Author Topic: What to do for Depressed Friend?  (Read 14448 times)

Offline Simply Kristen

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What to do for Depressed Friend?
« on: August 30, 2006, 02:31:19 PM »
Hi everyone!
Have any of you been depressed or dealt with depression (in the family) before?
What did you do to assist?

I wrote this in another thread:
I have a friend who is 32 weeks pregnant and currently tapering herself off of an anti-depressant and a sleeping pill.  Her OB/GYN told her that she should go off the drugs now so that her baby won't go through withdrawal after birth.  The Dr. said it is much safer for the child to go through withdrawal in the womb than as a newborn.  My friend is taking 1/2 the pill every day.  I believe she will do this for a couple weeks....then no meds. 

She decided this for two reasons:
1. She wants to breastfeed. Several OB's and nurses have advised her to not take an anti-depressant while nursing.
2. She doesn't want the baby to be extra fussy, have trouble sleeping, difficulty breathing, etc. during withdrawal. 


She now seems to be going through a depression... I can't get her on the phone, and she seemed really down the last time I talked to her.

What can I do to help her?
I have never had depression issues... and have no idea what to do for someone.  Unfortunately, I usually have very little empathy and feel as if people should just "pick themselves up", find the Joy of the Lord, and make healthier choices . But, I am worried about her unborn child... so am feeling very sympathetic and worried.

Any suggestions?

Offline healthybratt

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Re: What to do for Depressed Friend?
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2006, 02:43:38 PM »
Her depression is obviously related to withdrawal and withdrawal from antidepressents can be much more severe than the original depression it was prescribed for, so even if the original condition was entirely behavioral, it has now become physiological as well because of the interference of the physchoactive drugs. 

Here's a thead about Psychoactive drugs

Depression can be psychological (or behavioral) as the case may be, but it can definately be influenced by diet.  Read this thread:  Depression, Anxiety and other Neurological / Mental Disorders

Also keep in mind that being pregnant causes an extra burden on a healing body.  The hormones may be in flux and causing her more troubles.  A cup of red raspberry tea might help and it certainly couldn't hurt.

« Last Edit: August 30, 2006, 02:45:26 PM by healthybratt »
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Offline Simply Kristen

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Re: What to do for Depressed Friend?
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2006, 04:46:29 PM »
I didn't realize that withdrawal depression is even worse than the original.
I most definitely believe her original "condition" was behavioral.  She was 16 when her parents put her on the drugs.  grrooooaaan.  She has now been on anti-depressants for 7 years.

In the beginning of her pregnancy she went through a deep depression and checked herself into a psych hospital for a few days.  The docs changed her meds and has been fine since. 

I asked my husband for suggestions and he said to keep calling, call her parents, and try to drop by in a couple of days.... but to mainly use my best judgement.  We have a toddler, so he doesn't want me getting into any situations that aren't safe.  I have been praying about this.... and the only feeling I get is fear. 

Do people going through this like friends to just stop by? She lives about 40 minutes away, so it would be difficult for me to go there if she's not answering the phone.  Do friendly notes help? Do I encourage her to think of the health of her baby? Scripture? Is she even thinking straight? Is she a threat to herself and others?

I know these questions seem silly... I just want to help in anyway I can... and have never dealt with this before. 

Also, she has a good husband.... but I know he just graduated from school, started a new job, and his brother is in the hospital; so I know he is overwhelmed.

Offline healthybratt

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Re: What to do for Depressed Friend?
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2006, 05:20:15 PM »
It's a very delicate situation indeed.  I can't really tell you what to do.  If she doesn't want help, then obviously you can't help her.  Pray.  Stop by if you can.  Behavior is really unpredicatable.  There are so many antidepressants and they are all terribly under studied and the side effects and withdrawal effects can be tremendously difficult.  With my friend, she was afraid to tell anyone how she felt because she thought she was losing her mind.  Maybe just an encouraging word from you or her husband could help.  Something to let her know that she's not the only one and she's not crazy.  This really helped my friend.  I also personally spoke to her husband to explain what she was going through and this helped him to cope with her strange behavior.  You could have your husband call her husband if you think he would be willing.  Pray some more.
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Offline CinCapri

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Re: What to do for Depressed Friend?
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2006, 07:01:21 PM »
Do people going through this like friends to just stop by? She lives about 40 minutes away, so it would be difficult for me to go there if she's not answering the phone.  Do friendly notes help? Do I encourage her to think of the health of her baby? Scripture? Is she even thinking straight? Is she a threat to herself and others?

