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This post aims to present reflections on the depression experienced by gay people. Sometimes I happen to meet in chat guys with some serious symptoms of depression, that is, guys who are anxious about the negative visions of their future, guys who somehow abandon a rational and realistic vision of their experience to follow an emotional dimension, seemingly radically rational, which however in any case leads to the devaluation of life, to the foreseeing of a difficult future, if not even anguish, and, in practice, to feel unfit to the world with the consequences that one can imagine.
It is the task of psychiatrists to study and treat pharmacologically, if necessary, depression, but in reactive depressions, that is, in those born in coincidence with severe and prolonged stress situations, the intervention of a psychologist and sometimes of a friend, who knows how to handle it can be very important.
The real danger of dealing with a depressed guy is that contact can be refused and then the communicative channel closed. I emphasize that depression is characterized by a progressive reduction of interpersonal dialog and affective life. Progressive isolation causes the guy to become more and more self-contained.
It must never be forgotten that depression leads to deep states of suffering, which cannot be faced with generic, often strongly counterproductive, exhortations. A depressed guy is not an object that can be molded and modified from the outside, he has his rhythms, his timing, his reaction modes which, from the outside, may seem incomprehensible.
Below you will find some recommendations, apparently trivial, but fundamental in dealing with a depressed guy.
First of all, the depressed guy must be heard whenever he manifests the need or provides the opportunity of it. In this sense, if you are receiving a phone call from a depressed guy, you should absolutely avoid letting go that opportunity, for example, with the classic: "I’m very busy, I’ll call you." Such a behavior is seen as a substantial unavailability.
Calling a depressed guy on the phone to talk with him seriously, except for exceptional cases, is something you should not do because it is an intrusive behavior that defines roles. Instead, it is useful to call the depressed guy on the phone in a colloquial manner, to give him wishes for his birthday or for Christmas. It is in any case inappropriate, unless it is the depressed guy himself who asks for it, to move the conversation to more personal themes.
Secondly, in situations that do not involve the assumption of roles, it is absolutely inappropriate to assume a role. The interview with the psychologist is the interview with the psychologist and has a notorious and not equal structure where roles are fundamental. Talking with a friend is by its very nature something equal. It is absolutely inappropriate for a friend to assume a role that is not his own.

The interview should be essentially a form of availability, not a form of inquiry. If the depressed guy speaks spontaneously about private matters, one has to listen to it trying to follow his logic, but if he avoids certain contents, it is absolutely not appropriate trying to force the situation.
You have to be careful about finding easily the solution to the problem. Even in reactive depression, the situation is always very complex and simplification attempts are perceived as attempts at banalization and often lead to the interruption of dialogue.
The depressed guy seeks first and foremost a listener who does not trivialize and at the same time is not intrusive. The unobtrusive presence of a friend who knows how to stay in place can be useful when it becomes an opportunity for dialogue. It should be remembered that a depressed guy realizes every day that depression isolates him and moves him away from standard dialogues with other people, and this is because the others react defensively, with the abandonment, to the radical positions of the depressed guy and to his tendency to cover the whole life with a thick veil of negativity.

In the dialogue with the depressed guy, elements of affinity and similar experiences, that is, the contents on which a common ground exists, must be sought and valued. The depressed guy, needs to understood that also the one who is talking to him got and still gets more or less prolonged moments of depression. Depression goes away more easily when it is a shared subject, that is, a really common subject between two people, and not just a topic of conversation without common experience. The idea that depression divides, separates and isolates can gradually be compared with the idea that depression can also unite and create synergies.

Judging, opinionated or formal attitudes, are in fact the assumptions for the failure of any dialogue; in a depressed guy, such attitudes only increase the sense of distance and isolation and easily induce a reaction of rejection. Affirmative attitudes should be replaced with possibilist and open-minded attitudes, typical of those who intend to understand, not to judge or provide prescriptions to solve the problem. 
The attitudes that sound like an ultimatum are manifestations of aggressiveness. In a dialogue with a depressed guy, the willingness to change opinions, to listen and to try to understand is absolutely crucial.
If mistakes have been made and inappropriate attitudes have been taken, the best thing is to apologize and change attitude. Keeping anyway positions on matters of principle means destroying the dialogue, transforming it into an attempt to prevail, giving more value to the logic than to the person.
Let's now look at how depression can manifest itself in homosexuals. Obviously the modes are heavily dependent on the age and level of social and emotional integration of the individual. It is a mistake to believe that depression is caused by homosexuality, which is not a mental illness or a predisposing factor to mental disorders. Reactive depressions have similar genetic mechanisms for all people and are related to severe and persistent stress situations, such as long-term unemployment, coexistence, with or without care, with family members in severe health conditions, but also family situations of fierce and deaf conflict, or overwork not linked to an adequate gratification, and so on. Obviously there are severe and long-lasting stress conditions typical of gays, such as those resulting from family outing in a homophobic family, forms of homophobia that manifest themselves in threats and blackmails, the worsening of the coexistence relationship between two partners who have lost any motivation to the couple's life, etc. In essence, homosexuality can ultimately determine the ways of depression, but certainly it is neither the cause nor any of the causes of depression.
Depression manifests itself in sexuality with two opposite mechanisms: the first leads to the progressive reduction of sexual life until its complete disappearance, the latter leads to a more pronounced and almost frenetic sexuality, but basically devoid of any real affective dimension; the first mode demonstrates a detachment that has already occurred, the second indicates an evolving process that can still be reversible.
Particular attention should be paid to gay couples inside of which one of the two partners shows signs of depression. Even if depression is not due to the stress of couple's life, but simply manifests itself in the life of the couple, it causes anxiety in the other partner, and if the couple is fragile, the anxiety can also break the relationship. When this happens the depressed partner slides into a deeper depression because he feels betrayed in the most intimate affections.
In most of the consolidated gay couples, where an important affective dimension exists, the depressive state of one of the two partners pushes the other to wonder what could be done to alleviate the condition of his partner and particularly how to react to the companion's tendency to radical negativity, when this negativity also directly affects the couple's life. In particular, the progressive reduction of the affective element in the couple's life and the progressive reduction of sexuality to physical sex creates anxiety, even very strong, in the non-depressed partner.
Expect affective attitudes from a depressed partner similar to those he had in periods when he did not show any signs of depression means to ask him something that in the present condition he cannot give.
Couple sexuality with a depressed partner has to be lived in spite of the more or less declared negation of affectivity. Each approach that sounds like an ultimatum ("You must change, or our relationship is over") is radically counterproductive.
The partner who loves his depressed companion, despite the depression, will do well to adapt to him and especially staying close to him and avoiding to boast ("I'll stay close to you anyway!"). Proximity must be a matter of fact, a thing taken for granted, in practice a prerequisite on which there is no doubt.
You must never forget that depriving your partner of any sexual contact because of his depression means doing a violent gesture. Couple's life, which in any case still maintains an affective dimension, at least in part, is one of the few effective embankments to stop the spread of depression. 

Words and speeches in general are likely to complicate things. The affective communication, which is fundamental in a couple, is the physical one and so must remain for more reason in the presence of depression signals.

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