Chapter 9: Part III: Friends and Loved Ones

A COMMENTARY ON THE ROLES AND PERCEPTIONS OF OTHERS (STIGMA SUCKS).

During my most recent depression, I was blessed with both a caring, empathetic wife and a friend who legitimately comprehended the seriousness of my condition. They were both ‘there’ for me. My wife took on 95% of the household chores. She let me rest, yet helped to keep me active. A few hours of rest on the couch was balanced by a trip to the local indoor running track. Here, we would walk the track, talking and enjoying the time with our children. She organized my medical appointments and helped me get to them. She took me to the emergency ward when it became necessary. She supported my doctor’s decision to reduce my workload to half-time. She picked up my prescriptions and, most importantly of all, she never lost her patience with me. Thank you, Kelly, you are amazing and you helped to save my life.

“Thank you, Kelly, you are amazing and you helped to save my life.”

Trust me, a depressed person will test your patience. Their perceptions are altered, but very real to them. They will be confused at times and whole-heartedly believe their own perceptions at others. They may be excessively emotional, possibly mean. Men especially often manifest their depression as anger. Man or woman, they will likely be resistant to many efforts to help them. If you truly love them then see your role now as saving their life. You are helping them to recover. You are a major part of the cure. You are a police officer on the highway back to health. Your lights and sirens are on as you drive ahead of the patient, clearing the road of traffic and other obstacles. “Make way, brain-health patient coming through.”

“Trust me, a depressed person will test your patience.”

My friend answered texts in the middle of the night. She spoke to me on the phone when my wife was busy/exhausted and I needed to talk. She came around after work to make sure that I did not have too much time alone. We drank tea and ate biscuits. We went for walks and chatted endlessly about my thoughts and feelings. She helped organize low-key get-togethers on the weekend so that I had something to look forward to. In short, she also helped to save my life.

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