“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”- Proverbs 23:7
During the holiday season, most people anticipate the joy of spending time with family, friends and loved ones; opportunities to make amends; or plan for an optimistic future. For others, the holidays are a time of heartache, pain and reflection on past mistakes, injustices or betrayal. The feelings of guilt, regret and loneliness from life can manifest unexpectedly in the form of depression and some people don’t see the brighter side of life. Their depression can be so debilitating that it interferes with daily life and relationships.
What is Depression?
The word “depression” is used in different ways to describe sadness or “feeling down” when bad things happen or life takes an unexpected turn. However, clinical depression encompasses more than feeling sad or down–unbearable feelings of sadness, worthlessness and hopelessness can last for weeks, months, or even years. Often, the anguish of disappointments, heaviness of heart, and emotional concerns contributes to depressive feelings and the feeling that life is not worth living.
Symptoms of Depression:
Clinically depressed people feel sad for two weeks or more without improvement and have feelings of hopelessness, restlessness and irritability. Changes in sleep patterns (trouble sleeping or over-sleeping) and loss of interest in hobbies are also evident. Fatigue, loss of energy, feelings of extreme worthlessness and guilt, appetite changes resulting in weight gain or loss and suicidal thoughts or attempts are prevalent.
Tips for Dealing with Depression:
There is HOPE.
Words and thoughts are very powerful. What one chooses to think about will determine the type of person they end up becoming in life. Suggested positive activities can include:
* Read a daily bible scripture or encouraging quote and meditate on it.
* Carry pictures of people, places and things that bring you joy.
* Write a daily list of what you are thankful for.
* Treat yourself daily.
* Exercise and get some sunshine.
* Regulate your sleep patterns.
* Eat well-balanced meals.
* Surround yourself with “positive mindset” people and be intentional about connecting with them.
* Get relaxation training.
* Read self-help books.
* Get a hobby and commit to it.
* Get professional help.
If you have serious concerns, call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at
1-800-273-TALK (8255) or visit www.nami.org.
Dr. Romain is an organizational psychologist, counselor, therapist, consultant, divorce mediator and college professor at Palomar Community College and the University of Phoenix. She is the owner of Cox Romain Psychological Services, LLC and New Beginnings and New Hope. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, call (951) 698 – (HOPE) 4673, or visit www.coxromainpsychologicalservices.com.