Merry and Bright

Despite the title, this is not a cheerful holiday post. If you have been on this planet for a couple decades or more, you probably realize that creative people often have a demon called Depression in their make-up. We don’t wish for it, we don’t like it, and some days we can ignore it and go about our business. Other days, there’s nothing else in our brains.

Holidays can provoke this demon to go into uber mode. TV movies show us what is expected of us at this time of year. Gift giving, singing, family gatherings, office potlucks and parties, and going to church or another place of worship, can all leave us feeling empty and tired. Can I just sleep until January 3rd?

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Probably not. Many of us get the day of Christmas off from our jobs and nothing more. We need to accomplish so much in our limited time when we aren’t working, plus keep our writing life alive, so we stress out and eat fast food and maybe don’t remember to take our medications. Or we don’t have health insurance. No one knows just how good our life could be if Mental Health was more important in the USA than, oh, pick something, football.

 

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This was me from my teens until my forties.

 

I’m fortunate to have health insurance, medication, and a dog who loves me even when I need to sit and cry over a book I just finished. She also keeps me walking three times a day. Exercise and sunshine are the most overlooked antidepressants available. Food and alcohol are often used instead, with no good results.

How do you tell if you truly have depression or if you are just going through a tough time? Do not be afraid to seek help. Be honest with yourself as you scan this article. http://www.healthcentral.com/depression/cf/slideshows/10-signs-it-s-time-to-get-help-for-depression

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Say you have been low for a month now, people are worried about you, and you want to grab someone by the throat and shake him or her until all their bones break. My dear, you are depressed. What can you do? Seek help. Step one is to talk to a friend you trust. Stay in touch with that friend. Read these steps to help you improve. Daily sunshine is not always doable, so meditate that you are sitting in a bright, sunlit meadow. It can’t hurt and might actually help. http://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/dealing-with-depression.htm

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If none of the above work for you, then get professional help soonest. Everyone with depression needs medical supervision and advice. The more the demon impacts your quality of life, the sooner you should be under a doctor’s care. There are databases listed on this web page that can help you find affordable help near you. http://www.healthline.com/health/depression/help-for-depression

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And remember, you are not alone. Believe it or not, you can volunteer to be a peer counselor to others like you. The best way to learn is to teach, in some cases. The best way to recover might be to reach out a hand to someone else who needs help.

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Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Thursday.

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