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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am completely clueless when it comes to emotional stuff and especially how to care for/what to say to people that need emotional support, and even I have noticed that it's better to listen to the person's troubles even if you don't give feedback, listening will always do more good than the classic "everything will be alright".

I have noticed that most people are like me (don't know how to show emotional support) or maybe my idea of emotional support is different.

I have noticed how no human I know IRL knows how to deal with a depressed friend/colleague/relative.

All I've heard was "hang in there, everything's gonna be fine, suck it up and move on, others have it worse, why are you sad about you have everything - a house, parents, food to eat and clothes to wear, you're being a baby, you are doing this on purpose because you're lazy and don't want to do anything".

These are not only useless but also very hurtful, especially when it comes from someone you rely on.

I'm not even judging, I'm the same when my "depression phase" gets better, I become myself again and I tell everyone who's whining to suck it up and show some courage.

Are people bad at empathising or they just don't care?
 

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We just had a neighbor commit suicide yesterday; news spread today. I'm opening my suite and ordering food, making drinks and offering logistic/ distraction support. It's how I see being effective during times like these.

To me, it seems more productive than empty words and faking the feelings that just aren't there.
 

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I'm unsure as to what you're asking, to be honest. I know a lot of wonderful people that do know how to deal with depression- do you want me to pass judgment on a bunch of people in your life I don't know?
 

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It's a very strange experience, depression.

I myself probably couldn't understand it if I hadn't been through it.

I think people aren't necessarily unsympathetic, they just think a little advice here and there is going to do something. Hell, some psychiatrists and psychologists have depressed patients for months or years, THEY can't even seem to fix it.

It would be hard to explain a psychedelic trip to someone who's never had one.

There's also the factor of it not being a physical ailment. It is often a brain chemical thing, but let's say a broken arm or diabetes occurs, those are probably easier for someone else to understand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm unsure as to what you're asking, to be honest. I know a lot of wonderful people that do know how to deal with depression- do you want me to pass judgment on a bunch of people in your life I don't know?
Wow. No. I'm not asking anything in particular. Take example from Lesuhlee, just a general opinion on the matter (for example, how have others dealt with people being depressed, how do you act when someone you know is going through clinical depression etc).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
We just had a neighbor commit suicide yesterday; news spread today. I'm opening my suite and ordering food, making drinks and offering logistic/ distraction support. It's how I see being effective during times like these.

To me, it seems more productive than empty words and faking the feelings that just aren't there.
The confusing stuff comes when the feelings are there but words seem useless so you either just sit there like a block of concrete or start being rational about it and giving advice. Both ways you seem like a jerk when maybe you're the only one who genuinely cares.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It's a very strange experience, depression.

I myself probably couldn't understand it if I hadn't been through it.

I think people aren't necessarily unsympathetic, they just think a little advice here and there is going to do something. Hell, some psychiatrists and psychologists have depressed patients for months or years, THEY can't even seem to fix it.

It would be hard to explain a psychedelic trip to someone who's never had one.

There's also the factor of it not being a physical ailment. It is often a brain chemical thing, but let's say a broken arm or diabetes occurs, those are probably easier for someone else to understand.
I do agree that depression is a strange thing. However, I don't have diabetes and never had a broken arm. I can't possibly imagine with a good amount of accuracy what a broken bone or hypoglycemia might be like unless someone explains it to me.

Most shrinks keep these patients coming for years not because depression is so hard to cure but because it's business.
 

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I don't know about people, but I always try to rationalise everything. Find out what the root of the problem is, and how it sprouted into what it is today. I try to take the mind of the person off of anything he/she is thinking/feeling. That's my initial reaction. I think I have dealt with mild depression, but more as a result of not being good enough at something. So there was always a reason (that i tried to rationalise anyway), so I try to do that with others, but I do realise that it doesn't work for everyone, there's no one shoe fits all solution for everyone, so at some point I realise that whatever I say it won't really help.
The person needs to be open to receiving help, and needs to find the strength from himself/herself. What I can do is be there to listen and rationalise everything, put their thoughts in order, teach them how to block it out; some immediate proposals.
My friends thank me for that, ENFP and INFJ friends have told me that they feel much better after talking to me, because i helped them analyse the problem and came up with a solution, through a discussion with them. Only the closest friends though.
Other people who I tried to help, the Ps specially, well seriously no matter what you tell them, it's all up to them anyway.
 
