Relationships and depression written by: padhia
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There are many types of relationships… friends, family, you have some sort of relationship with everyone you interact with on a continual basis.

I wish someone had told me what I am about to write. But, like most things I learned the hard way. When you suffer from depression, your relationships form and grow from that soil. If they aren’t, they are slowly shaped over time by both your own dysfunction and the way others react to you. In essence you have poured concrete which has slowly dried over the years into a rigid relationship that is bound by the confines of depression and contributes to it on great levels. In freeing yourself from depression, a big step is reevaluating all of the relationships in your life. They must change, they must become fluid and bend and be redefined or they will shatter and fall away, much like hardened concrete.

At first this is very difficult and there is a period that you go through where not only are you trying to figure out who you are but you are trying to figure out who everyone really is (often you are seeing them clearly for the first time) and how they fit into the picture of your life (if at all). I used to say to those close to me, “you have no idea what it is like to one day suddenly wake up in your life”. People around you need to have compassion for this and be patient while things are coming into focus for you, or the relationship is not going to survive. There are most likely so many patterns of behavior and dynamics that were borne of depression and therefore feed into it. People close to you need to work on changing the dynamics of their relationships with you so that these relationships are healthy and fit in with the new definition of who you are and what your life is going to be about. I lost a few friends during this rocky time when I was discovering all of this. At first I was devastated, but in time I came to see that these relationships were based on me being the weaker, sick person and the friendship thrived on this dynamic.  I am not saying that everyone I knew was preying on me in some sense, just that I warped the relationship into an unhealthy situation one way or another. In some situations,  I started to assert things that had always really upset me because now I could clearly see how negatively they affected me, the attitude was ” I have put up with you for all of these years and now you are asking me to change things about myself. How dare you?!” . That is not a friend. That is an abuser, who needs a weak person to feel superior to.

Most of my relationships did survive, but it took a lot of work and willingness on both parts to hold on to each other. Fights, anger, honesty, grief, all of this occurs while you are finding your voice. There were several people that I did not speak to for a long time. Sometimes that is necessary. Sometimes time apart not only allows the people involved to gain a new perspective, it also allows the anger and other negative feelings and judgements to be flushed. The people who I experience this with, when we did come back together, it was such a comfort because it was old and familiar, yet at the same time brand new because the entire dynamic had changed. Every single relationship in my life changed drastically. They became genuine. I enjoy them, they are all different and each contributes something precious and unique to my experience on this earth. i marvel at the subtle nuisances of each unique personality. I learn from everyone. As I let my friends know who the hell I really was by voicing my opinions and experiences, they became closer. I gave them something solid to embrace. Some of the strongest bonds of my life were formed during this period… by letting people in… by putting myself out there, in a raw, uncensored way. Risking rejection knowing that if I was rejected that wasn’t someone I needed anyway, and in essence, inviting people to embark on a new journey with me.

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  1. Afnan
    12/15/2012

    I have already reilped your question on dealing depression with Hindu resources. which I have reproduced once again below:-In addtion to the above you can do the following and possibility you will get some relief-1. YOGA and MEDITATION. You should preactice this daily in the morning. I will give lot of relief.2. Read and try to understand Bhagwat Gita You can do one verse per day and you will get so many meanings and facts, which will be helpful. Other Hindu Resources suggested by me are as below:DEALING DEPRESSION HINDU WAY RESOURCES:Today many people practice yoga to lose weight or otherwise improve their health and appearance. But there is much more to yoga than that. Yoga actually means “To link with the Supreme”. It may be compared to a ladder for attaining the top most spiritual perfection.Thousands of years ago, conditions were such that people could devote a great part of their lives to unbroken yoga practices in a secluded place, taking strict vows of penances and austerity. But who today can sit alone in a mountain valley or jungle for long periods without moving; minimizing eating and sleeping and speaking, and on top of that fixing ones mind on the self? By following the bhakti yoga process which has been recommended for this age, this can be achieved.The Bhakti Yogi controls his mind and senses by the simple process of chanting the Hare Krishna mantra. Chanting purifies the mind and the senses just as medicine prescribed for a body ailment gradually restores the body to its natural. healthy condition. We engage in this practice, known as mantra meditation to gradually develop great mental control and awareness. In this pure state of consciousness, free from inebriates such as tension, confusion, depression and feelings of envy and hatred, one experiences real peace of mind.We also abstain from activities which bind us to materialistic life and have negative karmic reactions.These we call the regulative principles of freedom and can be classified as four:1. No eating meat, fish or eggs 2. No Gambling3. No intoxicants (like drugs, alcohol, tobacco, etc.)4. No illicit sex.We follow these principles in order to develop love of God. They are conducive to the development of spiritual life and also bring peace and stability of the mind. We believe there are three enemies to civilized human life. These are lust, anger and greed. These activities which we abstain from are those which increase our lust, anger and greed. They also cloud the mind which then that leads to mis-judgement.Abstaining from these four sinful acts allows us to lay a rock solid foundation in our devotional quest.So by regularly chanting Hare Krishna …… this will help us to follow the four regulative principles and by following the four regulative principles we can easily chant Hare Krishna. They go hand in hand, neither one can be done without the other.-

  2. Issy Delgado
    5/9/2013

    Have you ever heard about the Landmark Forum? It says the same thing about insanity. It’s a life coaching event, be-in type thing, a leftover from the 70’s that has sort of updated itself. Awakening into what your life could be, etc. Interesting. I did it when I was 18.

  3. Mia
    3/9/2014

    I love this post. Very positive message, I can identify with the scenario and feel the same way about finding a therapist. I was raised by my grandparents, because of money problems with my mother. They died when I was 14, and at 19 when I experienced two tragic deaths I was in my first year of college and had to return home to grieve. We could never afford therapy and school counselors/public counselor always stressed me out and left me exhausted and feeling like my whole story wasn’t told. This post gives me a lot more courage to try finding someone else. In the meantime, the baltobunny project is helping me see everyday brighter.