Depression is a common malady at any time of the year, and during the Holiday Season, it can almost become an epidemic.
And, as a result, we wonder if we are merely feeling the ‘push’ of a crowded schedule, worry of gift-giving expenses, wondering if ‘we’re doing enough’, or if we should resort to the medication that TV ads tell us is the answer to all our maladies.
Happens to everyone, and a month or so ago, feeling what used to be called ‘down in the dumps’ , I found a pamphlet giving the words I’m using today. They made sense to me and if you say you’ve never had feelings of depression? Well, lucky you, lucky you.
The article gave the following Questions and Answers, in order to check on ourselves. I did and decided I was just having ‘one of those days’, and that all was well with me. Anyway, here are your Questions.
Have a pen handy and make your answers:
1. None or little of the time.
2. Some of the time.
3. Good part of the time.
4. Most or all of the time.
No one is looking over your shoulder, so answer honestly and those answers, if you’ve been worrying, will probably relieve your mind. or give you the push to get a doctor’s help. Just, as the article said, as if you had a bad cold. Here we go.
1. I feel downhearted, blue and sad.
2. Morning is when I feel the best.
3. I have crying spells or I feel like it.
4. I have trouble sleeping through the night.
5. I eat as much as I used to.
6. I enjoy looking at, talking to, and being with attractive men and or women.
7. I am losing weight.
8. I have trouble with constipation.
9. My heart beats faster than usual
10. I get tired for no reason.
11. My mind is as clear and sharp as ever.
12. I find it easy to do the things I used to do.
13. I am restless and can’t sit or stand still.
14. I feel hopeful about the future.
15. I am more irritable than usual.
16. I find it easy to make decisions.
17. I feel that I am useful and needed.
18. My life is pretty full.
19. I feel that others would be better off if I were dead.
20. I enjoy the things I used to do.
Well, that’s it, except there is a special blank which asks if you have recently or currently thought of suicide. We are perfectly normal if, occasionally, there are days when we feel life just isn’t fair to us, and all that stuff. So relax and go read a book. In other words, quit worrying.
Truly, there are those who absolutely dread the time from Thanksgiving on through New Years, and would like to close the door, take the phone off the hook, and pretend they’ve left town. And, the experts say, most of that, is normal along with the ups and downs of our family life and how circumstances change. And this is why many older couples take a vacation trip at this time of the year.
If any of these is just once in a while thing, you are NOT clinically depressed, but probably merely reacting to the changes life brings to us all, and a doctor, therapist or some Pill are not needed and might even make things worse.
But look at your answers, make allowances for your age, what’s going on in your life, and then, if you feel you do need help, it’s available for the asking and to be asked for with no more guilt , the article stressed, than you would feel for getting help with any ailment. We all, at times, feel like we need that help.
And if you think not, call some good friend, and once you get started, let them talk, too, and you’ll find you have good company in your feelings, and that we all have times of being down in the dumps. Life changes and sometimes we don’t like those changes, but changes are not depression. We’ve been constantly changing since the time of our conception. And will continue to do so, too.
Doctor’s offices are busy in December with people who are struggling with what they think is Depression. And the answer for 99.% boils down to the fact that we are no longer children, and yet, unknowingly, we struggle to duplicate the decorations, excitement, whispered secrets, we experienced in childhood.
All that fantasy is a lovely myth formed for the child we all once were, and as adults, strive and wonder why, no matter how much money we spend, how many gifts we give or receive, or parties we give or attend, that remembered joy is beyond our reach.
We are no longer children, so why don’t we, as adults, stop trying to be a child again, and instead, remember Christmas is a Spiritual Holiday, and not allow Store Sales, TV commercials and hoopla, to twist our minds into thinking that the answer is in how much money we spend.
Let’s give The Day back to children, and Special thoughts upon that Special Child who was born long years ago in Bethlehem. Let us stop acting and thinking like the children we no longer are, and instead of depression, our hearts and minds will soon be overflowing with peace of joy, contentment, laughter, and love. After all, that’s what Christmas is.