Setting Boundaries When Your Loved One Experiences Depression

If your loved one is like me, during the worst of depression they want as much nurture and time with you as possible because the experience of depression is so incredibly scary.

During my depression I was not able to think, nor feel.  I no longer felt like a human being.  I needed the support of my family, to just be there with me…in the room with me or touching me or lying beside me just so I could feel alive.

This was great for me, but it wasn’t good for my family at all.  Here’s what I learned my family needed.



My family needed to set firm boundaries with me for time that they would not spend with me during the worst of my depression.

For instance, my  mother set the boundary that she needs her mornings to enjoy her breakfast, doing crossword puzzles and to just relax.  She also needed time in the evenings to decompress.  And all day Wednesday was her day to be with friends.  She is retired and had more time to spend with me.

My sister needed boundaries.  She worked full time.  She needed time daily after work to decompress, but would spend time with me before bed-time to practice Tai Chi with me with the hope that it would help me sleep.

With these boundaries, I began to improve because it forced me to utilize my own strength and tools.  And it helped me to recognize when it was time to get psychiatric help.

Without boundaries, I would have been very comfortable staying in my depression and not getting psychiatric help for even longer with all the nurture I received.

I highly encouraged parents and loved ones to figure out their boundaries and set them in a way that says, “I LOVE you.  Nevertheless, I need to take care of myself first in order to be there for you.”