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DEPRESSION NO-NO’s – REVISED

“My silence means I am tired of fighting…”
-Aarti Khurana

In many of my previous posts, I’ve talked about mental illness and depression because it’s a subject that is very personal to me for obvious reasons. However, one topic I have not addressed in detail is for the outsider looking in.

If you’ve never had a mental illness or never known someone close to you who does, the reaction you might have may not always be appropriate. Dealing with an actual mental illness is very different from trying to cheer someone up who is simply in a bad mood.

With that in mind, here are some tips of what NOT to do when interacting with someone depression or any other kind of mental illness.

  • Never think you can cheer someone up by engaging in a “happy” activity such as watching a sitcom or telling jokes. Much like diabetes, blood pressure complications or having a fever, depression is a result of a chemical imbalance. The same way that your blood sugar goes too high or too low, depression occurs most often when levels of neurotransmitters go down. When that happens, one cannot simply “think themselves” out of it in the same manner that one cannot produce insulin simply by smiling.
  • Never assume that a person is fine just because they look fine. Nobody expects you to be a mind reader or a psychology expert (if that’s not your profession). That said, if a person ever confesses to you that they’re depressed, don’t assume they’re fine at the moment because they’re not crying or they’re speaking in a calm tone. Instead, before saying anything else, ask them how they’re feeling right now. Also keep in mind that for all it’s openness in the 21st century, mental illnesses still carry a stigma. It may not be as big as it once was but it’s there and even in this day and age, it burdens a lot of people to hide their mental state out of fear.
  • Never think a person with depression is being selfish and not thinking about anyone but themselves. This is an unfortunate misconception that I’ve had to battle with among my family members who just don’t understand how depression works. When neurotransmitters are low, the mind tends to have tunnel vision. It doesn’t mean that depressed people don’t care about others. It means that at that particular moment, they simply can’t because the wave of emotions that they’re experiencing is too strong to let anything interrupt that wave. If you try to disrupt that wave forcefully, it can actually make things much worse.
  • Never ask someone “What are YOU depressed about? You have a good life.” Depression doesn’t always have an ostensible trigger. In many cases, the person with depression won’t know themselves what’s bothering them until talking to the right person. Although depression can often be triggered by a traumatic experience, it’s certainly not always the case. Sometimes, minor glitches can add up to one big glitch that finally becomes too much. Or it may be an experience that was suppressed many years ago that is just now resurfacing. The reasons for depression are unique to every individual and should never be concluded with what seems logical.

The list is certainly not limited to the points made above but these are the points which are most often prove to be highly inefficient and in some cases, even hazardous. The best way to avoid such conflicts is by simply asking the person how they feel and what you might do (within reason, of course) to help them. When you open up a line of communication rather than trying to control it’s direction, a depressed person is much more likely to cooperate and hence, lead to a more operative scenario.

Do you struggle with depression or any mental illness? If so, what is one thing you would like to tell someone that doesn’t struggle with it or doesn’t understand it? What techniques work for you the best? Share your thoughts and experiences by commenting below on our secure servers.

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MEN DON’T CRY…DO THEY?

“Have a good cry, wash out your heart. If you keep it inside it’ll tear you apart.”
-Sometimes You Win (1979) by Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show

Sometimes it’s discouraged, sometimes you’re pushed to let it out. But if you’re a male who grew up in the twentieth century, you were most likely told not to do it, especially in public.

MENTAL REBOOT – 2

“I always REMINDED myself that this wasn’t exactly where I was meant to be, but pit stops are okay on the road of life, aren’t they?
-Lena Dunham

I explained in my last post how I would go over some more techniques which allow us to step back in troubled times and mentally reboot ourselves when our minds get cluttered. Here are some more tips that might help you stop and smell the roses momentarily.

MENTAL REBOOT – PART 1

“What if we recharged ourselves as often as we did our phone? We take better care of our smartphone than ourselves. We know when the battery is depleted and recharge it.”
-Unknown.

In several posts, I’ve talked about the importance of taking a breather. I’ve always believed that taking a break and recharging your batteries is of the utmost importance to continue being passionate about your endeavors.

DEATH – Dedicated to Samantha

“If the people we love are stolen from us, the way to have them live on is to never stop loving them. Buildings burn, people die, but real love is forever.”
-James O’Barr

In the past, I’ve written two articles on dealing with a death of a loved one. As you might know by know, our dear founder of this site Samantha, just recently lost her sister to cancer. Hence, I am reposting both those articles in this post and dedicating it to her.

PART 1

We all go through periods of grieving the loss of loved ones.

It’s inevitable that those periods will cause us pain.
But in the long run, we almost remember to cherish our memories with those that are gone.

If the ones who departed were truly close to us, they too would perhaps want the same.

So when you deal with loss, cry a little and mourn a little.

But smile afterward at the thought of having such a special relationship with the person who’s gone.

PART 2

In a previous post, I had talked about dealing with deaths of loved ones. To summarize that post, I had written about how to keep loving the person that’s gone. I would like to expand on that thought a litte more today.

I’ve always believed that souls do not die, only bodies do. And having loving memories of the deceased keeps them alive, spiritually.

That said, we do have to learn to accept that they will never be with us again physically and that can be difficult to cope with at times.

A few years ago, I lost my fiancee to a horrific tragedy. Everybody around me kept telling me to think of the good times with her and how much joy she brought in my life. In the long run, however, that proved to be somewhat of a conflict for me.

I would stare at her picture sometimes and reminisce for hours. The problem was coming back to reality because each time I did so, she was no longer there.
After speaking about this matter to several people, including a therapist who I am still in touch with till this day, I learned how to cope with it with embracing a specific ideology:

The intangible is as powerful and meaningful as the tangible. The lack of being able to touch something or someone does not devalue their presence in our lives.

Admittedly, this takes time to embrace or even believe it, especially if you’re not a particularly spiritual person.
But this doesn’t just apply spiritually. Due to technology, the world is getting smaller and smaller. We now interact with people all over the world who we may never see in person.

The Daily Wisdom Words website itself is potpourri of wonderful writers and poets most of whom have never interacted face to face. And yet, the result is beautiful.

If we learn to accept that a physical presence is not always necessary, it can give us solace both spiritually and practically.

How do you deal with the loss of a loved one? Do you miss their physical presence? Do you feel them around you spiritually? Give your opinions by commenting below on our secure servers.

GO AHEAD…GIVE UP

“If someone seriously wants to be a part of your life, they will seriously make an effort to be in it.”
-Unknown

If you’re read my previous articles on this site, you’ll notice that one thing I always stress on is never giving up on anything that’s a passion and close to your heart no matter how many obstacles try to stop you. But are there exceptions to that philosophy? Are there instances when giving up will actually be advantageous?

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"For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone."

Audrey Hepburn

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