Talking to a Woman with Depression
Talking to a depressed woman, as well as trying to have discussion with any depressed person can be a challenging task. Their behavior can be drastically affected by depression & very often be completely unfair & unreasonable. This may leave you with two options: deal with this & hope that time will heal the situation or talk about the elephant in the room. In cases of postpartum or menopause depression you might be better of just letting some time go by & hope for the best.
There are many reasons which may prevent a person from being able to talk to a given person about depression, such as inability to trust, feeling of shame, embarrassment, fear etc. Gaining enough confidence for a person to be able to talk about their inner hell is very difficult and in some cases impossible. The number one task is to accept the possibility that you may never be able to do it, have patience & take it slow. It’s understandable for people who care about a person have the impatient & overtly positive outlook, however, for the most part, these people set themselves up for a failure.
It may be a good idea to start with just simple unrelated topics that you know you enjoy conversing about already, get the conversation going & slightly steer the topic in this direction. Keep in mind that you are getting close to a wound, so you need to be very reactive & attentive to the way the person reacts to the conversation. Your task is to open the door & invite the person to come in and know that it’s the best you can do. You can’t do the steps for her or try to push her to do the steps, you are likely to have more negative than positive outcome. Metaphorically speaking, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” You may think it’s a distasteful metaphor for this case, but it pretty much sums it up.
Things to avoid:
- Saying things like “I know how you feel”, “Get over it”, “It’s all in your head”
- Believing that once you have this conversation, everything is going to be fixed
- Being angry or outburst with anger, because things aren’t exactly going like you planned
- Slipping into depression yourself
Initially your efforts of having an honest conversation may not be rewarded, however, if the initial rejection is handled with composure and determination & patience, it can pave the way for acceptance.
That’s it & good luck! You are going to need it