Thursday, November 20, 2008

Things I know about that time of year...

Today I write a little of the season and some about me.As the Holidays roll in, the laughter, the smiles, family and good food, so all to often does another. Depression. It seeps in without one even seeing it. The causes are any variety of reasons from the lack of sunshine to the cold to the increased pressures of holiday gifts and gatherings. The results can be devastating and last from a short time to a very long time. People who suffer from this seasonal disorder do not always have depressive states aside from certain times of the year.
Statistically, medical science can give you 100 reasons for this depression. But If I learned anything from my close involvement with medicine and statistics, I learned that each and every single individual is exactly that... an individual. Each person my react differently to the seasonal changes that occur. The real issue perhaps is to ask if there is any way to prevent this or to end it sooner than it may have run.
I think one thing that is very important is not allowing yourself too much time alone. The alone time may seem to be what you need but truly, it only gives you more time to think. Thinking is not always a good thing if you are feeling depressed. The mind can play funny and not so funny tricks on our minds. It also allows us time to sit and ponder what we do or do not have. Try and stay focused and keep yourself occupied with loved one. Tell them where you are and ask them to try and help you in any way that they can.
Get outside! One of the easiest things to do this time of year is to seclude ourselves from the outside. It's too cold, it is too windy, the air is rough are just a few reasons we can use. Try and make yourself go outdoors even if it is just to run to the store. A sort time outdoors is much better than none at all. the sunshine is good for you and your depression and even if there is no sun, the fresh air is also good for you.
I think about myself and the state I am in right now. When you are already bipolar, it takes so little to bring you to this place. If you have a loved one that is bipolar, this can be a hard time to understand and deal with their Lows and highs and feelings of greatness and of worthlessness. Those are already issues that are daily and the holidays often bring them to a very rough and dangerous place.
I walk around right now, feelings of worthlessness and at the same time, thinking I can accomplish anything. Emotions flying around inside of me so intense that small things or things meant in a good way, take me down deeper and faster. Wanting to do so many things and yet unable to bring myself to do any one thing leaves me depressed and confused. Stopping and staring, unable to make a decision, knowing my day is slipping by and that I have accomplished nothing. That loved one you are noticing changes in as the holidays draw nearer might need some words of encouragement. They may need to hear they are good or they are wanted and needed, even if they do not believe it when you say it. It plants a seed of hope in them. Try and be understanding and if they need to walk away for a moment or two, reassure them you will not be far away.
I wonder today, as I have wondered for so many seasons, if I will get through them. I have good support team and so I know I will. Money, gifts, a 100 things race through my head. Not so different from any other person with or without bipolar. But for those of you that Do have loved ones that suffer from any type of depression, know the signs.
Symptoms of winter SAD include:
Increased need for sleep
Decreased levels of energy
Weight gain
Increase in appetite
Difficulty concentrating
Increased desire to be alone
Depression can hurt. Not just the person that suffers but those that love them. I hope this opens a new avenue for some and gives a little more insight to those that suffer. I hope everyone walks through the holidays hand in hand with a loved one...

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