Monday, August 1, 2011

Are You Depressed?

Except for maybe on Charlie Brown, decades ago mental illnesses were viewed as taboo.

Nobody wanted to address them, let alone admitting to having one.

Now mental illness is being discussed more openly.

Even Hollywood has been sharing their battle with mental illnesses, like depression and bipolar disorder; raising awareness and encouraging acceptance and treatment. Here is a long list of celebrities who've been identified as having a mental illness.

According to WebMD the most common mental illnesses are anxiety and mood disorders, followed by psychotic and eating disorders.

No one should feel alone and it's an encouragement to society when someone well known comes forward to say they are struggling with something. Many mental illnesses should be treated similarly to other diseases.

Like cancer and diabetes they should be discussed, researched, accepted and treated.

I've been depressed before.

I could tell. In my instance I was really tired and sad. I felt overwhelmed by everything and motivated to do nothing.

If anyone says they've never been depressed, they are lying. No one can cope with everything that happens in life and stay chipper day in and day out. From time to time we will all experience feeling a little blue...but it's when more than a few things happen at one time...when people can get depressed.

The solution?
 Talk to someone. Get help.

But beware of thinking a doctor prescribing you pills is the quick fix...

In some cases, it is not a chemical imbalance, but the depression is a symptom of something else.

There could be something going on in your life that has led you to become depressed and that's where finding someone you trust to listen, understand and validate you, is helpful.

Sometimes depression can be situational.

It's where depression is caused by something in your life you feel you do not have control of is leading you to feel overwhelmed, trapped and down right hopeless.

But, once you talk about it, get through some fears, and make some changes, you feel alive again.

That is what happened to me. Once I identified what the issue(s) were in my life causing me to feel this way, and eliminated or changed them...I was a new woman!

Maybe you aren't actually depressed, and you aren't dealing with a mental illness, but you're just feeling a little burnt out or bummed out, here are a few things that can be done to boost your mood:
  • STOP 'believing everything you think' (A popular quote and sooooo truthful. 'U' can be your own worst enemy)
  • Start listing your accomplishments and don't stop ;)
  • Get out into the sunlight (Aitamin D deficiency has been linked to S.A.D.) 
  • Take a hot bath (And don't forget to add the bubbles. No bubble bath? Just uses a few squirts of shampoo!)
    • Get a hobby you love and get a friend to do it with you
    • Surround yourself with genuine, upbeat and supportive friends
      • Volunteer at a shelter (people or animal)
      • Send a card to someone who's sick, needs encouraging, or to just to say Hi to a relative you've not seen in some time...put bright stickers on it too! (No one is too old for stickers!)
      • Help out a friend with a project you have experience with 
      • Listen to a friends problems or worries (You will immediately forget your own)
        • Turn off mellow, or melancholy, music and turn on upbeat songs you can sing cheerfully to!!!
        • Watch a comedy or read the funnies (Laughing will improve your mood instantly)
        •  Evaluate things in your day to day life: if something is VERY broken, fix it. Don't wait.
        • And yes, the infamous thing we never want to hear- exercise! It's a fact that it gets the blood flowing to the brain and is a natural way to boost mood!

        Take this Depression Test to see if you may be depressed.
        (This is not a substitute for a medical diagnosis; if you feel you may be dealing with some type of depression or mental illness call your primary care physician and make an appointment. He/she may refer you to some one who can correctly diagnose you.)

        'Noble deeds and hot baths are the best cures for depression.' -Dodie Smith

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