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I do agree that depression is a strange thing. However, I don't have diabetes and never had a broken arm. I can't possibly imagine with a good amount of accuracy what a broken bone or hypoglycemia might be like unless someone explains it to me.

Most shrinks keep these patients coming for years not because depression is so hard to cure but because it's business.
My point is that a broken arm or hypoglycemia doesn't have as much of a stigma attached to it.

And yes, I get that, shrinks will milk patients sometimes. I've seen it and it's repugnant. When I was younger, I saw a guy that was old and salty, "I'm too old to waste your time or mine so let's figure this out." Ha, I liked him.

So if someone is depressed, and not lashing out at people, like someone is depressed and seeking answers, I'm incredibly sympathetic because I know what that's like. My protocol:

Overall, just an attitude of "I feel ya."

Not trivializing it. I've seen this one a lot "You're 19/20/21??? Oh don't worry you'll be fine, so young!" Bullshit. That person is still suffering.

One huge issue depressed people have is feeling they're the only ones. I'll try to reiterate that while it does indeed suck, you're not alone.

Aside from medication, a lot of times, drastic changes are needed. I've seen so many talk about how depressed they are, don't know why, "Well what's your situation?" "I'm 22 and live with my overbearing parents" "Well no shit." Of course, more gentle words, encourage them to GTFO.

Just listen and without judgement.




Yeaahh, had a few acquaintances kill themselves. Many times they project this false happiness before. I remember a few years ago, I ran into an old HS kid from my class at a bar and he looked good, all smiles, was recently engaged, "happy." He hung himself 2 weeks later.

Not only example but that's enough, people will often hide it, especially people that hate being seen as "weak" when it really is beyond their control sometimes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
My point is that a broken arm or hypoglycemia doesn't have as much of a stigma attached to it.

And yes, I get that, shrinks will milk patients sometimes. I've seen it and it's repugnant. When I was younger, I saw a guy that was old and salty, "I'm too old to waste your time or mine so let's figure this out." Ha, I liked him.

So if someone is depressed, and not lashing out at people, like someone is depressed and seeking answers, I'm incredibly sympathetic because I know what that's like. My protocol:

Overall, just an attitude of "I feel ya."

Not trivializing it. I've seen this one a lot "You're 19/20/21??? Oh don't worry you'll be fine, so young!" Bullshit. That person is still suffering.

One huge issue depressed people have is feeling they're the only ones. I'll try to reiterate that while it does indeed suck, you're not alone.

Aside from medication, a lot of times, drastic changes are needed. I've seen so many talk about how depressed they are, don't know why, "Well what's your situation?" "I'm 22 and live with my overbearing parents" "Well no shit." Of course, more gentle words, encourage them to GTFO.

Just listen and without judgement.




Yeaahh, had a few acquaintances kill themselves. Many times they project this false happiness before. I remember a few years ago, I ran into an old HS kid from my class at a bar and he looked good, all smiles, was recently engaged, "happy." He hung himself 2 weeks later.

Not only example but that's enough, people will often hide it, especially people that hate being seen as "weak" when it really is beyond their control sometimes.
You're completely right in saying that depression has a cause. Even if I'm a med student and have constantly heard that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance I don't think this is the whole story to it. Everytime I have dealt with depressed people (and it's a lot) I saw a cause and an effect. One woman had everything - a good job as CEO, a loving husband, two adorable kids. Yet she was depressed and nobody knew about it except me. She didn't want anyone to notice and think she's weak. We have analysed her situation and have come up with the conclusion that too much of a good thing can be bad. She took a vacation from her stressful job and went on a second honey moon with her husband while leaving the children in good hands with the grandparents. It might look like nothing but this trip was what she so desperately needed. It "cured" her illness and whenever she started to feel depressed she would just take things lighter and control the situation.

It's awful though when you're depressed and can't do anything about it. I knew a guy who was 23, lived with his parents who were aggressive alcoholics that emotionally and physically assaulted him on a daily basis. In my country there's no way one can live at least decently (non-infested appartment,food,clothes,pocket money) at 23 without any external financial support. No job will pay enough at that age that's why here people either live with their parents until they get married or the parents buy a house for them. Long story short that guy killed himself. He was a brilliant law student. But problems at home plus constant bullying because of being poor plus no friends or gf or any relative except the parents is enough to drive anyone insane.

Yep,most hide it. I hide it from anyone I don't have to spend a loooong time with. Because you can't hide from your parents or bf all the time especially since I'm either at home or at my bf's place when I'm not at uni.

