Validating someones suffering
If we have friends like Tom, we can be a true friend by telling them in a kindly way that they may be overlooking their own role in the disharmony. People can react quite defensively or negatively when they’re “called out” on their unconscious determination to suffer. This keeps you hyper-focused on the pain and the reasons for it.” Some readers of his post objected vigorously, claiming that the writer got it wrong and that empathy from others was vitally important in the healing process. In my opinion, this owner is a micromanaging dictatorial self-serving diabolical hovering control freak. Sometimes, as well, we can unconsciously be embellishing on the feeling of being controlled, which makes us feel more trapped and restricted. Individuals who are “moved” to write comments are often feeling an urgent need, after reading a post, to defend against their participation in suffering.
Tom might express the conflict in the following words, if he were to become conscious of it: (1) “I dislike and wish to avoid the feeling or experience of being rejected; (2) “I expect to be rejected and I’m tempted, because the negative emotion of rejection is unresolved in me, to indulge in the experience of it.”) Ironically, while he complained fervently to others about Jane’s alleged meanness, he likely was (or had been) provoking her to reject him. It sounds as if you do indeed have a difficult work environment.
A while ago, I posted an article, “Avoidable Miseries of the Workplace,” that described some of the unconscious ways we chose to be miserable in the workplace, even when we hold excellent jobs. Repeatedly, I have kindly asked the owner of this small company to please keep the noise levels down (barking dog, loud walking, and distracting talking), but that suggestion was repudiated by the owner. Not only does this owner micromanage my every move by looking over my shoulders every 15 minutes, I have to deal with a barking dog, too.
A reader then sent me an email in which she emphatically chronicled the (alleged) reasons why she had no choice in her workplace but to suffer. In my trade, graphic designer, I need to maintain 100% concentration at all times . Not only was my plea for solitude disregarded, but the noise level seems to have increased .
“Awareness” is great, but at the end of the day what I need is to be surrounded by people who actually understand my illness and know how to support me.
So here’s a guide to how to support a loved one with depression.
And although we’ve come a long way in our ability to treat it, we still don’t really know what causes it or why treatments work and don’t work.