20 May

Recognize Something is Wrong

In life, there are some decisions that are easier to make than others. If you don’t like your current job; you seek alternative employment. If you have outgrown your home; you sell it and upgrade to another. healthyblurbsIf you need new shoes; you decide to go shopping and buy new ones. Those are fairly easy decisions to make. What about when you are sick and need to see a doctor? You make an appointment and consult with your physician. Again, seems pretty easy and straight forward.

Why is it so hard to seek help for depression?

I believe there are many factors that make seeking help for depression a difficult task.

What kind of support system do you have in your life? Do you have people in your life that may recognize a change in your emotional wellness? Would someone you know be aware that these changes could be due to symptoms of depression? A close friend or relative could start the conversation with you about your emotional health. Without someone to raise your awareness to your own mental health, you are left on your own.

Have you suffered from similar symptoms in the past? Have you ever been diagnosed with depression? Do you have knowledge of depression and the symptoms that come with it? If you have never been diagnosed it can be difficult at first, to know what is wrong.

Do you accept you have a mental illness? If you can’t own your illness, you can’t be open to seeing when it has a hold of you. You need to come to terms with the possibility and then, if necessary, the diagnosis of your illness. Awareness is key to maintaining a healthy mental state.

If you’ve never been diagnosed with a mental illness and you believe there may be something wrong, seek the advice of a professional. Mental illnesses do not go away on their own. Click on this link to the Canadian Mental Health Association website to learn more about depression. You need to be your own advocate.

You’ve taken the first step towards getting the help you need. Learning more about mental illness is an excellent way to build ammunition to fight. You now know why life has become such a challenge. You can begin to understand why many of your emotions are heightened.  There are answers to why activities that used to bring you so much joy, now make you feel nothing but emptiness. When I can’t appreciate a spring morning, it usually means something is up with me. It helps to be aware of why making any decision becomes the hardest thing to do. The best thing you can do for yourself is NOT make any major decisions when your mental frame of mind is in question. It is not your fault when the smallest of chores become devastating interruptions in your day. There was a time when needing to stop at a gas station to put air in my car tire was a tearful event. This should not be a normal, acceptable reaction.

If you have been diagnosed with depression in the past; you recognize the symptoms you are living with.  You need to seek the help of a professional; just as you have in the past. This is where I have always struggled. I would attempt to ignore the symptoms. I wouldn’t seek the help I desperately needed. I simply stuffed the feelings. I created the wall of denial. This has never worked to my benefit, not in the 20+ years of dealing with depression.  In fact, symptoms only worsened. Every symptom became exaggerated to its fullest. I ended up seeking care as an emergency measure. Don’t wait to get the help you need.

Here is list of signs and symptoms of depression from Women’s Health Matters.

06 Oct

Don’t Wait for Better Days, Make Them Happen!

20150926_130336[1]Autumn holds different meanings for different people.   It can mean the end of a cycle or the beginning of a cycle depending on the nature of the being and the climate it exists in.  It means waking to cooler mornings, with the hope of being able to enjoy warmer afternoons.  It means seeing the bright colors of changing leaves, and hearing them rustle under foot as you shuffle through raked piles.  If you have school age children, back-to-school time could mean a change in routine from the go-with-the-flow, laid back attitudes of summer.

For some it can feel like the end of a cycle.   In the spring, you are in a position of preparation.  Like a farmer who spends daylight hours seeding his fields for the coming season.  Like the carpenter who begins to spend more time in the outdoors, building decks and fences.  Like the proud homeowner, wanting to have that golf green lawn, the preparation would begin in the spring.  Even wildlife, that have spent the winter in a warmer climate, venture home in spring. Spring is a busy time, leading to a summer of adventure.  Summer, is the time for family barbecue’s, taking advantage of and making use of that new deck. Enjoying the lush, soft, and very green grass you have worked so hard to keep weed free.  It’s summer camps for kids and weekend trips out of the city for adults.  It’s planning every moment , in order to take advantage of the time of year that seems to creep up on us so fast and fade away just as quickly.  That’s where Autumn comes in.  It’s a breath of fresh air.  It brings us back to a place of schedule and routine.  It allows us family weekends at home.  It allows us spontaneous outings on those days that are extraordinarily warm and pleasant. It allows us to rest, regroup and prepare for what’s to come.

