Do You Love Someone With Depression?
If you have a partner or are close to someone who struggles with depression, you may not always know how to show them you love them. One day they may seem fine, and the next they are sad, distant and may push you away. It is important that you know that as a person who is close to them and trusted by them, you can help your friend or partner have shorter, less severe bouts of depression. Mental illness is as real as physical illness (it is physical actually, read more about that here) and your partner needs you as much as they would need to be cared for if they had the flu.
Your relationship may seem one-sided during these times, but by helping your partner through a very difficult and painful affliction, you are strengthening your relationship and their mental health in the long term.
1. Help them keep clutter at bay.
When a person begins spiraling into depression, they may feel like they are slowing down while the world around them speeds up. The mail may end up in stacks, dishes can pile up in the sink, laundry may go undone as the depressed person begins to feel more and more overwhelmed by their daily routine and unable to keep up. By giving your partner some extra help sorting mail, washing dishes or using paper plates and keeping chaos in check in general, you’ll be giving them (and yourself) the gift of a calm environment. (I’m a fan of the minimalist movement because of this, you can read more about that here.)
2. Fix them a healthy meal.
Your partner may do one of two things when they are in a depressed state. They may eat very little, or they may overeat. In either case, they may find that driving through a fast food restaurant or ordering a pizza online is just easier than fixing a meal. Eating like this, or neglecting to eat will only degrade your partner’s health, causing them to go deeper into their depression. Help your loved one keep their body healthy, and their mind will follow. This is a great article that talks about the “Brain Diet” which can help the symptoms of depression, and this article talks about how our modern diet could contribute to the recent rise in depression. Here is a recipe for a trail mix that is quick to make and has mood-boosting properties.
3.Get them outside.
The benefits of getting outside for a depressed person are huge. And it is possibly the last thing on earth your partner will want to do. Take them to be somewhere in nature. Pack a picnic and lie in the sun, take a leisurely hike or plant a garden. Being barefoot in the dirt, or “earthing” helps ground the body and reverse the effects of living in a world of emf’s, and digging in soil can actually act as an antidepressant, as a strain of bacterium in soil, Mycobacterium vaccae, triggers the release of seratonin, which in turn elevates mood and decreases anxiety. Sunshine increases Vitamin D production which can help alleviate depression. My friend Elizabeth wrote an excellent post about Vitamin D and its link to depression here. For more information about other sources of Vitamin D, this is a great post as well as this.
4. Ask them to help you understand what they’re feeling.
If your partner is able to articulate what they are going through, it will help them and you better understand what you are dealing with, and may give insight into a plan of action for helping your partner. Also, feeling alone is common for a depressed person and anything that combats that feeling will help alleviate the severity and length of the depression.
5. Encourage them to focus on self-care.
Depressed people often stop taking care of themselves. Showering, getting haircuts, going to the doctor or dentist, it’s all just too hard, and they don’t deserve to be well taken care of anyway in their minds. This can snowball quickly into greater feelings of worthlessness since “Now I’m such a mess, no one could ever love me”. Help your loved one by being proactive. Tell them “I’m going to do the dishes, why don’t you go enjoy a bubble bath?” can give them the permission they won’t give themselves to do something normal, healthy and self-loving.
6. Hug them.
Studies show that a sincere hug that lasts longer than 20 seconds can release feel-good chemicals in the brain and elevate the mood of the giver and receiver. Depressed people often don’t want to be touched, but a sincere hug with no expectation of anything further can give your partner a lift.
7. Laugh with them.
Telling a silly joke, watching a comedy or seeing a stand up comedian will encourage your partner to laugh in spite of themselves. Laughing releases endorphins and studies show can actually counteract symptoms of depression and anxiety.
8. Reassure them that you can handle their feelings.
Your partner may be feeling worthless, angry and even guilty while they are depressed. They may be afraid that they will end up alone because no one will put up with their episodes forever. Reassure them that you are in the relationship for the long haul and they won’t scare you away because they have an illness.
9. Challenge their destructive thoughts.
A depressed person’s mind can be a never-ending loop of painful, destructive thoughts. “I’m unlovable, I’m a failure, I’m ugly, I’m stupid”. Challenge these untruths with the truth. “You’re not unlovable, I love you. You aren’t a failure, here are all the things you’ve accomplished.”
10.Remind them why you love them.
Look at pictures of happy times you’ve had together. Tell them your favorite things about them. Reminisce about your relationship and all the positive things that have happened, and remind your partner that you love them and they will get through this.