I know these questions seem silly... I just want to help in anyway I can... and have never dealt with this before. 

Also, she has a good husband.... but I know he just graduated from school, started a new job, and his brother is in the hospital; so I know he is overwhelmed.

Depression is a dark place. I would definitely go see her. Being left alone is probably the worst thing for her. Even normal sane people when they get depressed do not think right. They consider all sorts of things (suicide) that they would never have considered normally.

Talk to her husband and find out what his suggestions are for helping her. If you have mutual friends, talk to them, set up meals, go visit her on a rotating basis, send flowers, bring as much light to her as possible. Get a group together and pray for her daily, pray for the baby and her husband.

Treat her like she's really ill (cause depression makes you really ill) and reach out to her with continual encouragement (she's getting enough criticism from herself). You can't solve her problems but you may be able to help her get out of her dark place long enough to see Jesus  in you :-)

~Cinnamon

Offline Simply Kristen

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Re: What to do for Depressed Friend?
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2006, 04:08:02 AM »
Thanks everyone!
This is reallly helpful!

We don't have many mutual friends, but I have met her school friends at showers, grad parties, etc.  So, I can  call her parents to get their #'s. I just don't know how close she is  with them.... would she want them to know?

I just HATE that she is going through this.

We talked before she decided to cut down her meds, and she said she was really scared (it's almost as if she is dependent on taking a pill....to make her feel good.....even if it is a sugar pill).  I asked her what I should do if she goes to a "dark place" again.  She said "nothing, I just have to get through it myself".  I guess that is why I am hesitant.  I shouldn't be though!

Offline healthybratt

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Re: What to do for Depressed Friend?
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2006, 04:27:34 AM »
(it's almost as if she is dependent on taking a pill....to make her feel good.....even if it is a sugar pill).
  It's not "as if", she is hooked.  Antidepressants are just as addictive (maybe more) as any other narcotic drug (street drugs, pain killers, etc.).  She IS hooked and some of the withdrawal symptoms reported are much stranger and harder to deal with than the standard nasea, sweats, & sleep problems that go along with detox. 
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Offline Simply Kristen

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Re: What to do for Depressed Friend?
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2006, 04:34:00 AM »
(it's almost as if she is dependent on taking a pill....to make her feel good.....even if it is a sugar pill).
  It's not "as if", she is hooked.  Antidepressants are just as addictive (maybe more) as any other narcotic drug (street drugs, pain killers, etc.).  She IS hooked and some of the withdrawal symptoms reported are much stranger and harder to deal with than the standard nasea, sweats, & sleep problems that go along with detox. 

Right. She is hooked on the meds and is going through a real withdrawal.

But, I also feel she is hooked on that act of taking a pill every morning "that makes her life okay".
You know what I mean? It's like it was two-fold, because in her head she has already decided "without this pill I can't function". 

Offline healthybratt

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Re: What to do for Depressed Friend?
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2006, 04:58:40 AM »
But, I also feel she is hooked on that act of taking a pill every morning "that makes her life okay".
You know what I mean? It's like it was two-fold, because in her head she has already decided "without this pill I can't function". 

Well, this is conditioning and it's sometimes difficult to overcome as well, but this will be a personal battle for her to fight when she is physically well.  As long as she is physically ill and mentally incapacitated from the drugs, she isn't going to be able to recondition her behavior.  Be patient with her.
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Offline StephTallent

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Re: What to do for Depressed Friend?
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2006, 07:48:13 AM »
It is unbelievably difficult to deal with a friend/loved one who is mentally ill.  If someone has cancer or some other socially acceptable physical disease everyone knows how to respond and be an encouragement and help to this person.  Mental illness is far more difficult to deal with on so many more levels than a purely physical problem.  To me it is important to understand that it is a true illness.  Not a lack of spirituality, or behavioral problem, or something that if she would just "get a grip" on truth everything will be solved.  There are so many aspects of mental illness it is impossible to pin point one and say "Fix this and all will be well." 

Here are a few misc. things to keep in mind as you interact with your friend.

--Mentally ill people often isolate themselves from others.  They stop leaving the house, taking phone calls or answering the door.  They are often paranoid and terrified of judgment of others.  There is a "stigma" attached to mental illness that they can sense from other people.  Because others don't understand they fear it and these individuals often have an uncanny ability to discern fear and interpret it in a dozen different terrible ways that make them want to hide from people at a time when they particularly need help and encouragement. 

