According to the CDC, “Depression is a mental illness that can be costly and debilitating to sufferers. Depression can adversely affect the course and outcome of common chronic conditions, such as arthritis, asthma, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Depression also can result in increased work absenteeism, short-term disability, and decreased productivity.”
If you’re like me and has lost a loved one around the holidays, it’s tough getting through them. For me it’s not just the time but the person. I did not lose my grandmother around any holiday but she definitely had a major part in how I celebrated my holidays growing up. The holiday season doesn’t just remind us of those that are no longer here, but for many they are a reminder of the funds we don’t have, the bills we can’t pay or the presents we cannot buy. For some it’s also about the goal we did not accomplish. Depression is reported to be an issue for 1 in 10 adults. Within recent years we’ve seen numerous celebrities die due to their coping mechanisms to handle stress/depression.
I’ve had folks tell me to just pray. However, no matter how much I pray, I believe that doctors and medication was made to help us and there is nothing wrong in seeking help. Do not let anyone shame you into not seeking help. Many years ago, I used my Employee Assistance Plan with my then job. They referred me to a psychologist and paid for about 5 or more visits. This worked wonders. It made a difference to talk to an unbiased stranger; someone who did not know my past and did not judge me. Sometimes we have to stop talking to those nearest to us, family and friends and go to a counselor or doctor. At that time I was just diagnosed with mild depression. As time has passed, and the issues got more complicated and overwhelming, I, not too long ago, reached out to my physician and she actually prescribed me medication. I jokingly call it my happy pill but all it does is to help me not feel angry all the time and deal with things.
Life can be stressful and challenging. I have a friend who turns to running to clear her head. I have another who turns to writing poetry. These are all great tools but again, do not ever feel ashamed to seek help. Stay happy and healthy this holiday season.