(via The Darling Bakers)
More people need to know this.This is so incredibly important. I’ve seen people with depression ostracized so many times, and I cannot stress how much it means to each and every person I’ve tried to reach out to after whatever “falling-outs” they’ve had due to depression. Remember to always be compassionate and kind to all friends like this, because you never know what they’re going through.
➽ How To Play a Male Character as a Female Roleplayer
Please note that anything I say in these are only advice and suggestion on how to improve and help to be a roleplayer. I hope these come as a helpful guide for you.
(It has come to my attention that a lot of you really liked this post of mine about worldbuilding. You can imagine my surprise when I saw it crack 700 notes. Thank you all!)
I suppose I ought to amend this slightly, though. Maintaining mystery is a good thing and I encourage it, but I in no way want you to think that you cannot include all the aspects of your world in your story. By all means, show it off! What I mean by maintaining mystery is that you must never give everything at once, if you give it at all.
The cardinal rule of magic (for what is storytelling but magic?) is that you never reveal everything you know. Always be the smartest one in the room. When worldbuilding, you are the one behind the curtain, creating stories with a wave of your hand and a tap on your keyboard. You are the master magician, and your reader is the audience. Awe them.
Maintain the mystery because:
- There is not enough space. One thing to beware of when worldbuilding is pacing: when to include and when to skip over. Not just pacing, but also length, so as to avoid infodumping. You are writing a work of fiction (presumably), and you must not forsake telling the story for including details of worldbuilding. The story is more important. Remember, you are building a world for a story/protagonist, not the other way around. Your world should serve to enrich and add depth to your story, your story should not serve as a vehicle to talk about a world.
- There is not enough space here. Worldbuilding is a process, not a step. It is not something to check off your list, “all right this is done I can move on YAY.” Rather than slamming everything in the face of the readers and then never mentioning it again, give several “doses” of worldbuilding over the course of the story. This will help you avoid infodumping, as well as create the impression that the world is vast and maintain a sense of discovery. On that note…
- Know when to stop. Knowing your story inside and out can only do you good as a writer, but for a reader it might not be so great. If a reader feels that a story has nothing left to show them, they may start getting bored. Knowing everything isn’t as interesting as discovering. If you remember nothing else, remember this: stop when it’s done. Do not keep going for the sake of continuing to develop the world. Story first, always. I think you would be hard pressed to find a book that people read solely for the worldbuilding.
- It doesn’t really matter. As above, story first. Can you imagine reading a book that starts with page after page after page explaining the inner workings of world government and detailing how the power players in the story made it to their current state of affairs? That is less a work of fiction and more a history textbook, and that does not make for good reading.Every aspect of society is important, make no mistake, but not everything makes for a good story. (Never, ever, EVER throw any of it out or permanently delete it, though. Always keep it around, you never know when you might need some of that research.)
- The real world is full of mystery. True, we have discovered a lot as time and technology have progressed (such as that the Salem Witch Trials did not burn actual witches and might only have taken place because the town of Salem was on a massive drug trip, or that sailors somehow mistook manatees and dugongs for women and called them mermaids), but there is still so much we have yet to learn. Things that are mysterious to us now might be debunked in the future, and some things might just stay mysterious to us forever.
- Trust your readers. Readers are smart, not everything needs to be explained to them. And never talk down to them.
Something else to consider: What point of view are you coming from? A first person protagonist who is unfamiliar with the world may focus on different aspects of the world than an indifferent third person narrator.
Make sense? Let us know if you have other questions.
Advice: Character Caught by Hostile Group (TW: Sexual Assault)
Anonymous asked: (Rape tw) Hi. Soo, in my fantasy story, my MC is briefly kidnapped by slavers. And I’m sort of wrestling with the idea of sexual assault. Because these slavers are definitely at times rapists, and I don’t want to tip toe around that or censor it or anything like that. (Or suggest that because my MC is strong/important, she cant be raped). But actually including sexual assault isn’t necessary to my MC’s plot. So I obviously don’t intend to include it. Do you have any advice?There are many examples throughout history and the modern world of hostile groups who rape as part of their terrorism. However, that doesn’t mean that every person who ever came into contact with or was captured by such a group was subject to sexual assault or rape. So, having your character escape this trauma despite capture isn’t unrealistic or letting her off the hook just because she’s important. And if it isn’t important to the plot or her character arc, it is really best to leave it out. You can have her be aware that it has happened or is happening, and have her feel in danger, but that’s as far as you need to go.
W R I T I N G N O N B I N A R Y C H A R A C T E R S
In my opinion, this guide is long overdue. Many “how to play an LGBT+ character” guides are written by cishets based off of incorrect knowledge, poor research, and a general lack of understanding.