--From what you described of your friend it seems likely she is in an unstable enough state that she could do harm to herself or her child.  I totally understand her Dr.'s reasons for taking her off of her medications and in principle completely agree.  However it is very likely that she does have a bad chemical imbalance in her brain that the meds were on some level or other correcting.  What happens in many cases is because the meds have supplied certain chemicals that were deficient or missing in her brain's chemistry for so very long the body has stopped making them entirely.  It may take quite a bit of time and research to find out how to trigger her body into producing these essential chemicals/hormones again.  She may be dealing with two things at once.  Withdrawals from the meds and deficiencies that caused her problems in the first place, or that have since been created by being on the meds for so long.  A woman with her history is a prime candidate for severe PPD.  I hope her husband/church/family members and friends will be able to have someone available to be with her for an extended period of time if necessary after the birth.

--Depression is often characterized by those who have come through it as "darkness."  It is interesting that often the most descriptive term they can come up with for an entire period of time is the one word "Darkness."  Fear, lies, mental fog, emotional weariness, physical apathy all contrive together to create curtains of confusion for these individuals.  When dealing with severely depressed individuals be bold, full of truth and love.  Take them out into the sunshine.  Tell a funny story or read a hilarious joke.  Hold their hand.  Hug them.  Pray with them.  Take them for a walk around the yard pointing out simple, bright things.  Cloud shapes in the sky, a perfectly shaped rosebud, ANYTHING to make them pull their focus from introspection into healthy interaction with their environment.  When I worked with severely depressed teenagers I would sometimes sit with them outside and talk for a while reading encouraging psalms or other stories.  Then I would say "Look at me."  Make them look me in the eyes, smile and speak truth to them.  "You have beautiful eyes.  And a lovely smile.  You are so loved.  You are so blessed.  You have been given this, this and this."  Invariably interruptions would come with why things are so bad and "you just don't understand" and I would respond with "This is what I DO understand though" and boldly remind them of truth and blessings.  Physical contact is a very powerful thing for those who are suffering from depression.  It is a way of forcing them to interact when all they want to do is return to their mental blankness and not deal with anything.

Wow.  I didn't mean to write a book.   ::)  Sorry I wasn't able to say things more concisely.  I will be praying for your friend as she goes through this extremely difficult time and for you as you try to help her!  :)
Do not become so focused on where you are, and the destination you forget from whence you came. Concentrate not on what is to be attained so that you forget to extend encouragement, love and help to those behind.

Offline Simply Kristen

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Re: What to do for Depressed Friend?
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2006, 08:27:22 AM »
Wow.  I didn't mean to write a book.   ::)  Sorry I wasn't able to say things more concisely.  I will be praying for your friend as she goes through this extremely difficult time and for you as you try to help her!  :)

Thank you so much Steph!
This has all been very helpful.  I never realized that her body may have stopped producing the things she needs to feel happy because of all the years on drugs.  Geesh! How awful!  I also see now that it can be a true illness without an easy fix. 

I think you said things very concisely...and thanks for your prayers!

The last time she was in 'the darkness' I didn't even know... but I was promted to call her daily (without returned calls) and leave messages (and we usually only talk about once a month... then on and off more frequently). 
She later said that she listened to all the messages and that they meant a lot to her. 
So, I have been leaving her a couple of messages a day.  I know she is listening!

« Last Edit: June 11, 2007, 03:52:07 AM by KristenA »

Offline ALittleMore

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Re: What to do for Depressed Friend?
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2006, 08:28:33 AM »
I went through a terrible amount of depression a few years ago. And yes, as Mrs. Tallent said, the most appropriate word to describe depression is "darkness." It was a very dark, fearful, angry and despairing time for me.

The best thing (I believe, from my experience) anyone can do for a loved one who is depressed is pray for them and be a positive light in their life. ALWAYS look on the bright side, but not a fake or material bright side, the Godly bright side. The side that says, "God will never leave you or forsake you. He gives peace that surpasses all understanding."

The worst thing my family and friends did for me (although they had good intentions) was feed my depression and negativity by allowing me to "vent," and by agreeing with me. (I know this might sound simple, but I think it is very simple.) I have an aunt who is a youth psychologist and she, along with social services (long story) said I needed medications and help because I was a terrible threat to myself (which I was.) They said I needed counseling.

How grateful I am that I never received their idea of professional counseling. I can't imagine the state I would have been in, had I been caused and allowed to dwell on my problems.

Everyone needs to talk to someone sometime. HOWEVER, the people who helped me the most were the people who reminded me that Jesus is the wonderful Councilor, and that "all things are past away, all things are become new." People who caused me to/helped me dwell on the negative, dark, unpleasant side of life only made things worse. People who reminded me of all that there was to be thankful for, and taught me with their words and their example to be content and joyful and productive and creative, were the people who helped me be drawn out of my dark state.