Many people that live in a climate of four seasons, dread the coming of winter. How can this be?  It’s the longest of our seasons.  Does that mean you really dread waking each morning for a large portion of a year?  Do you wish the cold away, counting down the days until warmer weather returns?  If you are trudging through winter with an attitude of waiting, doesn’t that make winter even longer?  And if waiting is what you are doing, what are you missing while you wait?  What do you not take advantage of during those cold months?  What is there that you could be enjoying?  Do you take the time to walk outdoors in the sunlight after a snowfall to see the snow twinkle as if lit by tiny lights?  Do you walk outdoors when it’s so cold it almost hurts to breath, and listen to the sound of the snow crunching under foot?  Do you take advantage of bright sunny days and go outside to feel the sun on your face?  Have you thought of taking up a winter hobby?  Find a way to enjoy this season, as much as you enjoy the others. When you do this, it’ll be over before you know it, and you have enjoyed life at the same time.

This is not what I had planned on writing about today.  I wanted to explain my horrible mood.  Probably more like complain about it.  I was wanting to explain that even when we know we are in a horrible mood, it doesn’t make it any easier to remain positive.  I wanted to say that it’s hard to push away thoughts of giving up.  I wanted to say that it is SO frustrating to work so hard and feel like I have to start over again.  I wanted to say I’m not not starting over again, I quit!  But, isn’t giving up really like waiting for winter to be over?  Would I not be wasting days that could be wonderful days in the making?  You don’t hide yourself away for the winter, waiting for it to go away?  You shouldn’t hide yourself away when a mood has gotten the better of you.  Don’t let it win.  Don’t let it be a day to hide from.  Find a way to make it positive or at the very least bearable.  If not as positive as a summer day, how about just more enjoyable than a day spent hiding away.

This is what I’ve decided.  If my mind wants to be in a mood, that’s fine.  It can go right ahead.  I’m going to do everything physically in my power to ensure it doesn’t have an easy time of that.  I’ve come this far.  One day is not a set back. It’s a challenge!  Sorry mood, you don’t get to win today!


27 Aug

Movie Night

It’s great still having a child at home that loves Disney movies.  Tonight, we watched Mulan.  While watching the movie I pondered over what to write about for the blog.  Sticking with the children’s movie theme, I thought I’d talk about my first impression of Disney Pixar’s Inside Out.

Definite Spoiler Alert…..if you haven’t seen the movie and want to be surprised, don’t read this post.

Basically the movie is about a girl, Riley, and her emotions.  The emotions are characters inside Riley’s mind.  The emotions are; Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness.   This is not a movie review.  I went to see the movie with NO idea of what it was about.  At one point during the movie I felt gut punched.  The scene had that much of an impact.  It’s a moment that I can still recall.  Not just the vision of the scene from the movie, but the feelings that were instilled in me.

In the movie, Riley’s memories are stored in headquarters.  Headquarters is where the emotions “work” from.  In the scene I am referring to, Sadness touches a memory (looks like a crystal orb) and turns it to ice.  It slowly freezes over.  Being very familiar with depression and how thoughts can be distorted, the sight of a memory freezing due to sadness was a “Wow!” moment, to say the very least.  This is what happens in our own minds, isn’t it?  Depending on our own frame of mind; past, present and future memories can vary.  We can take a once happy moment and change it, temporarily or permanently.  We have the ability to make assumptions about future events that lead us to believe in our thinking.

The remainder of the movie and the parts the “emotions” played, had significant relevance for me at the time.  It’s ironic that it was Joy and Sadness that had to keep Riley’s emotional state in tact, and work together.  It’s a movie I’ll buy.  I look forward to seeing it again, knowing what I know about the movie.  I also look forward to seeing it again when I’m in a better place. Perspective can vary impressions.

It’s a great movie for kids.  It’s not even that “heavy” of a watch for most adults.  For me, it meant something.  If you’ve seen it and have thoughts to share, please feel free to comment below.  I look forward to reading other views.