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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Bodies » Perceptions of depression

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Author Topic: Perceptions of depression
daedalus_rebuked
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Just read this in another forum, from another clinical depression sufferer:

"One of the biggest reasons I found help was because my mom told me she was done trying to help me - that since I wasn't trying to help myself, she was wasting her time. And she turned around & left. That was like having cold water dumped on me. Even though it seemed heartless to me at the time, looking back, I can see it was definitely the most loving thing she could have possibly done."

Just looking for perspective here...reading this made me profoundly sad. I mean, it's great that things worked out for her. But the idea of someone who's already dealing with depression being cut off (by her mother, no less), being told that she's a 'waste of time'...Am I being overly sensitive here? Is 'tough love' an acceptable modus operandi for dealing with people who are depressed?

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bluejumprope
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Yeah, I felt myself go "yikes" a little bit when reading, "the most loving thing she could have possibly done."

There are definitely more loving things this mother could have done. I mean I've had a lot of experience being around seriously depressed people, and it can be really overwhelming and exhausting. I think it's the responsibility of the listener though to take proper care of themselves and not take out their feelings of impotence on the one who is suffering.

So instead of saying she's "wasting her time" with her daughter (and yeah, I agree, I think special rules apply within a parent-child relationship and even extra care should have been taken)--she could have said things like: she'd hit her limit of how much she felt she could help, and that she really cared about her daughter and that she deserved to feel better, and could she help her find a therapist?

[ 12-24-2008, 12:55 PM: Message edited by: bluejumprope ]

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without tenderness, we are in hell. -Adrienne Rich

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Honky Cat
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Ehhhh...I'm on the fence. I've experienced depression myself, as have a good portion of both sides of my family. It's certainly not the way I would want to be treated, but at the same time I can see where the poster's mother is coming from. I've dealt with a friend who has various problems, and over the last 8 years I've tried to help her and be there for her, yet it's incredibly frustrating when she ignores her therapy and her counseling and everyone's advice and goes back to her old patterns and her old problems.

I guess what I'm saying is I can see how someone can feel like that when someone they care about is in pain and can't seem to get out of it. Does that mean you should express that to them? I don't know. I think it depends on the person. But again, it's not how I would want to be treated.

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Bun Bun
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I'm thinking it's along the lines of how they work on that show Intervention. By creating a fake "bottom" you're basically forcing a person to get help, because you're telling them that you're no longer going to support their habit/behaviour.

I'm unsure if I agree to the method, but if it worked for someone, that's great.

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saguy
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While it may have worked, it's also a huge risk. Just as easy as it worked, this method could have easily gone the other way and sent the person over the edge.

I'm currently dealing with depression, but I'm also very embarrassed about my situation in life, and I can't even find it in me to ask any of my family for help (also because I don't think they would understand my situation, but that's another topic). I honestly don't know how I would react if somebody would cut me off from support like that.

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daedalus_rebuked
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That is really my point: the problem with a 'sink or swim' mentality is that some people are gonna sink. Which is fine in an abstract, Darwinian way, not so much for the one who is sinking.
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daedalus_rebuked
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Also, thanks to everyone for their input. Just needed to air this out.
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Heather
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Just FYI? For about every reason I can think of, I don't personally think "tough love" is loving at all, or healthy, even if someone being neglected or abandoned may result in some positives for them. I've been pretty outspoken about that in the past.

I mean, put it this way: being sexually assaulted -- more to the point, healing from my abuses -- certainly resulted in some positives for me, such as a better radar for danger, a clear understanding of what was and was not sex, a journey I had to go through which made me very strong.

But I don't think that in any way makes those assaults positive or kindnesses.

[ 12-25-2008, 11:00 AM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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bluejumprope
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I feel crappy that in my first post I didn't take a stronger stand against "tough love." For personal reasons this is an area where it's difficult for me to speak my truth.

So, this is just me voicing my agreement with Heather.

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without tenderness, we are in hell. -Adrienne Rich

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daedalus_rebuked
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It's ok blue, I also find it sometimes difficult to give something my full-throated support, especially with something I'm still processing. I suppose that's kinda why I posted, looking for empathetic and informed opinions, and you all provided that. Thank you.

Also, thanks for that link, Heather. Still trying to make sense out of some things, and learning about that book couldn't have been more timely.

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