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It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood


“It’s a beautiful day!”

How many times has a caregiver or friend of a depressed person said this to a depressed loved one? I know I have been guilty of it. I wake and look out and despite the fog and rain we are experiencing now, I think, “It’s a beautiful day!”

My loved one, on the other hand, looks out and groans, “Oh, no! Such an ugly day and it’s raining!”

Some people could argue, “Well, if you would just adjust your attitude.” Others might say, “You just are not seeing all the possibilities in the day.”

Neither reply helps.

For many depressed people it is not a beautiful day. Many of them try to make it a beautiful day, try to make it seem so for them. Many of them try to adjust their attitude, but often the depression creeps in and shifts that attitude to anger because, “why should I be the one that doesn’t see the beautiful day.”

We know so very little about the brain. We don’t know why some people respond positively to a day and others don’t. So many feelings, thoughts, and chemicals guide that response and many of those things we have no control over.

So depressed people can shift their attitudes, can pretend it is a beautiful day., or wish for it to be true for them but it doesn’t always work. Depression robs them of that control. They have some but they are not super human.

It’s a beautiful day in our neighborhood, but as Fred Rogers would say, accept those neighbors around you with love and care. Don’t force. See the good. And continue to love them, despite the condition of their day.

– Bernadette


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