Only Jesus can heal a sick heart. And His children can show the lost sheep the way home.

I'm so thankful for the people in my life who encouraged me in the Lord. Joy in the morning makes the dark night seem sooo far away, I'll never be able to repay those who showed me how to live in the morning. :)

I hope this encourages you to be sunshine for your friend, and always give Jesus the glory. Laughter really is the best medicine. :) When the old man, the fleshly man, the sick man, the sinful man, is "dead indeed," then how attainable is the light, and how the Spirit can shine.

"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones." Proverbs 17:22

Offline mamasboys

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Re: What to do for Depressed Friend?
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2006, 08:47:11 AM »
I have never taken anti-depressants so I cannot relate to withdrawl, but I have certainly suffered from depression, especially during pregnancy.  Once my baby is born I literally feel a fog lift and 'back to my old self'.
I am 26 weeks pregnant with my 4th and just went through a bout myself.  I don't know if this is horomonal, emotional, spiritual or physical.  It's not something you really try to evaluate when you are in the midst of it.  It really is just a survival mode.  
I can only relate how I react to it and what I've found that usually helps me cope.  
** I can relate to the 'darkness' mentioned in the previous post.  During my last pregnancy, I remember telling my husband that I didn't even think I was a Christian anymore and that it felt as though I belonged to Satan.  Covering your friend in prayer is probably the best and first line of defense!!  
** What usually helps me is my husband.  I notice that the more time he spends with me and helping me through the basic tasks of the day, the easier it is to handle each situation.  When he comes along side me and cleans things up and takes care of the kids, even the little things start to feel more do-able.  
** I have a few friends who are aware of my depression, but never during the midst of it because the last thing you want to do is ask for help.  I have one friend who I talk to pretty regularly and she is usually clued in when she stops hearing from me or if I don't really want to talk on the phone.  
** Being alone is the worst thing in the world!!  It allows you to dwell on your misery and gives your mind the freedom to go places where no person should.  You have no motivation to lift yourself up and get out and do anything, so a friend who calls and is forceful and says "Be ready in an hour, I'm taking you out to lunch and a movie" will be unwelcome but afterwards, it's a wonderful mood booster.
** My husband is very anti-drugs especially for depression so his fix is always nutrition and exercise.  Now, during a depression, the last thing you want to do is exercise, but when a loving husband or friend takes you by the hand outside and you go for a walk on a sunny day or brisk afternoon, it really does boost your mood.  In fact a study found that exercise was proven to treat depression more successfully than anti-depressant drugs!!  If you go this approach, expect vehement opposition and an outright no!  This really is the last thing you want to do, but it really does make you feel better.  During depression, you have no physical energy to exercise, but maybe offering to pick her up and go to a Pilates class at a gym or even a stretching class and then go out for smoothies or something sounds relaxing, beneficial and social.  
** Other things that have helped me is just having someone take control of all the things that I'm responsible for so that life no longer feels so overwhelming.  My husband taking control of the finances and kids, a friend folding laundry and cleaning the kitchen, having a few nights worth of frozen meals or take out on paper plates so there is no clean up, etc.
** During one particularly bad bout, my husband encouraged me to leave for the day.  I took a journal, pen and folding chair.  I went out to lunch then found a beautiful spot in a park by a stream that was very secluded and just prayed, journaled and I had also brought a book called "The Invisible Woman" that really spoke to me.  I came back feeling rejuvinated and hopeful.
I don't know if any of these suggestions would help your friend or not.  I know how horrible it feels to be so depressed during a time where you should be the most joyful.  Having people tell me how blessed I am, etc. just feels sarcastic.  Maybe just being bold and laying your hands on her and praying for the joy of the Lord to enter into her, for Jesus to break the bonds of depression and deliver her into His peace, etc. would be great.  Whether or not she feels the release, at least she knows that there is someone who cares and is praying for her.  I know her husband is going through a lot in his life, but he is KEY in helping his wife to overcome this.  If you have an opportunity or feel comfortable talking to him and giving some of the above suggestions and seeing if they help.  
Good luck with this!!  It's a great friend indeed who is willing to help someone depressed.  It is so much easier to just turn your cheek and wait until they 'feel better' or let them get through it alone, but being alone really is the worst thing for it.
God bless!
 

