Facing One's Own Depression Head On
The literature on family members affected by mental health, alcohol and other drug problems tells us that depression is common in family members who support and stress about the people they love. No surprises there! But in this scenario there is risk of us blaming the people we care about for how we are feeling. And this becomes unhelpful for us and for them. So let's put the spotlight on us because we are in control of us. If we stop caring for ourselves over an extended period of time, and if we give and give and give to others, then of course our own health and well-being is going to decline. And if we spend so much time focusing on others then we don't have balance in our life and we don't have time to go for a walk, catch-up with a friend, get a health checkup, get our hair done... And I know this is easier said than done in the midst of chaos or crisis. It's even easier said than done in the calmer moments because we are so exhausted that the lulls provide an opportunity to rest until the next round. So here's what needs to happen. Put the focus on yourself and pick one thing to start your self-care journey. And if it happens to be a trip to the dentist then get really excited about going to the dentist and then pick the next self-care thing to do. It takes time and there are stops and starts along the way but self-care is a good way to fight depression.