Funny enough everybody else who knows me thinks I'm the happiest, most cheerful human alive.
 

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I am completely clueless when it comes to emotional stuff and especially how to care for/what to say to people that need emotional support, and even I have noticed that it's better to listen to the person's troubles even if you don't give feedback, listening will always do more good than the classic "everything will be alright".

I have noticed that most people are like me (don't know how to show emotional support) or maybe my idea of emotional support is different.

I have noticed how no human I know IRL knows how to deal with a depressed friend/colleague/relative.

All I've heard was "hang in there, everything's gonna be fine, suck it up and move on, others have it worse, why are you sad about you have everything - a house, parents, food to eat and clothes to wear, you're being a baby, you are doing this on purpose because you're lazy and don't want to do anything".

These are not only useless but also very hurtful, especially when it comes from someone you rely on.

I'm not even judging, I'm the same when my "depression phase" gets better, I become myself again and I tell everyone who's whining to suck it up and show some courage.

Are people bad at empathising or they just don't care?
I used to not care because I only understood my emotional needs. I was always closed off with them. I thought, “Well, this is how I am so why are other people acting another way? Maybe they just want attention.”

Now I understand how to help without being an awkward, judgmental mess. I distinctly remember someone telling me a friend of theirs died and my response was “…*silence* well everyone dies.”

…what an asshole.

Anyway, I developed my Fe a lot. Now I can almost always tell how to handle when a person is upset (if they want advice, affirmation, presence, cookies, silence, distraction, hugs, etc).

When I want someone to be there for me I want them to be there for me in a physical way (hugging, running their hands through my hair, letting me fall asleep on their lap, holding me, letting me lean on their shoulder, etc.) and to just be quiet and let me think through things... maybe cry a little or a lot depending on if I'm sad.

If you’re a stranger, though, or even a friend or family member, you probably won’t know there is something wrong. If you’re a best friend or a bf/gf you’ll probably think “wow why are you all over me… wait why are you crying? Ohhh… you’re sad. Ok. *pets*”

I’ve always been this way. But I understand now that just because I have my specific needs, that doesn’t mean another person has the same needs as I do. That’s important to know.

Usually if I care for someone enough I’ll have to make them feel like getting out of bed was worth it. Like hey let’s go and get some coffee really quick… knowing perfectly well that Toro Y Moi is playing there, a favorite artist of theirs.

It all just depends but yes, I do think most people care. I just don’t think most know how to show it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I used to not care because I only understood my emotional needs. I was always closed off with them. I thought, “Well, this is how I am so why are other people acting another way? Maybe they just want attention.”

Now I understand how to help without being an awkward, judgmental mess. I distinctly remember someone telling me a friend of theirs died and my response was “…*silence* well everyone dies.”


…what an asshole.

Anyway, I developed my Fe a lot. Now I can almost always tell how to handle when a person is upset (if they want advice, affirmation, presence, cookies, silence, distraction, hugs, etc).

When I want someone to be there for me I want them to be there for me in a physical way (hugging, running their hands through my hair, letting me fall asleep on their lap, holding me, letting me lean on their shoulder, etc.) and to just be quiet and let me think through things... maybe cry a little or a lot depending on if I'm sad.

If you’re a stranger, though, or even a friend or family member, you probably won’t know there is something wrong. If you’re a best friend or a bf/gf you’ll probably think “wow why are you all over me… wait why are you crying? Ohhh… you’re sad. Ok. *pets*”

I’ve always been this way. But I understand now that just because I have my specific needs, that doesn’t mean another person has the same needs as I do. That’s important to know.

Usually if I care for someone enough I’ll have to make them feel like getting out of bed was worth it. Like hey let’s go and get some coffee really quick… knowing perfectly well that Toro Y Moi is playing there, a favorite artist of theirs.

It all just depends but yes, I do think most people care. I just don’t think most know how to show it.
You're such a darling. Rare for an INTP.
 

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I accept that there is no way I can understand the magnitude and grip that depression has on someone.

Similarly, when my friends are feeling pain, I have no idea how to emotionally soothe them.

So like Lesuhlee, I adopt a plan to pick up where people need me and mobilize physical things I can control. So when friends are crying or upset, I DO things. I bring soup, I give tissues. When someone else is going through depression, I help to formulate a plan or strategy for when they're ready to take action.

It is pointless for me to try and help their emotional pain, that's something they deal with on their own. But I'll be there to help with the logistics of physical care.
 

