How To Explain Depression to Family Members

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ocean1
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Date Joined Dec 2006
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   Posted 1/16/2012 11:14 AM (GMT -6)   
I have been diagnosed with major depression.  I'm staying with my parents for a while.  I struggle with everyday tasks like putting away the Christmas decorations (just a few of them) or doing a load of laundry.  These tasks plus many others just seem so overwhelming.  I've tried explaining this to some of my family but I don't think they get it, I'm not sure I do yet since this is so new to me.
 
How do you explain this to family and friends who have never experienced it before?
 
I have my own apartment but am staying with my parents as to not be so lonely and I have tendency towards "dwelling" on stuff and they keep me from doing that too much.  I am off work until at least Feb. 1st and taking Wellbutrin and Abilify which seem to be working but are they supposed to get rid of the overwhelming stuff I mentioned above or is that what therapy is for?
 
Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated.  As I said, I am new to this and still very much struggling with the diagnosis alone much less how to live life with this illness.

bayoub2
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Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 2861
   Posted 1/16/2012 11:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Dear ocean
 
Listlessness, apathy "laziness", inability to function on a "normal" level, sense of being overwhelming, falt affect a re all ahllmarks of depression(so is crappy typing apparentlt-lol)
 
I procrastinate like mad...phone calls, erands, everything seems sooo heavy...even tho I knwo if I do them Iwill feel beter. I have to FORCE myself to do stuff and I always make beds, straighten up kitchen and do a load of laundry, maybe swiffer. Taking a shower wears me out!!  I dread doc appts and with sick daughter, hubby and me, we have alot...those days I plan nothing else.
 
The best thing I can tell you is set one small chore for today AND do it...a body in motion tends to stay in motion and youmight even get 2 things done..
 
Of course, mu hubby thinks I do nothing and resents greatly having to pick up after himself, but I try to remember that is his problem...the house is not dusted as often as I'd like but you have to know your limits...keep you goals small...do not make a long list, it will overwhelm you
 
I hope this helps, we learn to adapt to the disease...family members not so much-lol
 
Take care
Maggie
 
PS we just putup xmas stuff yesterday-lol

getting by
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Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 42609
   Posted 1/16/2012 12:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Ocean,

I agree with Maggie, set small goals. Try to get one thing done and before you know it you will be doing two. It is so hard to get going with depression.

You could google depression and maybe get some information and print it off for them to read. I think when you haven't experienced depression, you don't understand it. So it is hard to get people to understand. Maybe try to look busy, I don't know. Are you going to any counseling? It really helps you progress along with your meds. And it takes awhile for the meds to get working. Six to eight weeks for Wellbutrin to reach it's full potential. It seems you said that you had a mood stabilizer, that should kick in fairly soon. But it will make the ad work better too. So give it a little time, and see a counselor. You are on the right track. I think you will be feeling better soon. Keep posting.

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

ocean1
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Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 708
   Posted 1/16/2012 12:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you.  It sounds like from what you are saying that the way I am feeling is kinda what depression is all about and I am not alone.  I have been forcing myself to get up and do at least one thing other than showering and getting dressed and making my bed each day.  I don't want to have to FORCE myself to do things that used to be second nature and no brainers.  I guess I will also have to be patient with myself and learn to live with this.  I am making an appointment today (well, that is if the counselor ever calls me back) to see my counselor that I saw a few years back for my anxiety.  Taking my anti-depressant meds and anti-anxiety meds keeps the feelings and crying under control.  Guess I will have to take this one day at a time just like I am with my quitting smoking, one day at a time. 

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 42609
   Posted 1/16/2012 6:13 PM (GMT -6)   
You can do things to help you smoke less while you are dealing with depression. Trying to quit while going through all of this might be too hard. So I would work on the depression first and foremost.

But when you smoke, make sure that you are doing only that. Smoking. Often we smoke unconsciously. While doing other things. After awhile, you will be putting that cigarette out for later. Just be conscious. I time my cigarettes, to one every hour. Often I make myself wait through three urges before I light up. Little things like that can keep you smoking less until you are ready to quit. You have to be ready in order to do so.

Take care of you. Get back with your counselor and things will get better. It is depression by the sound of it. Atleast you are bathing, when I get bad, it is a chore to do that. I find taking a shower in the morning is easier for me than any other time of the day. Then I feel better.

Keep posting.

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies
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