Saturday, February 1, 2014

What happens when your support system fails?

     One of the best ways to get past a bout of depression is to have some type of support system in place when you are feeling down about yourself. Someone who you can call to talk to, someone who is willing to just listen no matter what the situation is. A support person is someone who in times of crises can be there to let you know that everything is okay and that with everything going on in your life that you will be okay. This can be a close friend, family member or even your counselor.

     But what happens when you don't have that support in your life, or the person you have begins to not know what to say or can't listen anymore to your problems because for example, they become too over whelming for them to deal with? What happens when that support, or life line crashes and you have no where to turn for help? Basically your fears become that much stronger, your pain becomes that much stronger and fear of the unknown sets in. You become more a prisoner to your depression and you begin to fall apart mentally because you become more alone in your world.

     But what about coping skills, can't they help someone deal with their depression when it attacks? The answer to that in my opinion is no. While every counselor and doctor tells you to learn these skills, they often do not and will not work 100% of the time depending on the state of depression you are in. This is the very reason in order to deal with, survive and eventually heal, it is important to have this support system in place. Not every state of depression is the same and thus not every coping skill will work with every state. A mild form of depression can be dealt with by simply going for a walk or listening to some soft music to relax you. While a stronger form of depression might require a more aggressive form of coping such as the senses skill that incorporates the five senses to stay grounded. An example of this used by most people is the frozen orange. Touching the cold texture of the orange, smelling the orange, seeing the orange as a real object, hearing the orange as you rub it and tasting the orange are all ways to stay grounded during an attack.

     What is this grounding I speak of? It is keeping the mind in the present, changing your thoughts and keeping them away from bringing you down to an even lower state of depression. The problem here is that if the more aggressive forms of coping skills do not work for a person then the last state of major depression sets in and this is where your support system, or person comes into play. Having that escape route to express just how and what you are feeling, being able to lower the internal stress that contributes to the depression. A support system is the most important part of healing that you can have and something you must maintain in order to reach your goals.

     Going back to the top of this posting, what happens when your support system fails and you are in deep crises? How can you survive an attack without falling into a suicidal situation where most people end up? Seek outside help, someone or something outside your realm of comfort if you can. There are many support hot lines available in many areas, closed online support groups online (such as Facebook) and some are even national hot lines that offer someone to talk to. They are there to supplement a support system in time of need. I say supplement because you may call the same number at any given time and not get the same person you spoke to prior. You may have to explain your situation a second time for them to understand your situation, and this could add to the stress that is contributing to your depression.

     If your depression becomes too deep and you begin to have the thoughts of suicide the best resort for you to seek help is at your local hospital or medical facility. While most people are afraid of this step, it may be just the right step in helping you combat your depression under a controlled situation. While not all who seek help are immediately admitted inpatient, inpatient offers services on a daily basis to help you get stable, get past your depression and assist you in becoming grounded over a few days rather then just that one moment.

          So remember the steps to surviving depression attacks. Try to stay grounded using what ever skill you have to keep you in the present. Keep a support system in place for times the skills you have do not work for the level of depression you are in. Seek outside help if your depression becomes to deep or overwhelming for you to handle. And remember, it does not mean if you are less of a person if you have to seek outside help. They are there for you, trained to help you and most of all they understand what you are going through having dealt with many others who have been there before you.

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