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It's the ennui that drives me up a wall. If you see someone in a hole you want to help. But you can't help if the person won't look up or acknowledge the rope you threw down. There has to be some internal spark that gets them to look up. You have a choice. Stick around the hole and hope that someday they'll look up and you'll be there. Or leave. I find that I don't really have the capacity for sticking around. Yes they might one day look up. Or they might wither up and die and you'll be some lurid bystander at the grave of formerly known as X.

So when I'm depressed I don't expect people to 'be there' for me because it's not possible. Where I am at that point cannot be followed. And since I hate watching someone in that state because there is nothing I can DO, nothing I can fix or solve I wouldn't want or expect someone to watch what might be a terminal decline. BUT! If you start hearing noises from the hole you should start camping in the general vicinity. That is when someone needs people to 'be there,' maybe it doesn't always work, maybe they slide back but it would suck so much more if there was no one waiting.
 

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You're completely right in saying that depression has a cause. Even if I'm a med student and have constantly heard that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance I don't think this is the whole story to it. Everytime I have dealt with depressed people (and it's a lot) I saw a cause and an effect. One woman had everything - a good job as CEO, a loving husband, two adorable kids. Yet she was depressed and nobody knew about it except me. She didn't want anyone to notice and think she's weak. We have analysed her situation and have come up with the conclusion that too much of a good thing can be bad. She took a vacation from her stressful job and went on a second honey moon with her husband while leaving the children in good hands with the grandparents. It might look like nothing but this trip was what she so desperately needed. It "cured" her illness and whenever she started to feel depressed she would just take things lighter and control the situation.

It's awful though when you're depressed and can't do anything about it. I knew a guy who was 23, lived with his parents who were aggressive alcoholics that emotionally and physically assaulted him on a daily basis. In my country there's no way one can live at least decently (non-infested appartment,food,clothes,pocket money) at 23 without any external financial support. No job will pay enough at that age that's why here people either live with their parents until they get married or the parents buy a house for them. Long story short that guy killed himself. He was a brilliant law student. But problems at home plus constant bullying because of being poor plus no friends or gf or any relative except the parents is enough to drive anyone insane.

Yep,most hide it. I hide it from anyone I don't have to spend a loooong time with. Because you can't hide from your parents or bf all the time especially since I'm either at home or at my bf's place when I'm not at uni.

Funny enough everybody else who knows me thinks I'm the happiest, most cheerful human alive.
Yeah, it's crazy how something like a week long vacation can snap someone out of it. Maybe it doesn't always work, but I've personally experienced this. Depressed as hell for months with seemingly no end in sight. 1 week spring break trip down to Florida beaches, and it was like a miracle cure. I came back a completely different, more positive person, hope returned, even happiness.

What really happens in a situation like that is getting someone out of their hole and showing them a new, brighter perspective. They remember that "oh, things can be awesome, I had forgotten." That would fall in the "drastic change" category, I think.

Certain medications can be useful, and while I think it's very very risky to prescribe something like xanax or similar sedative/anti-anxiety, as addiction and dependence are very real possibilities, in some cases, if the alternative is suicide, I think it's great as long as it's temporary and closely monitored. I don't think it comes close to having a natural glowing experience like going to the beach with good friends, but that isn't always an alternative.


I saw a really touching story on imgur.com about a soldier in Iraq/Afghanistan that was always posting about his very real PTSD and how he went from fantasizing about suicide every once in a while to thinking about it all the time. His family and friends begged him to go to the VA hospital (Veterans Affairs) for years. He finally did, they put him on xanax, and began the harder work of healing whatever the root cause was.

It was a very nerve racking story/log to read before he got help, as he seemed quite serious about killing himself and commenters were relieved when he finally got some help and reported that he wished he'd gone earlier.

A lot of times, according to buddies and things I read, soldiers with PTSD are just prescribed a virtually unlimited amount of valium and THAT'S IT.

Not a sustainable solution, to say the least.
 

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Even having been through it myself, I know that what helped me, and resonated with me, might not have the same affect on someone else and what they're going through. The thought that, "all things must pass" was an indispensable source of clarity for me at the time, when I finally came across it. The fact that a certain feeling and state of mind will not last forever - change is a constant. Impermanence. For someone else, it might mean nothing though. It might seem bleak.

So unless I know them and their situation well, I usually keep it to myself and just try to be there. If they choose to open up to me, I'll listen. Maybe tell them, or try to convey that I feel for what they're going through. Maybe, in whatever way, try to guide them to their own version of clarity.

