repeatedly beaten up by his peers for years. Even in college he didn’t fit in, and as a result sunk into a slump that included sleeping long hours, missing classes, and struggling academically. Finally, he was expelled from school. Things didn’t turn around for Ford until his junior year of college, when he signed up for a drama class and began the journey of overcoming his shyness.
Before she was an Oscar winner, U.N. Goodwill Ambassador, writer, director, and mother of six, Angelina Jolie-Pitt was a seriously depressed teenager. Jolie-Pitt, who has always been very open about her bouts with mental illness, has even revealed that her depression included cutting herself and hiring a hit man to kill her. Though things improved for the actress after finding Hollywood success and becoming a mother, Jolie-Pitt found herself engulfed in another depression in 2007, after losing her mother to cancer. This time, she took another route back to good health, accepting the lead role in the action flick “Wanted” in order to escape her own head and embrace the highly physical role.