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OT - Helping a Loved One with Depression

Sully1234

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So I will cut to the chase - I'm at a loss on how to help my girlfriend deal with her depression. Therapy doesn't seemed to have helped.

She is diagnosed Bipolar and has struggled with depression in the past but never like this. It's to the point she hardly ever wants to get out of bed or leave her house.

She also had a very rough up bringing with a lot of trauma and PTSD that just makes it worse.

I know the basics of diet, sleep, morning sunlight, working out etc but it's difficult to get some one in the gym when they have trouble getting out of bed.

Her doctor won't see her for some time...



For the PTSD/traumatic experiences I'm going to propose to her the journaling method Huberman recently talked about.

For depression I'm going to throw it out there for her to try cold plunging, sauna, short HIIT workouts, getting sunlight (or even tanning she has a bed?)....

Open to any and all suggestions. Thank you... So much.
 
Would also like any supplement suggestions?

Not ideal but It's hard to get her out and about so if something as simple as popping a couple Lions Mane caps a day could get her moving in the right direction that would be great progress.
 
Nothing will work until it's she who wants the help - I don't mean her saying 'I wish I wasn't so depressed', I mean her saying 'What can I do to start feeling better?'. Anything you push on her will be a waste of time and has the possibility of driving her away from you.
 
Had a female acquaintance go through the same thing. She basically shut down for several months. No showers, barely ate, forget abt doing any household duties, and just laid in bed or on the sofa. I’d mention getting on some sort of antidepressants and she’d say no because her late father had a bad reaction to them. She eventually got one after her husband had enough of the shit. I can’t remember what SSRI it was but it brought her back to normal.

There’s several different kinds out there for those suffering… Just have to try one and see if it helps. If it doesn’t then try another! Hope you get things sorted out.

Cage
 
The reason I asked about meds is because if she IS on meds, many herbs and supplements can interact with them and be seriously bad news
Good point. Even other meds have interactions too. That should been reviewed by the doc to make sure all meds she may be taking are safe to use with any anti-d's.
 
It seems from what little experience that i have with bipolar people is that the right medication or medications seems to do the best. But finding the right meds/dosage can be tough. Diet, life style, cockling may help too. Usually go with the other other direction and put meds off as long as possible. Depression seems far easier to deal with then bipolar from the little experience that i have had.
 
Would also like any supplement suggestions?

Not ideal but It's hard to get her out and about so if something as simple as popping a couple Lions Mane caps a day could get her moving in the right direction that would be great progress.


You want my professional opinion or what I would tell my best friend?

And for the love of god, if she is truly bi-polar, make sure she is on her mood stabilizer.

I’d bet she is not. Adherence is abysmal with that class of drugs and diagnosis.
 
You can't help directly unfortunately

You can only help support

Like the other advice in this thread; they need to have a sincere desire for change. And sometimes it takes more than 2-3 therapists to figure out a good link where stuff can begin to start to be worked on

Most therapists are just average, just like most doctors. And medication combination/biochemical response is also the same, it takes trial and error. But it is manageable as I know many high functioning bipolar people who live happy lives
 
As everyone else has said and I’ve learned first hand- you can’t save her. She’s got to see this and find it herself. All you can do is influence her which is very different than “telling” her something.

It’s a brutal position to be in as it’s like watching someone drowning who won’t stop moving so they can be saved. She has to find it herself and as @SouthernMuscle said the wrong meds can just make it that much worse.

My best advice and from experience- be a good “influence” and help her find someone who she respects as that’s someone she will listen to. But as hard as it is- do your best to not enable it.

“People will continue to do what they do as long as someone around them tells them it’s ok.”

I’ve heard that quote said many times worded about the same. It’s so true.

We all go through tough shit and have to process it in our own way.
 
Is she on any prescription meds for any of this

The reason I asked about meds is because if she IS on meds, many herbs and supplements can interact with them and be seriously bad news
You want my professional opinion or what I would tell my best friend?

And for the love of god, if she is truly bi-polar, make sure she is on her mood stabilizer.

I’d bet she is not. Adherence is abysmal with that class of drugs and diagnosis.

Unfortunately the majority of times I ask about meds is out of anger or when I'm fed up with the bull shit. When I have asked she is standoff ish and doesnt like to answer because she thinks it makes her "weak". Sigh.

From what she has said the meds are on and off. Her period also turns things into a roller coaster as well.

EDIT: The thought behind supplements was along the lines of "cant get much worse".
 
Unfortunately the majority of times I ask about meds is out of anger or when I'm fed up with the bull shit. When I have asked she is standoff ish and doesnt like to answer because she thinks it makes her "weak". Sigh.

From what she has said the meds are on and off. Her period also turns things into a roller coaster as well.

EDIT: The thought behind supplements was along the lines of "cant get much worse".
yes, it can get muuuuch worse. 5-htp and st.johns wort could do a shitload of harm to her mental state depending on what her chemical imbalances are.


and maybe something you can work in is that meds don’t make you weak, it’s better living through chemistry thats all.

i think i’d rather take my blood pressure meds than die because i didn’t
 
My sister has been diagnosed with Bi-Polar and she is fkn crazy.
She is sweet nd nice nice one day then next day sends random abusive messages, rips people off out of money (takes loans doesn't pay back), doesn't let our mother see her grandkids... she's a fkn idiot.

Anyway mate you need to get a really good psychiatrist. I have seen them medicate some people with serious issues and completely fix the quality of their life. I would be doing my homework, asking around and king straight to someone with a lot of experience and proven track record. Some of these professionals are amazing.

Good luck brother.
 
Completely agree with Dan. You can’t force anyone to change/seek help until they’re absolutely ready and acknowledge there is a problem. How long have yall been together?

Not counting the dozen times I've been dumped for a few days to a week? 13 months.
 
yes, it can get muuuuch worse. 5-htp and st.johns wort could do a shitload of harm to her mental state depending on what her chemical imbalances are.


and maybe something you can work in is that meds don’t make you weak, it’s better living through chemistry thats all.

i think i’d rather take my blood pressure meds than die because i didn’t

Without going into too many details the night of our one year anniversary I had to literally pull her off a ledge... So maybe I'm just biased and dramatic but it's hard to see how it can get worse.

I'm just desperate.
 

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