Thankfully mental health is becoming less taboo these days. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t still a lot of confusion about it. For this week’s blog I thought it might be helpful to provide basic information about depression. How is it defined and diagnosed and what are some healthy coping skills for managing it?
Grief: something I wish no one ever had to deal with. At the age of 29, I never thought I would have lost two very important people in my life. I look back at how I grieved the loss of my grandmother and now my uncle and at times I would find myself frustrated and angry with God. Frustrated of the unknown. The tests that did not get to happen, the unanswered lab results, and the other unknown questions. Although I know they are both with my heavenly father, I was frustrated that I did not spend as much time with them, that I worked more than taking the time off to visit them. I was angry that I had to live through holidays and big events without them cheering me on or walking through the difficult parts of life with me.
Something that has been on my mind as of late is the subject of down time. I’m one of those people that tends to jam pack my schedule and try to maximize time, all the time. It makes life fun and busy but also overwhelming at times. Earlier this week, I had an unusual break during the middle of the week. Part of me thought hmm this is a great opportunity to catch up on paperwork or get some good exercise in. But then the other part of me saw the old, spotted bananas on the counter and thought they would be perfect for some banana bread. I decided to whip up some banana bread with my old bananas but then later questioned myself if that was my best decision.
There’s no other way to say it, but loss is painful. When we think about loss, we most often think of an actual passing, a loss that is identified with the individual or loved one no longer being here on Earth. I’d like to point out, however, that loss comes in many forms and, often times, those losses can feel almost as significant. In fact, you are experiencing a death of some kind; one that must also be grieved.
The way our minds process grief and loss truly is interesting. I recently heard that research studies have shown through brain scans that the loss of a relationship looks the same as an addict who is experiencing withdrawal. When our brains are missing what once was, the brain will release the same chemicals that indicate a “need” for whatever that “thing” is. We miss the familiarity, the comfort, the habits and the routine that the partner, job, drug, etc provided.
In just about a blink it’s going to be 2018. This last month of the year will fly by. But before it does, let’s take a few minutes to brainstorm how to set some good boundaries and make the most of this holiday season.
The first question to think about is, “What’s the priority this season? What is going to take precedence over everything else?” The reality is that life is always going to be throwing things at us, trying to tell us what is more important. And to be real, when I say life, I also mean people. Friends, family, your crazy Aunt Suzie, the “Jones” next door, social media, etc. are all going to try to tell us what to be invested in.