My friend confided in me last week that her boyfriend is on the brink of depression. For a few weeks he did not want to get out of bed or do anything. He complained about the world, felt guilty for doing so, and had nothing but negative thoughts. She was annoyed with his thinking, and frustrated that he did not seem to want to help himself. She told me she could not stay with a person as such, and thought about breaking up with him.
A few days later, she wrote me back and thanked me for giving her the perspective. She admitted she could not relate to her boyfriend but after my explanation she could better empathize and see from his side. It sparked off a thought in my little brain — communication breaks down between the depressed and their friends and family.
My friend’s story is but one example. Reading the comments on one of my top read post, “10 things not to say to a depressed person,” I noticed the gigantic communication gap because simply, we do not communicate. As a result, both the depressed and those around them become frustrated, annoyed, guilty, angry, belittled, and indifferent.
On one side, those who suffer from clinical depression shut themselves up from the world and those close to them. They experience a concoction of guilt, desperation, confusion, hopelessness, loneliness, alienation, anger, sorrow… The nature of the illness makes it difficult to express these emotions or explain the thoughts behind, especially as majority of people would not agree with the pessimism and negativity.
On the other hand, for those around the depressed, they do not understand why we do not help ourselves get out of the rut, why we are so negative, why can’t just get on with our lives and confront the challenges.
Consequently, both sides think the other side are unreasonable. They stop the minimal communication they had, and sulk in their respective corners.
In reality, there is no right or wrong; it depends which side of the fence we are on. Everyone has his or her stories, background, experience, and personal interpretations. I would not want to write off anyone. Depression taught me humility, bringing down my self-righteous pride and critical judgments. I am learning empathy and compassion, and to slowly dilute my arrogance.
For better or for worse, I have been on both sides of the fence now. I can now empathize both the depressed and those who have friends or family depressed. It is an intricate web to decipher but I would like to elucidate the issue for those who care to hear.
As such, I am embarking on a new project – to compile a free ebook on depression.
There are many good books out there on the topic, and I envision my ebook to complement in a succinct way, with the theme of “Bridging the Communication Gap.” I will offer the ebook as a free download. It will not be a 300-page novel but rather a quick read to offer insights into the thinking of the depressed, those taking care of the depressed, and friends and family of the depressed. Hopefully this could diminish the communication breakdown between us and help a few wandering souls.
I must admit I have not thought out the whole structure of the ebook yet but I must start somewhere. And other people’s stories would make for convincing tales to assist others getting through the challenge. So with this, I ask for your help and contribution towards the content.
If you have had, or still suffer from clinical depression, or if you have interacted with anyone who has had or still suffer from clinical depression, then I would love to hear from you.
If you have thoughts, suggestions and opinions about the theme, please don’t hesitate to write either.
1. Here are a few guidelines and details to include:
- Write about the theme “Bridging the Communication Gap for Depression” in 500 words. You are free to write whatever you want, but please ensure the integrity and honesty of your story for I do not want fictional experience.
- Put your name (pen names accepted), email address, website (if any), Twitter name (if any), and your geographical location towards the end of the article.
- Include a 3-sentence biography.
- Email articles as Word document to nochnoch (at) nochnoch (dot) com, with subject heading as “Ebook contribution.”
- Please include a headshot as Jpeg.
- All languages entertained, but if written in any language other than English, Chinese, French, or Spanish, it would help if you could provide an English translation.
- Deadline for submission: 15 November 2012.
2. Some prompt questions to help you get started:
- Did you communicate your depression to others? How did you communicate? What were people’s reactions? How did it make you feel?
- How did you react and feel when someone told you he or she was depressed? Did you know what depression was or the extent of the illness?
- Have you said these phrases to anyone before? What was the situation? What were your thoughts behind the spoken words? Did you know they were depressed?
- What is one thing you would like to tell your friends and family about why you feel depressed?
- What do you wish your depressed friend or family member had told you?
3. And to avoid future confusion, please note:
- I accept (parts of) articles already published elsewhere, in which case, please first ensure you have syndication rights, and let me know at the end of your article in the same Word document where it was first published and the reference. I do not want to be sued for plagiarism and copyright infringement.
- By submitting your hitherto unpublished article to me I have first publication rights. I do not mind that you submit your article elsewhere thereafter, but please ensure those organizations do not require exclusivity.
- I may also post some articles here on the blog as guest posts if I deem appropriate.
- I cannot guarantee to publish every single article I receive and please do not take be offended if I do not.
- I reserve the right to edit the articles for final publication in the ebook, on any of my websites, and any future publications. You will of course be notified and duly credited.
I look forward to your suggestions to fix the communication breakdown. It would help create a supportive environment for the depressed to recover, and a less frustration situation for those around them to handle.
Let’s do this together! Thank you in advance for your contributions.
If you know someone who would be interested in writing an article, please share this post with them.
另一方面, 抑鬱者周圍的人, 亦不能理解為何我們不嘗試自己走出抑鬱，為何我們如此的消極，為何我們不願再次踏上生活的路途，迎接挑戰。
- 在文章的最後注上你的名字 (筆名亦可), 電郵地址, 網站 (可選), 推特用戶名 (可選), 以及地理位置。
- 將文章以Word的格式發送到 nochnoch (at) nochnoch (dot) com, 電郵標題為“給電子書的建議”。
- 2012 年 11 月 15 日 前
- 您曾經以這些話語駁斥過他人嗎(LINK TO POST)？當時的情況是怎樣的？您說這些話背後的用意是什麽？