Sunday Update: Holidays and Grief

DepressionMany people, more than you think, don’t do well during the holidays.  Some are dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder.  Others have recently lost loved ones and holidays are hard to celebrate without them.  Depression is difficult all the time, let alone during the holidays.

First things first: if you are the sufferer, please get help.  Often depression can be treated with medicine and there is no stigma with asking for help.  If you have a doctor telling you otherwise, get a different doctor.  I know that there are days you feel like its hopeless, that there is no point.  Hold onto the small rope that is the thought ‘maybe I’m wrong, maybe this is the chemical imbalance talking’.  On good days reach out to friends and start building your circle of trusted people.  Those you can call when you need them and say ‘don’t talk, just get over here and be here.’

Now to those of you who don’t suffer, a couple of things:

  1. There’s no amount of saying things like “it will get better” or “snap out of it” that will fix things.  It won’t.
  2. Get better at just listening.
  3. Encourage your friend or family member to see a doctor.
  4. Be that person they can trust to just hang out, to not ask a million questions and be the one to come over and be around just in case.
  5. Don’t make promises you can’t keep.  It’s better to not say you’ll be the trusted one, than to say you will and you’re not. It’s hard, and it’s a commitment.  Don’t do it if you can’t do it.
  6. Love your friend/family member.  See the good and point it out to them.  Laugh a lot.

This is my first Christmas without my mom.  I’m seeing a counselor for help and it’s been good.  I still cry, just about every day.  I do take medicine.  I’m also working on a better eating plan – and that is helping too.  I realize that my Sunday update is about weight loss, but I’ve found out in this last year that weight loss is about real life.  If you don’t look at your entire life in getting well, you won’t ever lose weight or have better health.  Depression is more common that people want to admit, and that is just a stigma we need to let go of.  Every family has someone that deals with it. So let’s start talking about it.

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