How do you deal with a person who is unhappy?


#1

We have been dealing with a relative who always has a ‘glass is half full’ attitude. If something goes well, he will point out the one negative of the situation…all. the. time!

We have learned to kind of ignore this. But now he is getting snappy with others and really trying to instigate little arguments and belitte others. These are new, very unkind traits we are seeing in him.

Any advice? He is on anti-depressants and they do help for a period of time. He is against a higher dosage, so I guess I am looking for coping skills for those of us who deal with someone like this. Sigh

Taben


#2

I do not understand how someone can refuse a higher dosage of a medication that is helping but not helping enough. Would he refuse to increase the dose of a heart medication if he could get relief from a higher dosage? Would he suffer with an eyeglass prescription that is years out of date if he could change his prescription and see 20/20 again? Anti-depressants are kind of hit and miss anyway - some work for some people and not for others. Some get almost immediate relief and some take weeks to build up the medication in their bloodstream. Doctors know that over time, a person can become sort of immune to an anti-depressant and need a bump-up in dosage or a change to another medication. Maybe your relative doesn't need MORE of his medication but less - he could be having more of an anxious response which can make someone irritable.

He should go and talk to his doctor. Is there anyone he will listen to, whom he trusts and respects? That person could say to him, "Listen, you are not acting like yourself, we're seeing real cruelty and you are hurting family members. I am concerned, will you talk to your doctor and tell him this?" It has to be said nicely, and out of concern for HIM, not for your feelings. You could let him know that it's possible he's getting too MUCH medication or needs another kind. If the doctor is still evaluating him for a response, then he is in the trial stage and nothing is fixed yet.

This is hard. I know depression affects the entire family, not just the depressed person. I can spread misery far and wide when I am in one of my down cycles. Pray for him, try to ignore his comments, but also don't coddle him - if he's nasty, tell him he's well out of order.


#3

He would be considered a "glass half empty" person. Half full means that the person is looking at the positive. (sorry to be a hassle)

The best thing you can do is support the person when they are doing the right thing and admonish them when they are making rude comments. This is difficult if this person is you father or someone who is senior to you in the family rank. (like an older uncle or grandfather.) Any comments in response to his negativity will be viewed as disrespect. You need to tread carefully.

Do your best to downplay any arguments he tries to make. The best thing to do when he is trying to argue with you is to agree with him. If you keep your responses short, eventually the only person he'll be arguing with is himself. Don't get caught in the trap. A negative attitude is contagious. Your best weapon against a negative person is a smile.


#4

What has worked for me in the past is just to cut that person out of my life. I know it sounds cruel, but it’s obvious that his problem is a deliberate behavior, not some chemical imbalance that can be cured with drugs. He is looking for some kind of payoff by being such a wet blanket all the time. Trying to be positive around him is just giving him fuel. And remember, people like that always end up either (1) alone or (2) surrounded by naive people who think they’re doing the right thing by tolerating it.

Another thing that has worked is - and i know this sounds rude - is to imitate that person until he gets annoyed. Now I know Jesus never said Annoy Thy Neighbor, but sometimes holding up a mirror is an act of fraternal correction.


#5

I think I’m getting old. I realize that I just don’t tolerate this kind of behavior anymore. When I was younger a certain person in my family used to sling her bad moods around like weapons. And we’d all walk on egg shells. Now, I refuse to alowl her moods bug me. I will not act any way special. I will not “try not to set her off”… If she can’t be in a good mood, then she can leave. She doesn’t get to sit around trying to ruin the day for the rest. And we don’t even tell her that. We all just continue on enjoying our time. She can either conform to us, or sit there like a lump. No special considerations will be sent her way…


#6

I just don't tolerate this behavior at all.:shrug:


#7

[quote="taben, post:1, topic:224371"]
We have been dealing with a relative who always has a 'glass is half full' attitude. If something goes well, he will point out the one negative of the situation...all. the. time!

We have learned to kind of ignore this. But now he is getting snappy with others and really trying to instigate little arguments and belitte others. These are new, very unkind traits we are seeing in him.

Any advice? He is on anti-depressants and they do help for a period of time. He is against a higher dosage, so I guess I am looking for coping skills for those of us who deal with someone like this. Sigh

Taben

[/quote]

Yeah I know what you mean. I work with people that are in recovery and are also dual diagnosed. Sometimes their up and without warning they're compltely the opposite.

Patience and tolorence. oh and pray boy do I pray.
God be with you.
jesus g


#8

[quote="taben, post:1, topic:224371"]
We have been dealing with a relative who always has a 'glass is half full' attitude. If something goes well, he will point out the one negative of the situation...all. the. time!

We have learned to kind of ignore this. But now he is getting snappy with others and really trying to instigate little arguments and belitte others. These are new, very unkind traits we are seeing in him.

Any advice? He is on anti-depressants and they do help for a period of time. He is against a higher dosage, so I guess I am looking for coping skills for those of us who deal with someone like this. Sigh

Taben

[/quote]

I think you recognize the change in behavior you describe is not merely someone having a bad day. Whoever your relative will listen to needs to persuade him to seek help from his physician. Your relative could be under or overmedicated, or experiencing side affects which could cause irritation or aggitation which would be obvious to his physician. Depression only worsens with isolation, which sadly is what the person's deteriorating behavior may cause.


#9

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