Offline nursegirl

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Re: What to do for Depressed Friend?
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2006, 08:50:09 AM »
Watching someone you love go through depression is a very, very scary thing.  My best friend of many years has been struggling with this for a long time, and it got really bad after the birth of her third child a year ago.  She's doing much better now that she's in therapy once a week (with a Christian therapist) and on the right medication.  

Here's what I did when she was doing really poorly:  I made sure we saw each other every couple of weeks.  I talked to her every day on the phone.  I told her over and over again that I was available whenever she needed anything.  I also pointed out to her that she rarely, if ever asked for help.  I explained to her that if roles were reversed, she would be furious if I didn't reach out for the help I needed.  When she told me some of the dark thoughts she was having (about hurting herself and her kids), I made her promise that EVERY SINGLE TIME she felt like that, she would call someone and tell them.  I also reminded her that the things she was thinking and feeling were lies of the Enemy, not the truth of God.  I repeated the truths she already knew; God loves her, she's a worthy, valuable person, and that this, too, would pass.  

It seems very unwise of your friend's doctor to wean her off her medication so quickly, especially with her extremely high risk of PPD.  There are medications that can be taken during pregnancy and breastfeeding.  Of course, no one wants to be on medication all the time.  But what's worse?  Being dependent upon a medication or harming yourself or your child?  

I pray that God will give you wisdom and compassion for her.

Sarah

Offline Simply Kristen

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Re: What to do for Depressed Friend?
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2006, 09:21:53 AM »
Wow this is really amazing!
I am crying now after reading everyone's responses.

this is a really moving prayer: "Maybe just being bold and laying your hands on her and praying for the joy of the Lord to enter into her, for Jesus to break the bonds of depression and deliver her into His peace, etc. would be great.  Whether or not she feels the release, at least she knows that there is someone who cares and is praying for her" that Mamasboys wrote. Thanks!

I have been struggling for the right things to say!

I am also praying that she does not have PPD after the baby is born. siiigh.  I hate this. 


« Last Edit: September 05, 2006, 05:16:49 PM by KristenA »

Offline Simply Kristen

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Re: What to do for Depressed Friend?
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2006, 09:24:22 AM »
Also, the calling and saying "Be ready in an hour we are going on a walk!" Is something I can do!
Hehe. I can be a little forceful pretty easily.   ::)

Tomorrow I will bring her frozen homemade meals; and clean up around the house if she will let me.  She said that last time she went through this she felt so guilty because her husband had to do evreything. 

Offline ALittleMore

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Re: What to do for Depressed Friend?
« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2006, 09:45:04 AM »
I didn't want to post this, but i really think I should. Pride has no place in these things.

Part of my terrible depression was self-inflicted wounds and thoughts of suicide. However, the WORST part of my depression was the fear that I was going to drown the children in our home. I loved my family so much, and I didn't want to hurt anyone, I never was angry with the little ones and so I didn't understand why in the world I was having these thoughts and feelings. I hated myself, it was torment. I was SO afraid I was going to do something, and I didn't understand it all.

One day, FINALLY, I found FREEDOM when someone said to me, "It isn't you. It's Satan. He is the false accuser, and a bold accuser." They told me of the verses in the Bible where Satan is a false accusor of the saints, where he whispers lies into their ears, where he speaks bodly of their sins, and also of sins they have never comitted. Where it says that the demons will rest under the shadow of the church, and where it says he is a beast which seeks to devour God's children.

Satan was ACCUSING me of sins I had NEVER committed! And didn't even want to commit! He was accusing me of something (and driving me insane with fear and dread) when it was something that I had never even entertained thoughts of!!!

There were times when I was holding a baby and suddenly I was afraid I was going to drop the baby on purpose. How DEMONIC is that?? VERY. COMPLETELY. Satan found a niche and he went to town on my soul.

I claimed the victory. When I realized that the Bible had already talked about the very thing I was going through, that God was aware of it and He called it "false accusation," I decided to claim the victory. I told Satan that he was LIAR. I screamed it once. A LIAR who had NOTHING to do with me. I told him to get away from me, and that I had power and victory through the blood of the Lamb. I told Satan I wasn't going to believe His lies, and I sang "Victory in Jesus" every time I felt an evil presence. (My, how quickly the devils will flee!!! They don't want to hear of the Victory which jesus won! I imagine they fled with their "ears covered.")

If your friend feels that she is going to hurt her children, tell her to tell Satan that he is a liar, and he is NOT welcome in her home. Tell her to rebuke His lies as Jesus did, and as many saints after Him have. Tell her to tell him that her soul is a shade underwhich his demons (the "crows") will find shade NO LONGER.

