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. Cari
    1/29/2014

    I recently spoke with someone from the Point of Return program. She told me that there are a lot of foods/herbs etc. that interact with psych meds (Luvox specifically) I am already trying to eat as healthfully as possible but she said I should avoid cruciferous vegetables because they interact. Did you find that you needed to avoid foods that supposedly interact with the drugs?

    • 1/30/2014

      Hi Cari, to be honest, I’m not sure. I felt so crappy all the time it would have been hard to tell that from the side effects of the meds and from the depression itself. I do know that cutting out gluten, sugar, and processed foods helped immensely. unfortunately these medications deplete your system of a lot of nutrients ( or so I have read) and it would really be a shame to cut out cruciferous veggies because they are so good for you. sorry that I can’t be more helpful on this topic.