depression chatter

for family members & friends => how to help someone who has depression => Topic started by: violette bijoux valentine <3 on June 30, 2017, 03:50:10 PM

Title: does helping others, help you?
Post by: violette bijoux valentine <3 on June 30, 2017, 03:50:10 PM
When you're feeling badly, it may feel completely impossible to help other people (with whatever -  depression, or anything else).

I wonder if it ends up also helping the "comforter".
Title: Re: does helping others, help you?
Post by: pink pearl on June 30, 2017, 07:55:23 PM
In my experience, it can be (hugely) therapeutic to try to help others, even when we don't think that we're in any condition to be helpful. As in "no, I cannot possibly help anyone today - I have too many problems that I need to work out - I'm a total mess, worthless, distracted". I think that it's a myth to assume that one needs to be nothing less than perfection in order to do what we can, and help to make a positive difference in this world.

I don't mean to imply that we should completely ignore ourselves and our very necessary self-care. If we don't attend to our own needs, then it will might adversely affect how well we can be present for other people (our families, friends, whomever else). Looking outside of oneself can be oneself as well as to the other person(s) who may be needing encouragement or support.

I'll speak for myself when I say that at times I have toodled through my day without spending too much time in thinking of anybody else. I can be stuck inside of my own thoughts and problems. I have worked on being more observant to other people and to their possible needs.

Nothing is magical - I have to work on it moment by moment.  It's an ongoing project.

There are multitudinous examples of this concept within the pages of history.
Title: Re: does helping others, help you?
Post by: orange popsicle on June 30, 2017, 08:49:44 PM
There have been times when other people (those I know, as well as strangers) have been of great help to me, in a variety of circumstances and situations.

Sometimes it's because they:
1. showed a warm smile (or even just a small "Mona Lisa")
2. have said a few words of encouragement (or showed it in their facial expressions)
3. retrieved some item for me in a supermarket - really, some of those shelves have been set up for the Jolly Green Giant (ok, maybe not - I do realize that people are growing more tall and more beautiful than ever)
4. opened a door for me (they've been men, women, children, ...)
5. did something for me when I know that it meant sacrifice in their own schedules or lives

One time (at the annual LA County Fair - big event every year at the end of summer/beginning of autumn), a lady (a complete stranger) heard me talking to my family about some hot pink yardsticks that I saw some people carrying, that some vendor had been randomly giving away to people. I was just commenting that I thought that they were pretty. You could not miss these yardsticks - very noisy color, you see.  7505<> (I like measuring devices such as yardsticks as I love to sew, alter, & mend...clothes, mostly.) All of a sudden this lady appeared out of the crowds and gave me her hot pink yardstick. I was...I didn't know what to think. I was so surprised. I smiled, thanked her, and she gave me a big smile. I still have (and use) that yardstick.
Title: Re: does helping others, help you?
Post by: orange popsicle on July 14, 2017, 02:15:38 PM
I think that it might be quite helpful (possibly) for depressed people & those who have experienced depression in any of its forms, to help other people who are slumped in mud puddles.

It seems that normally (I don't know this for sure though) those who are available (&/or willing) to help other depressed people do not have any personal experience with the illness.

That could work, but maybe not always.