It has been years since I have felt those feelings or thought those thoughts. You see, Satan gave up.

"Victory in Jesus, my Savior forever..."

Offline diaperswyper

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Re: What to do for Depressed Friend?
« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2006, 10:48:03 AM »
I can relate! Shortly after i got saved i started having horrible thots. I was in torment. These awful thots about my dc kept coming in my head and i'd go to my dh. and tell him and ask him what the deal was any how could anyone be a christian and have thots like these. I couldn't even read my bible. everytime i did these horrible thots would start coming back and i couldn't even concentrate. I knew it wasn't me and yet i had no idea what was going on. I started singing songs about the blood of Jesus and that was the ONLY thing that kept my sanity. I kept crying out to GOd to show me if it there was sin in my life or what. It lasted for a long terrible wk. One day i was driving to town and i think i was singing just to keep my mind free from the torment that wanted to keep coming back and if i remember i had asked God to somehow show me He was still here and that He loved me. I can't really explain what happened but the love of God filled that car in such a way i literally had to pull over. I was weeping and rejoicing and at the same time i sensed a terrible wrath coming from God, but it wasn't toward me, it was toward Satan. After that, the worst of the battle was over. To think that a Holy and Righteous God would get that angry over me toward the evil demons and Satan itself is amazing! I don't really know why i had to go thru that kind of torment, except that i was into a lot of sin before i met Jesus, Satan had a major hold on my life, including my thot life, and he wasn't going to give in without a fight. But the power of the blood of Jesus is greater than anything else in the world!!!!! How can i not worship such an awesome King? I have learned that Satan will stop at nothing to get your mind and your family. I have also learned and am learning to not fear it, it just a time for Jesus to show who really is the Victor. Thank you for sharing ALittleMore, God will bless your honesty and courage." We wrestle not against flesh and blood............"

Offline Simply Kristen

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Re: What to do for Depressed Friend?
« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2006, 05:32:41 AM »
Thanks for sharing ALittleMore and diaperswyper!

I also believe Satan has a lot (maybe everything) to do with evil thoughts.  My husband and I were just discussing the many times Jesus references demons in Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.  We were like, "Where are all the demons today, in America?!" Scary.

Anyways, it takes a brave woman to share a story like that.  I KNOW it will help many others.  I think this whole thread will help women on this site going through depression and people's friends and families.  I know I feel better equipped to deal with depression in a loved one now.

Update: I talked to my friends mother.  She said that her daughter (my friend) is not in a total darkness (like last time---which is what I was worried about); that she is getting out of the house some; and that she hasn't been alone.  I am proud of my friend because it seems like she was prepared for what would happen when she decreased her meds.  She knew her husband was going to be working a lot so made plans to go to her mom's house and her MIL's house a lot.  Whew! She still isn't returning my calls.... but her mom said she isn't really talking to anybody (even when she is with family).  Also, her husband is not working today... or for the next 3 days... which is great!

So, I will not be busting down her door today---HAHA! But, will offer more help.... probably by leaving another message.   :D
« Last Edit: September 05, 2006, 05:17:49 PM by KristenA »

Offline healthybratt

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Re: What to do for Depressed Friend?
« Reply #19 on: September 01, 2006, 07:40:16 AM »
Maybe you could send mail too.  I LOVE to get mail.   ;D
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Offline ALittleMore

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Re: What to do for Depressed Friend?
« Reply #20 on: September 01, 2006, 08:05:39 AM »
Maybe you could send mail too.  I LOVE to get mail.   ;D

That's an excellent idea. You know those cards/stationary from Youth Group Promotions? (if you've never heard of them, go to ygp.com, they're all beautiful cards of love and encouragement w/ KJV Bible verses on them) anyways, they are excellent for mailing bits of encouragement to your friend.


Another thing which a person gave me once, possibly my favorite gift I've ever received, was a Prayer Basket. It had three little notebooks in there for me to write prayer requests down to remind me to pray for others who I love or who come to mind. (Praying for others helps us fell grateful for what we have.) Also in the basket were pretty, laminated cards with Bible verses on them which my friend had put together, a beautiful bookmark with my name on it for my Bible, a pretty pen, a journal, and some books and pamphlets of encouragement to go along w/ Bible study. You could put together a basket for your friend, with some of these things. Also you could put in some cds of your favorite uplifting music. I loved my basket, it was my little treasure basket. 

