Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Broken

As someone who has used a similar relationship analogy in the past, I was pretty impressed by this comment from this post.


She is a car that has almost completely run out of gas. The gas is energy. Depression is having no energy. 

"But I keep filling her tank up with gas!" you say. Unfortunately for you, her engine nearly kaput. Fuel leaks everywhere, the sparkplugs are bad, the throttle is loose, and despite all that gas your pouring into the tank, she's lucky if she can get a mile further down the road.

All of these things are fixable, and but you're going to have to completely rebuild the car, and since you have a budget, (in your case, the amount of time you can stand to hang around her) it's going to take awhile. 

Here's how to use the car analogy to help you stay sane while dealing with someone who is, by definition, a drag. Say that she has a habit of not looking you (or anyone) in the eye. She stares at her nails, she stares at her feet, she stares out the window, but her eyes are unfocused and you know she's not actually staring at anything. This is a big habit for depressives, because by not looking at anything we don't have to care about anything outside ourselves, and therefore we can protect ourselves from any further emotional pain. It's our primary defense mechanism. So how to fix this? In car terms, the headlights are out, which is maybe why the car looks like it's been inadvertently offroading a lot. The only thing to do is to replace them. Imagining your friend as an inanimate object may seem inconsiderate, but empaths get much less worked up over inanimate objects than they do with people, so it's much easier to not take what she does personally, which is essential if you're going to be dealing with a depressed person much of the time. 

So now that you have a mental defense in the form of an analogy, how exactly do you go about repairing your friend? You basically train her like a dog into certain habits. Punishment won't work, because I guarantee you nothing you can do to her is worse than what she's already doing to herself. So the two big tools in your repair kit are going to be distraction and reward. When you notice her starting to get that introspective "I'm going to beat myself up for no good reason" look, distract her. Research on the internet for things that are excellent distractions. If she's distracted, she is focusing outside herself and can't slip into full-on "I hate myself" mode. The second is reward. Whenever she does something- no matter how small- that is in the direction on forming a habit to combat her own depression, reward her. It doesn't have to be anything fancy- a smile or a sincere complement will do. With these two tools, you can slowly warp her worldview into a more positive tint. 


I think that this is actually really helpful for people who are less empathic (and everyone maybe).  It's still cause and effect, sort of, but just a different project than maybe you thought you were working on.


21 comments:

  1. i love broken ppl they give me somthing to do b4 i get bored fix them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OR JUST SIT BACK RELAX AND ENJOI THE SHOW

      Delete
  2. i have the power to create and distroy

    ReplyDelete
  3. This approach is very similar to cognitive behavioral therapy which works well for depression. In a formal setting, over the course of 16 weeks, half the people treated lost their clinical symptoms of depression.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_behavioral_therapy#Mood_disorders

    Worth looking into if you have to deal with a friend/family member with depression.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I beg to differ. Cognitive Behavior THerapy seeks long term solutions and tries to understand the root cause of the problem and deal with that while providing you with tools to alleviate the depressive mood in the process.

      What is suggested in the post does not seem to include any long term solutions but a slight lift on the depressive state.

      My point is yes, distraction is all good, but not sufficient. Cognitive Behavior Therapy, however, works.

      Delete
    2. Although by rewarding new, self soothing/distracting behaviors, you are reinforcing them, and that can transform into a long term benefit. The person will eventually become self sufficient and wont require reinforcement from outside.

      Delete
  4. From a depressive: fill the tank with pills, first step. Then leave the person alone, but never physically alone. Then break her routine: if the person can't stand his old activities anymore, replace them. New small habits: playing trivial pursuit in the evening, writing a few lines in the morning. It has to be new, and indoors. All this worked like magic with me. And writing, it sooths the pain beautifully. But, seriously, medication. The brain lacks something that must be artificially supplied. Full stop.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. diet change?

      Delete
    2. Oh well, I am heavenly thin after each depression, then I can eat everything I want for months (the dream), the one and only advantage for hell on earth. Otherwise, a depressive needs to be cooked, otherwise he/she would starve to death, at least me.

      Delete
  5. This is my girlfriend. Wow. Even the girl in the picture kinda looks like her too...

    ReplyDelete
  6. the good thing about being a sociopath you dont give a shit.
    the bad thing about being a sociopath you dont give a shit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those around you is "who cares." Sociopaths are
      a pain in the ass, add depression to that pot and
      it's a nightmare.

      Delete
  7. I like this, I'm an empathetic person and admit after reading crap like "ruining ppl" I think maybe you all should me shot, and still consider it. But this is the kind of perspective I keep reading here for.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sometime we also face same problem that discussed in this post but we should check our car's tank before going anywhere. By the way i already read some custom essay service online article about this topic but this is different and beneficent from them.

    ReplyDelete
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