NAMI-Racine County-Dealing with depression or feeling hopeless during the holidays


NAMI-logoWe have been working with Michelle at NAMI Racine County. The holidays are here are they may not be the most joyous time for everyone. We are sharing information from NAMI in hopes that those affected by depression, mental illness, substance abuse or feel alone, know that there is help and that this information can be passed along

Once again and seemingly out of nowhere, the holidays are upon us. For many is seems to be like the the classic song from A Charlie Brown Christmas, The holidays are here. Happiness and cheer.

For some people, the holidays are the worst time of the year. Many feel miserable, and that’s not only for people with clinical depression.” The holiday blues can stem from a variety of sources, such as current events, personal grief, loneliness, illnesses of all kinds, economic concerns, separation from family members and relationship issues like separation or divorce.

If you are struggling, depressed, need someone to listen, feeling suicidal you can contact CRISIS

In times of crisis you can contact a trained Crisis Counselor. If you are feeling suicidal, call! You are not alone and there IS help. Suicide is a PERMANENT solution to a temporary problem.
CRISIS Hotline for a trained crisis counselor at 638-6741
You can text “HOPELINE” to 741741
(These services are always free to everyone.)
You can also contact 911 in the case of a high risk situation


Here are some tips to help with coping this season

Dont worry about how things should be.
Theres a lot of cultural pressure during the holidays, said Duckworth. We tend to compare ourselves with these idealized notions of perfect families and perfect holidays. But remember, those other families doubtlessly have their own stressors and ruminations to contend with.

Be realistic.
You cant please everyone the rest of the year, so why try to during the holidays? Saying no, whether to gatherings or a present on someones wish list that you simply cannot find, can be one of the most challenging parts of the season. But your own mental and physical well-being needs to come first.

Dont try to be a superhero (or heroine).
We all have complex family dynamics. Acknowledge them, but also acknowledge that, despite the seasons near-universal message of unity and peace, its not a realistic outlook. If you must spend time with these people, try to limit your exposure.

Volunteering can be a great source of comfort, simply knowing that you’re making a small dent in the lives of people who are not as fortunate. This is a great strategy if you feel lonely or isolated. Consider seeking out other community, religious or other social events.

Keep your own well-being in mind.
Yes, the holidays are technically the season of giving. But that doesnt mean you should take yourself completely out of the equation?instead, add yourself to it. Give yourself some time away from the hype, even if its just for half an hour a day. Exercise can also help, with its known anti-anxiety, anti-depression effect. Even a small amount of exercise, such as parking further from the store, can do much to improve your state of mind.

Give it some thought.
Do you really have to do everything on your list? Ask yourself, Why am I doing things that make me miserable?? Duckworth said. Think about the reasons. He suggests that you draw up a list of reasons why you engage in these holiday traditions, and then a list of reasons why you shouldnt. Just making a simple pro and con list will remind you that you do have a choice.

Make sure that the holiday blues havent become a scapegoat.
You could be experiencing Recurrent Depression with Seasonal Pattern (previously known as Seasonal Affective Disorder) or another biological or psychological cause. If these are persistent feelings, make an appointment to see your doctor.

(used with permission from NAMI-Racine County.)


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