Another thing you could do for your friend is find out if she has a hobby, like sewing, crocheting, painting, writing, or something like that? You could give her a set of good quality paints and canvas and brushes, or a sewing box w/ supplies for sewing pillows, or a basket w/ crochet needles and balls of yarn w/ mints in the middle (my grandmother did this for me once) or some pretty notebooks and pens. Does she like herbs? You could give her some herbs in pretty jars and some projects to do. Has she ever made jewelry? You could give her a gift certificate to firemounatingems.com so she can make earrings or a necklace. You never know, she might end up starting a business some day!

Encouraging her to do something productive, to create and use her imagination, is a great way to help her. People who are depressed usually allow themselves way too much free time to dwell on hard feelings, feel empty and worthless, and let their thoughts wonder to the dark realm of life. Give her something to fill her time!

When people invest their time and resources in other people's happiness and success, they are investing themselves. It is a wonderful gift to give. :)

Offline ShabbyChic

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Re: What to do for Depressed Friend?
« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2006, 11:36:30 AM »
I have a counseling background, and I'd have to say that anyone who is depressed needs to be regularly meeting with a mentor.  Depression + solitude=a problem. 

Also, as someone who has suffered from depression, I'd say that emotionally she needs to feel needed, loved, and like she is contributing to something larger like a small group, sewing circle, etc.  Pets are good for companionship if she feels isolated. 

And exercise is important.  It releases natural endorphins that mimic the feelings we get when we take anti-depressants (or, unfortunately, when folks decide to try illegal drugs).  Pure cocoa or dark chocolate also triggers the release of those endorphins.   CCEF.org has some great books for her and for you.

And pray, pray, pray for her. 
That's Shabby SHEIK not Shabby CHICK.  Hee-hee.

Offline jacksbluejane

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no words can describe....
« Reply #22 on: December 16, 2006, 07:22:47 PM »
 i don't know if this helps, but i struggled with depression for six or seven years when I was a teenager, and continue to go through bouts and struggles with it occasionally.... it's rough.
 i'm a little on the anti social side, so talking on the phone to people or being in the same room with them literally wore me out in minutes. i hated hearing that they knew what i was going through, and then offering advice on top of that comment. it put an immediate barrier between me and whoever was talking.
 i will say that agreeing with the person as they vent is not a good idea. it only cements their perception, and when i was in my darkest, my perception was farther from reality than i knew.
 in fact, the help that i coveted most was someone just sitting next to me and staying quiet. maybe putting an arm around me until i was ready to talk, if i ever talked. and the only people who knew what to do were those who had gone through it themselves.
 i did not have any energy when i was in my dark times. there were days that came up missing at the end of the week. i'd wake up at midnight, having gone to school and church and not remember any of it. it's like having everything sucked out of you.
 and then to have others pushing you in any direction, whether it's to feel better or get up and get out and see people, or just see people period...... it made me so disappointed in myself not to be able to do any of those things.
 i didn't have meds for those seven years, and i only got them after i had my first baby, because i couldn't even smile at him without wanting to take a nap and cry. (it's hard to explain.) i took them for about a month, realized where i had been for years.... and made the decision to quit taking them and move on, but it was a lot of work to get to where i could not take them and keep myself level.... but i don't know that i ever would have gotten to see where i really was without them.
 My Father was with me through all of it, but it was still dark.....
b*

Offline flowerchild

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Re: What to do for Depressed Friend?
« Reply #23 on: December 18, 2006, 10:07:18 AM »
Hi,
  I'm new here. I haven't actually posted yet but have enjoyed lurking around reading all the informative posts! :)
   I'm going through depression right now. I can actually be thankful for it though because it's given be a much better perspective on it. I used to think people could just shake themselves out of it and it's like God wanted me to know what it's really like. To me it feels like it's being caused by a physical problem. Most of the time I have absolutely no reason to be depressed. It had gotten to the point where I didn't feel motivated to do anything. I could hardly care for my daughter. I didn't even want to do crafts which I usually love! I didn't know what to do so I'm now on an anti-depressant. I was not excited about taking these as I like to avoid medication if at all possible. I'm using it now to try and get me by till I can figure out how to treat this naturally and by improved diet. After reading this post I'm a little concerned about going off the meds. Hopefully it won't be too rough.
   Anyway, I found that the people who have encouraged me the most have been those who have gone through it. When those who haven't try to give advice it just makes me feel like their judging me. From those who haven't gone through it I appreciate their prayer. I just don't want people to "spiritualize" it and make it seem like I'm a lesser Christian for having it. I know now that you can be a healthy Christian and still suffer from depression. I also know that it's way more common than most people realize. So I guess prayer is a good idea. Also, I know that exercise is a good idea but I've found it hard to do. I think if you were to offer to walk with your friend that might make it easier for them to do.
  I started getting depressed shortly after I had an appendectomy in July. I was on anti-depressants afterwards and later I got a yeast infection. So I'm wondering, could yeast be the cause of my depression now? I'm new to the whole yeast thing. Can I just take the yeast stuff from Beeyoutiful.com or do I need to omit bread and sugar too? We don't eat a lot of sugar and I make whole wheat sourdough bread.
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Offline herbalmom

