I am not a caregiver, but I do have a close friend with major depression disorder and anxiety. A difficulty I often face is truly understanding how he feels when he shares his thoughts and struggles with me. At the start, I tended to be quick to suggest solutions, saying things like "You should try this, it worked for me" or "Don't think so much, there's nothing to be afraid about". Over a few months of regular conversations, I've learnt that by always wanting to give him a solution, I wasn't really being there for him, instead, I was just trying to help him get out of his rut. So that life could be "normal" for him again. I've learnt that what works for my friend is to provide a sincere listening ear, to help talk through his thoughts, even if it might not be leading to a solution. He also told me that he is aware that his fears and anxiety are not based on logic, and each time someone gives him a logical solution, he feels even more overwhelmed. So I guess my advice is to simply listen. As friends or family of people with mental illness, we are there for the long run. We are in the best position to provide comfort and strength, not always solutions, so that our loved ones can continue pushing on their recovery journey.posted in Mental Health
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RE: Are you a caregiver or know someone who is one?