A lot of admins and roleplayers, as well as writers in general, have expressed interest in creating and playing nonbinary character but are either afraid of being offensive or are actually offensive. So, I will go through several sections not only on how to play these characters but about nonbinary people in real life.
This is a very personal subject and everyone experiences their own trans-ness differently. Also, full disclaimer, I’m very tired and very passionate and have NO filter so some of this might not make sense or might surprise you.
While this guide might seem very long, I feel like I’ve barely touched on a lot of the stuff I wanted to discuss. I encourage further research and I would be happy to answer any questions you might have.
*TW: Dysphoria, transphobia, racism, anatomy/genitals, violence, murder, suicide, mental illness*
IT’S INCREDIBLY HELPFUL AND CAN FOR INSTANCE GENERATE TOPICS AND FIRST LINES, CONTAINS LOADS OF EXERCISES AND YOU CAN FIND PLENTY OF WRITING TIPS.
BLESS YOU I LOVE YOU OH MY GODS I’VE NEEDED THIS
Developing the Inciting Incident of your Novel
The inciting incident is the event that happens in your novel that changes everything for your main character. It forces them to act, even if they don’t want to. Basically, your inciting incident needs to be something big enough to change their daily norms—whether it’s simply meeting someone new who changes their perspective on things OR dealing with the end of the world.
It’s important to remember that your inciting incident does not have to be anything crazy. For fantasy and science fiction, or novels with a lot of action, it will probably be a big event that your main character will have to deal with immediately. For more lighthearted stories, like romance novels, it can be the introduction of a new mysterious character. The inciting incident directly leads into the rising action before the climax in the basic plot structure. That means this event will set off a change of events that will change your main character’s life in some way.
Here are a few ways to develop a strong inciting incident in your novel:
Think about what will get your main character motivated. The inciting incident needs to be something that will force your main character to act in some way. Why does this event in particular make them rethink their daily norms? Do they have a choice in the matter? Focus on a character flaw that has prevented them from acting in the future. You really need to develop your characters before you can think about the inciting incident, so make sure you’re super clear on who they are.
Make sure your inciting incident leads into something bigger.
This event needs to lead directly into the rising action of your novel. The novel does not “calm down” after the inciting incident; things just usually get crazier until the climax. The inciting incident needs to get the ball rolling and put the plot in motion. After this event, your protagonist attempts to find the solution. Your antagonist attempts to prevent the solution.
The inciting incident must also lead to goals.
If your characters didn’t have much motivation to act before, now they do. The inciting incident leads to your protagonist making goals of their own. They become more focused on what they want and how they’re going to get it. The inciting incident is why the story is taking place, so you need to take it further. Why is your character pressing forward? How will they get there? Let them develop their own goals after this incident.
3 Tips for Designing a Flag
When you make up a country, it’s easy to get caught up in the whirl of landscape and custom and fashion. But don’t forget to build details like its flag’s colors or design!
Designing a flag can help you discover something new about your country’s history and myths. Just have a look at some of our real-life flags and all the history, stereotypes, and attitudes associated with them. (The Union Jack and the imperialism ingrained in its very design. The American flag, the very image of which seems to conjure eagles and liberty (or rednecks). Canada’s red leaf and maple syrup. You get the picture.)
Even if your novel doesn’t delve into the Deep Meanings behind your design, you should know it. A flag helps form national identity, and some of that identity will impact your character(s).
Ergo: Flags are important.
But more importantly, flags are fun.
1. Look at other (real) flags for inspiration.
When I decided to make my flag, I went on the prowl to find my favorite flag designs from around the world. I already knew that I wanted to steal the Venetian flag layout (above), but I wanted to take a look at other options. I compiled a secret Pinterest board of flag designs, then printed thumbnails to arrange in my journal and pick my favorites.
Duly inspired, I went on to…
Write/play a character who is a rebel.
As a celebration for 300 followers, I’ve decided to write some guides on some of the most commonly misplayed characters on Tumblr - here’s one of them. We’ll be focusing on rebels. In this guide, you will see what the stereotypes of a rebel are, debunking the facts and myths of these stereotypes, some suggested personality traits that a rebel may have, some suggested backgrounds that will tell why they have taken to the “rebel” lifestyle, some FCs who have a “rebel” type look, and lastly, a playlist for characters who are rebels. Enjoy!
Note: I am in no way saying this is an end-all, beat-all guide on how to play rebel characters. I have simply done research and drawn upon my own experiences with rebels. If you feel you have a different interpretation on how a rebel would act, feel free to use that interpretation instead! If you have any suggestions or tips on how to improve this guide, shoot me an ask and I’ll do it right away!