Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Have You Tried Some Chamomile Tea?

I ran across this list and thought it was worth sharing. It is spot on. Don't "yell" at me, S, for not blogging something original. I thought of you while reading this list because it's as if you wrote it for me. It's as if you took a class. It's as if you walked through this valley before.

How to show you care

What do you say to someone who’s depressed? All too often, it’s the wrong thing. People still have such a cloudy idea of what mental illness is.

Sometimes people will say, ‘Oh, you’re depressed? Yeah, I’ve been depressed,’ and you realize just the way they say it that, nooo, it’s not quite the same thing. It’s not just that I’m feeling sad or blue. Below is a list of helpful things to tell someone battling depression, followed by what not to say, courtesy of the Depression Alliance.

1) I’m here for you
What to say: You’re not alone in this.
What NOT to say: There’s always someone worse off than you are.
2) You matter
What to say: You are important to me.
What NOT to say: No one ever said that life was fair.

Let me help
What to say: Do you want a hug?
What NOT to say: Stop feeling sorry for yourself.

Depression is real
What to say: You are not going crazy.
What NOT to say: So you’re depressed. Aren’t you always?

There is hope
What to say: We are not on this earth to see through one another, but to see one another through.
What NOT to say: Try not to be so depressed.

You can survive this
What to say: When all this is over, I’ll still be here and so will you.
What NOT to say: It’s your own fault.

I’ll do my best to understand
What to say: I can’t really understand what you are feeling, but I can offer my compassion.
What NOT to say: Believe me, I know how you feel. I was depressed once for several days.

You won’t drive me away
What to say: I’m not going to leave you or abandon you.
What NOT to say: I think your depression is a way of punishing us.

I care about you
What to say:
I love you. (Say this only if you mean it.)
What NOT to say:
Haven’t you grown tired of all this “me, me, me” stuff yet?

We’ll get through this together
What to say: I’m sorry that you’re in so much pain. I am not going to leave you. I am going to take care of myself, so you don’t need to worry that your pain might hurt me.
What NOT to say: Have you tried chamomile tea?
I love the last one: Have you tried chamomile tea? I think I have heard all the "What not to say" lines by well-meaning people. I might have even said a few of them from time to time. But I hope I have said the "What to say" statements more often.

Every night (when I feel better) I say to myself, "Tomorrow you are getting up at an appropriate time and walking. You have got to get to the gym. You have got to stop sitting around here in this dark apartment watching television. You can do it. What's so damn hard about getting out there and walking? It's beautiful outside. Now stop feeling sorry for yourself. Have some chamomile tea." And every morning turns into noon and I am still in bed, and I drag myself out of bed and turn on the tv and look for a job on the internet and sit here with my heart pounding in my chest. Having something to do helps, a lunch date, an errand, choir rehearsal, anything to get me out of the house. Otherwise, I have no motivation. No plans. No interest.

I am a horrible role model to my daughter.

Maybe I need to reread the list and start saying some of "What to say" things to myself.



At 9:59 AM, Blogger Cocotte said...

Well, to be honest, I would only offer chamomile tea to piss someone off. That stuff is just nasty tasting to me!

I think my parents fed me a few of those not-so-helpful lines back in the day; esp. the 'there's always someone worse off'........NOT helpful!

At 11:13 AM, Blogger Sailor said...

ewwwwww... I'm not gonna yell for not being original... but I will for the tea, yuk, shudder, pppbbt.

But, that's just me, of course! ;)

All of this list could well have been written for me, too, as you well know; but what it says to me, more than *anything*, is that there are people who DO get it, who DO care- who know enough not to say things like, "No one ever said that life was fair."

That one, makes me shudder- cuz, of course life isn't fair, and what does that have to do with being depressed?

I've seen people ask these of themeselves, too, and had to respond. Such as, "Well, I have it so much better than x, y, z"...

My reaction? "So what? What does xyz's situation have to do with YOU being depressed?"

So, I'll send hugs, and time & ear, & prayers & love- (but no Chamomile, you're on your own for that!)

At 3:41 PM, Blogger Pam and Bill said...

Despite the inappropriateness of offering tea...
I love chamomile tea. It does wonders for an upset stomach and can help me get to sleep. I have grown it but it doesn't taste as good as Celestial Seasonings.

You can get going and get out of the house because you are depressed. And willing yourself to do it isn't helpful. Just makes you feel like you let yourself down which makes you feel worse.
Lets find another way to do this.
I will email you....
Love you Sis.

At 3:42 PM, Blogger Pam and Bill said...

I meant to say...
You can't get going and get out of the house....

At 3:42 PM, Blogger Pam and Bill said...

I meant to say...
You can't get going and get out of the house....


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