It can feel uncomfortable trying to support, or even just talk with, someone in the midst of a severe episode of depression. You don’t want to offend them, or trigger something in them—so what do you say? Some people are so uncomfortable they choose to look, or even run, the other way.
But, by reading this book, you’re proving that you want to try and get beyond that. You want to feel comfortable approaching, being around, talking with, and most importantly, supporting, someone with clinical depression.
That’s the goal of this book—helping you to feel more confident in all aspects of assisting your loved one who is struggling with depression.
Supporting someone who is fighting major depressive disorder can be demanding, even burdensome, at times. But, the encouraging news is that you can learn as much about clinical depression as possible—and with that knowledge you’ll gain empathy, which is exactly what your loved one needs.
I’ve been living with major depressive disorder (aka MDD, or clinical depression, major depression, or severe depression) my entire life. It wasn’t until my most recent severe episode that I realized I needed serious, professional medical help. I sought, and found, that help with the encouragement and assistance of my mother.
Clinical depression is a mental illness, and a mood disorder. Most individuals do have co-existing, co-occurring, or comorbid disorders. This just means that in addition to one main disorder, or main diagnosis, e.g., clinical depression, the person also has at least one other disorder or illness, e.g., obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety, bipolar disorder, eating disorder, terminal illness, substance abuse, etc.
Disorders and illnesses are all unpredictable—I can’t give you tips that will work 100% of the time with your loved one. Unfortunately, that’s just not possible. But, in this book I share some of my experiences, and others’ experiences, to help assist you in getting through the depressive episode your loved one is experiencing. I also share information about what depression really is, suicidal warning signs, depression signs and symptoms, potential treatment options, and helpful resources that include phone numbers and websites geared towards helping you and your loved one finding the help that’s needed for both of you.
I’m still fighting my major depressive disorder, anxiety, and OCD every day—but life can and does go on. Things can get better. Life can feel like it’s worth living again. But, it takes time and a lot of effort.
You’ll find that it’s all worth it—for both you and your loved one.
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J. Christy McKibben is an author, freelance writer, and editor. Christy graduated Summa Cum Laude from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Technical Communication. Christy had previously earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in Practical Nursing from Hennepin Technical College (Brooklyn Park, Minnesota), and currently holds a Licensed Practical Nurse license from the state of North Carolina.
Christy has a high regard and compassion for all animals—and an especially heartfelt fondness for cats. Volunteering at a no-kill cat shelter in her area, Christy enjoys working with other volunteers to care for (and play with) the kittens and cats. She’s also very appreciative of the opportunity she’s been given to write and edit the shelter’s weekly newsletter.