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Re: What to do for Depressed Friend?
« Reply #24 on: December 18, 2006, 06:21:54 PM »
  I started getting depressed shortly after I had an appendectomy in July. I was on anti-depressants afterwards and later I got a yeast infection. So I'm wondering, could yeast be the cause of my depression now? I'm new to the whole yeast thing. Can I just take the yeast stuff from Beeyoutiful.com or do I need to omit bread and sugar too? We don't eat a lot of sugar and I make whole wheat sourdough bread.
 

Welcome to the site. Yes, it's very possible & treating for yeast/fungus wouldn't hurt. Check out the threads here for info as your questions are answed on other threads. I would also check out  Doug Kaufmann's Fungus Link books & his website: www.knowthecause.com. See if his t.v. show- Know the Cause is on in your area. He states that he has had people w/depression that had taken multiple anti-depressants tell him that Diflucan (a prescription anti-fungal/anti-yeast) was the best anti-depressant they ever took. Keep researching- you will find your answers. Don't forget prayer- God does answer. HTH~herbalmom

Offline savedbygrace

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Re: What to do for Depressed Friend?
« Reply #25 on: December 18, 2006, 08:32:54 PM »
Hey Kristen - how is your friend doing? Is she suffering much PPD?
« Last Edit: December 18, 2006, 08:38:35 PM by savedbygrace »

Offline healthybratt

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Re: What to do for Depressed Friend?
« Reply #26 on: December 20, 2006, 04:44:59 PM »
I started getting depressed shortly after I had an appendectomy in July. I was on anti-depressants afterwards and later I got a yeast infection. So I'm wondering, could yeast be the cause of my depression now? I'm new to the whole yeast thing. Can I just take the yeast stuff from Beeyoutiful.com or do I need to omit bread and sugar too? We don't eat a lot of sugar and I make whole wheat sourdough bread.

Check these threads.

Depression, Anxiety and other Neurological/Mental Disorders
I Think I Have Leaky Gut and/or Candida:  What Now?
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Offline Simply Kristen

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Re: What to do for Depressed Friend?
« Reply #27 on: December 20, 2006, 06:33:34 PM »
Hey Kristen - how is your friend doing? Is she suffering much PPD?

Thanks for asking.
She had the baby about 2 months ago. I have seen her several times and she seemed okay. A few things were a little off......But she defintely didn't have PPD.

I mentioned her in another thread. She was in her pre-baby body within 10 days. She had pics of herself (while weaning) in a Bikini on her coffee table  :o. It was amazing.

She's back at work now though, I know she didn't want to go.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2006, 06:42:59 PM by KristenA »

Offline wlwest

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Re: What to do for Depressed Friend?
« Reply #28 on: June 30, 2010, 05:37:25 AM »
I know this is an old thread, but can someone help with my teenage daughter?  I read thru the posts, but it's hard for me to understand depression.  I do get down sometimes, so I can understand that, but usually I can pick up and do something and get out of the rut.

My dd has been thru alot of things in the last 2 years.  She went from being schooled at home to going to school, and that's where things fell apart. 

Without getting into a lot of details, I'm not one for medication, esp for this.  Are there any herbs or teas I could make up to help her?  She doesn't have any dreams or hopes really anymore.  All she wants to do is sit in her room.  She has horses, but doesn't really care about them anymore.  She may have failed 8th grade, we don't know yet, I ended up taking her out of school for the last part of it.  She should find out in a few days if she passed.
I just don't know what to do.  We are all getting ready to go berry picking in a few minutes.  It's hard for me not to be critical I think.  I just want to help her.  It's hard for me to know if there is really something wrong, or just me being gullible so she can be babied?  Does that make sense? 

Anyway, any advice would be great
wendy

Offline his.silly.wife

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Re: What to do for Depressed Friend?
« Reply #29 on: June 30, 2010, 05:48:48 AM »
Could her hormones be messed up?  She's at an age where her body is going through lots of changes.  And hormonal imbalances often lead to depression.
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