Depression and EMDR – Part II
Dealing With Depression Caused by Trauma
Dealing with depression could be very challenging. I know this because I suffer from depression due to war trauma. There are different ways to deal with depression in your family and maybe your relationship. My article is more about how to deal with depression due to trauma in a relationship. I believe knowing these ways, and then being able to choose and use which ones will work for you will benefit you greatly.
Ways to Deal with Depression
I have been trying to figure out if EMDR, the new method of dealing with trauma and abuse could help in taking care of depression suffered by individuals, especially soldiers. I ran into an article on the VA website that explained how EMDR has been used successfully in the military treatment facilities.
Mental health recovery is a journey of healing and transformation enabling a person with a mental health problem to live a meaningful life in a community of his or her choice while striving to achieve his or her full potential. –SAMSHA (the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration/Center for Mental Health Services) (http://www.samhsa.gov/)
- Admitting that you need help should be your first step to getting better, and most often the hardest one. The next step is finding and choosing a counselor that you feel comfortable talking to. Often it takes more than one to finally find a good therapist/patient relationship.
- Set short term goals that you know and can achieve – I know it might be hard; because I have been there.
- Individual counseling should be the first thing to take place with you and your provider as this will help your provider access you and know where you stand.
- If you are married, get counseling with your wife and kids, you can really benefit from getting counseled as a family. When one-half of the couple is depressed, it will bring down the whole house. Depression affects you and your loved ones. Letting your family know that you are there to help them will keep them going forward.
- Knowing the difference between your symptoms and your true self will be a great help for your provider to properly prescribe the best treatment for you. Your mental health provider can surely help you separate your true identity from your symptoms by helping you see how your illness affects your behavior. Be open about behaviors you want to change and set goals for making those changes.
- Educate your family.
Involve family or friends in treatment when possible. They can help you spot symptoms, track behaviors, and gain perspective. They can also give encouraging feedback and help you make a plan to cope with any future crises.
- Find the treatment that works for you.
- Medications is usually a supporting treatment as you are more important in your treatment than anyone else in the family
Some couples do well going to support groups instead of individual counseling. It may take some time going through trial and error, but do not give up. Keep up the search and you will find the perfect fit for you both. Even though one of you is ill, boundaries should and need to be set. This is to protect you both. It is to ensure that both of you are getting the attention you deserve and both needs are being met.
Make it perfectly clear that one of you is not the doctor and the other is not the patient. It needs to be clear that you are a team and you will work together to get through this hard time. If your partner is suffering from this illness, be sure to learn all you can about it. This will help you better understand what they are going through and why they do things they do. Knowing this information can benefit both of you.
Being able to ask questions and being non-judgmental to your partner will help him/her relax and want to talk to you more about the problem. This could be a great healing technique for the both of you as a couple. Knowing that you can talk about anything is a good feeling and is also beneficial to the healing process and the illness itself. The processes that you choose to go through individually and as a couple takes time. It is not going to be an easy fix. Be patient for the both of you, you will be thankful in the end.
Department of Veteran Affairs – PTSD