Depression causes a variety of reactions. The reactions may or may not be intended, real or imagined. With depression, certain chemicals in the brain become unstable, causing people to think rather irrationally. Many times, the sad feelings are so intense that for a lot of people, the only way to cope with them is to retreat themselves away from others or push their loved ones away.
Possible Reasons Why Depressed Persons Push Their Loved Ones Away
There could be several reasons why depressed individuals feel the need to push their loved ones away, among them:
- Depressed individuals are hopeless beyond hope that they feel nobody else can help them.
- There is a tendency to feel threatened or overwhelmed by the presence of loved ones.
- Depressed individuals love their family and loved ones so much that they would not want to drag them into the "mess" they feel they are in.
- In worse cases, severe depression can make people delusional and paranoid that they may see their loved ones as "enemies".
While the tendency to push loved ones away is real, it does not mean that it is okay. If you are at the other end, allowing your loved one to push you away because he or she is suffering from depression will only bring more harm than good to both of you. Keep in mind that your "significant other" is at a very low point at the moment, and even though he or she may not realize it, your loved one actually needs your love and support.
Let your loved one know that you are not the type of person who will leave her in the dark nor are you someone who will just take no for an answer. So here are some things you can try to do to reverse depression and make your loved one feel better:
- Stay with him/her while giving him/her space at the same time. Give him/her time to sort his/her emotions, but don't let him/her mope. You don't necessarily have to say anything. Just be there to hold his/her hand and to offer your shoulder when he/she needs to lean on to someone.
- Take your loved one somewhere fun. A park with a playground and children playing is a nice place to spend a cool afternoon. Watching kids play and hearing them laugh is very good to the senses. Who knows, you might actually get your loved one to smile.
- Get your loved one to eat ice cream. Who doesn't love the thought of ice cream, especially on a sunny day? There's something about ice cream that takes us back to the time when we were little kids, a time when we didn't have a care in the world, a time when we didn't have time to be sad.
- Watch DVDs. Spend all afternoon just watching light and funny flicks. As much as possible, have the lights on. Being in dark places will not do anything to lift the mood of your loved one.
Keep in mind that depression should never last for more than a few days. If none of the above helps to reduce your loved one's feeling of sadness and if your loved one is already exhibiting signs and symptoms that affect his/her health (not sleeping very well or sleeping too much, not eating or overeating, having palpitations and panic attacks ), do the next best thing - get your loved one to see a counselor or a therapist.
Untreated depression can progress into something much worse and you really don't want that to happen. Even severe depression has good chances of getting healed completely if treatment has begun early on.