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On-Line Kick Depression Party! Come, Celebrate!

love heartIt takes a village to kick depression.

Come to the Party!

On-Line Kick Depression Party

suggested by our readers.

Open to anyone who has or has lived with someone with depression.

Let’s celebrate by sharing with one another the good stuff that has happened to us.

Let’s celebrate the times we have kicked depression,

even if it is just a tiny glimpse of the good life.

When: August 15th

Where: Depression’s Collateral Damage Blog at https://depressionscollateraldamage.wordpress.com/

What’s taking place:   A sharing of all the positive times that depression has disappeared, whether for a moment or for a length of time.

Write a comment on what happened or any thoughts you have about kicking depression.

Send it to depressedlovedone@gmail.com before August 10th

We will post them on August 15th.

And please, between now and then,

pass this onto your friends

on facebook, tumblr, twitter,or those in your address book or any other place.

We want this party to reach people

so they will all know that depression can be overcome in some way, shape or form.

And together we can kick depression.

Let’s get that support going and growing.

Let’s beat the stigma.

Come, kick depression with us.

people on world

A Caregiver’s Lament

Okay, I will start with saying that this probably has a lot of baggage with it – growing up as the youngest in a family of eight, having a disabled and depressed father, a mother who worked and took care of said father, being not noticed despite whatever I did good or bad – a lot of baggage,

BUT…..

None of that helps with my present feelings, namely feeling unappreciated, not chosen, and taken for granted.  I know this is the lot of caregivers world wide but does it have to be?

I spend a lot of time helping people, listening to their challenges, trying to be understanding of the pulls on people from so many places, and in general just trying to be there for them.  Therefore, when I express a need or suggest something that I would really want to do, why is it that I am met with reasons why they can’t meet that need or obstacles that keep what I really want to do from happening?

I am a caregiver.  I give of my time freely.  I love the people I have to care for.  I understand where they are and I am generally accepting of things, gently but surely helping them to recognize the things they need to in order to progress.  I am, however, also a person.  I need to be recognized.  I need people to care about me.   I need someone to take me in their arms and tell me that they understand the challenges of caregiving.  I need to be chosen – to be the one asked out for coffee not the one doing the asking, to be the one invited to dinner, not the one entertaining.  I need to be chosen – to be the one you want to spend time with, to be the special friend.  Is that asking too much?

I guess so. So Mohammed will continue to go to the mountain and hope that someday the mountain will come to Mohammed.

– Bernadette

When depression and caregiving turn into anger…

Yesterday in a drug store, I was waiting in line to pay when a woman jumped in line in front of me. My reaction was to let out a gasp of surprise.  She turned to me and started lashing out:  “I was before you and it’s my turn…What manners you have!  You are a moron…”  And on the comments went, all with a tone of unbridled anger.  I was in shock, and to be honest, a little afraid of what her tirade might escalate to. And then I noticed.

She was buying an item for pain control and that gave me pause.  She was probably either in pain or someone she loved was in pain.  Or maybe she had just reached a limit in caregiving and she was pissed with the world.

That is something we forget is so much a part of depression and caregiving of a depressed loved one: anger. We are angry we have this disease; we are angry because it is not fair that our loved one is suffering; we are angry because we can’t magically change our situation.

Anger eats away at us until it seeks an outlet.  Sadly that outlet is often lashing out at those nearest and dearest.  And worse it can lead to crazy behavior sexually or even worse through guns used on others.  Often anger ends in suicide, spawning even more anger in those left behind, creating a vicious circle.

With the woman in the store, the incident led me to consider how I handle anger, how I respond to this illness we call depression.  It taught me that I need to give others more of a benefit of the doubt:  maybe it is particularly bad day for this person; maybe a loved one is in the throes of depression; maybe no one has said a kind word to them in ages.

Next time I find myself in a situation like yesterday, I will pause and ask for strength for them and for me, that we can turn anger into a force of understanding.  How about you?

-Bernadette

Caregiver, care for thyself.

self-care

A dream I had last night brought it home to me like nothing else has: I. Am. Stressed.

It was one of those dreams that seems to last forever.  I know the sleep experts will tell you that dreams really only last  few minutes, but I could swear this one was all night long.  It involved overwhelming sadness, from a cause I know full well is extremely unlikely.  In fact, its very unlikelihood is what made me realize in the morning that this dream was totally the result of stress.

It was a wake-up call (see what I did there?).  Thankfully, it was my day off and I didn’t have  a huge agenda for the day.  So I quickly made plans to do fun and indulgent things to pamper myself all day long.  No housework (one load of laundry and the weekly grocery shopping don’t really count). A quick shopping trip for a new spring outfit.  Excellent lunch of goat cheese, Irish cheddar, multigrain artisan bread, and grapes… outside in sunshine and warmth.  Got my nails done for the first time in five years.  Took a walk in a nearby park with our darling younger daughter, who was not embarrassed to be seen out and about with her mother when a friend from school passed us.  Nice.  Finally, supper with said daughter while watching “Upstairs Downstairs  (70’s style) on Netflix.  Daughter’s idea.  She is so awesome.

People who care for others day in and day out need a break sometimes.  Whether it’s the constant caring of being a mom or the more overwhelming kind of caring htat takes place when someone you care for is physically or mentally ill, or whatever kind of caring is given us to do, caregivers need to create times and ways to take care of themselves, too.  A little pampering, a little sunshine and fresh air, a little exercise, time with pleasant and positive people – these things can keep us going.

Aaaaah…I really do feel better.  I predict better dreams tonight.

-Amy

Coming out of the closet has a positive effect on mental health.

NBC News at the end of January did a story on ’Carlo Joyce, living in San Diego and working for a large engineering company. The story centered on how Mr. Joyce found that coming out about his homosexuality was helpful to his mental health. According to the news report, “studies conducted by Psychosomatic Medicine, a team of psychologists and neurologists from McGill University and the University of Montreal found that leading that double life affects physical and mental health.”

Disclosing their sexuality to family, friends and co-workers made for psychologically healthier people. The disclosure, it was found, also lowered levels of key stress-related hormones. Another study from last year by a group of researchers from Columbia University in the American Journal of Public Health discovered that after Massachusetts enacted its same-sex marriage law in 2003, there was a significant drop in medical and mental health care visits incurred by gay men.
Lead author of the Montreal study, Robert-Paul Juster, a PhD student at the Centre for Studies on Human Stress at the University of Montreal, said “it seems to be that if you’re using more avoidance coping, and wishful thinking, then you get poorer health. If you aren’t dealing with the problem, it affects health in a negative way.”

On the other hand, dealing with the problem by transitioning from “in” to “out” can instill a great sense of accomplishment. “A rebirth happens that makes them feel much more empowered and conscientious” for having taken what many see as a risky action. That sense of empowerment can have ripple effects benefitting overall health and well-being.
“Once I did come out,: says Mr. Joyce, “it was much less stressful and I found great acceptance and support. Life’s much easier,” he said.

Taking such a step is certainly difficult but relieving stress by being truthful is an important tool for dealing with depression and deteriorating mental health. -Bernadette

For more information on this study check out http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/29/16742307-lifes-much-easier-coming-out-can-lower-stress-ease-depression?lite