Though when someone dies, it feels like a completely different matter. I have absolutely no consoling words for what seems inconsolable. When a friend since childhood died, I found myself avoiding her mother. There really is no "time heals all wounds" for something like that. The only thing that seems even remotely consoling is to not be hesitant to say her name and bring her memory up in conversation.
 

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You're such a darling. Rare for an INTP.
Awh thank you... but really it's only because Fi users have always known how to hand me a rubki's cube of emotions and say "I don't know how to fix this, I don't want you to tell me how, but all I need is for you to do it for me." Of course they'd never say that out loud.

An ENFP friend of mine was suffering from addiction and that really put my Fe on overdrive. It gave me a lot of experience in that area that I would have never had if it weren't for her. Granted, it was a life or death situation so it took things getting that bad for me to finally start realizing the importance of my Fe.

It is rare. But INTP's can be very caring people if they take the time to try to understand their Fe. Anyway, she showed me this and told me it reminded her of me:


In a way I understand it, because I know addicts have a war with themselves every day of their lives, and anyone who tries to be there for them will always make the addict feel incredibly guilty, but they almost always expect their 'rock' to leave. But once my Fe is sparked... haha good luck trying to push that away, especially if we know you're doing it just because you want your room to be destructive. :th_love:
 

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In my teen years I took a very harsh stance against depression and suicide. Back then I hated anything I could not rationalize, especially something as wasteful as suicide. In my defense anyone I had ever met who claimed to be depressed was rather suffering from teenage angst(emo culture being very popular at the time). But as I got older and met people who had actually faced real depression I changed my tune. I wont pretend to every understand it, but the people it affects have my sympathy and support.

I still cant really accept suicide tho, especially if the person has a family
 

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I don't know about people, but I always try to rationalise everything. Find out what the root of the problem is, and how it sprouted into what it is today. I try to take the mind of the person off of anything he/she is thinking/feeling. That's my initial reaction. I think I have dealt with mild depression, but more as a result of not being good enough at something. So there was always a reason (that i tried to rationalise anyway), so I try to do that with others, but I do realise that it doesn't work for everyone, there's no one shoe fits all solution for everyone, so at some point I realise that whatever I say it won't really help.
The person needs to be open to receiving help, and needs to find the strength from himself/herself. What I can do is be there to listen and rationalise everything, put their thoughts in order, teach them how to block it out; some immediate proposals.
My friends thank me for that, ENFP and INFJ friends have told me that they feel much better after talking to me, because i helped them analyse the problem and came up with a solution, through a discussion with them. Only the closest friends though.
Other people who I tried to help, the Ps specially, well seriously no matter what you tell them, it's all up to them anyway.
One thing with depression in an ENTJ type, you cannot rationalise anything. I have suffered severe depression for two years now. I became fine for a good year, early this year it struck again. I'm up and down like a yo-yo at the moment, trying to strike a balance. I'm back on the medication, and what this does is at least gives me feelings and emotions back - when I'm depressed I feel nothing, I'm not happy, or sad, angry or upset, I'm empty. When my emotions are back and can then work on rationalising why I feel the way I do. I can feel down for days, then one thought clicks in to my head and all is fine. Spending time with others is key for me, I went to a poetry performance last week, cheered me up, spend two days with friends, after that I have been fine.

I have raised depression up in the ENTJ subforum, got shot down by many "it is impossible for ENTJs to get depressed". I also battle with feeling lonely which is attached to my depression, again something forumers here say an ENTJ never gets lonely because of strong Te. A big fuck you to them.
 

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Well, I've had depression, and close family members and friends have battled it as well.
I have no shame in admitting that it affected me in horrible ways.

I think with an ENTJ we're looking for a solution, usually big and awesome, like we do for most problems.
However, depression is different. A lot of the time its the very little things you do to help improve that persons quality of life. For example. Listening, helping with small tasks around the house, caring for their family members if they are struggling to do that.

ie. offering someone that is really struggling a place to stay for a while, help them prepare their meals, listen to them when they do talk (sometimes a severely depressed person wont talk ... its pretty important to get them the assistance). If they need medical support, you need to assist them in getting it, in a kind, soft and gentle way. For yourself, as an ENTJ, you need to come to terms with the fact that "this is real". This is just as debilitating as a physical disease. It may not make sense to you, but you shouldn't let the "this doesn't make sense suck it up" take over the end goal of "I need to help this person recover".

BUT, its also important to remember there is a difference between Depression, and being sad or complaining.
 
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