25 April 2011

Battling Depression

Welcome to the Neighborhood News

I didn't know my mother had it. I think a lot of women don't know their mothers had it; that's the sad thing about depression. You know, you don't function anymore. You shut down.
You feel like you are in a void.
~Marie Osmond

Sometimes we may be depressed, and we don't even know it. I feel it in the winter months, it's known as SAD (seasonal affective disorder). I think I have it because I was born in a temperate climate and was transplanted to an area that has cold and snow six months out of the year. I feel the sadness settling in, and there's nothing I can do about it, until spring comes. Exercise helps a lot and I'm thankful for a modern luxury like a treadmill.

In the April 2002 Ensign, Shanna Ghaznavi wrote the article "Rising Above the Blues." The following is a short excerpt from it:
"Some of the symptoms of depression are persistent sadness, lack of energy, and suicidal thoughts. You might not enjoy many of the things you used to, and daily tasks might seem overwhelming. Although the same factors cause depression in both sexes, boys and girls tend to react differently to the same problems. Boys often act out in many cases, through violence, substance abuse, or getting into other kinds of trouble. Girls tend to become sad and withdraw socially, emotionally, or both. Each person will have a different combination of symptoms."

We see people who are depressed and have no actual skills to help them. Anybody can be depressed: children (it's so sad to see them like that-no pun intended), teenagers, new moms, adults and the aging.

Another excerpt from the same article:
"When people told Melissa to snap out of it, it only made her feel worse. She would try but would still wake up the next day feeling awful. ‘I didn’t even realize I was depressed,’ she says, ‘I didn’t even think to turn to my Heavenly Father for help.’ She also didn’t want to talk to her mom about what she was feeling. ‘But once I talked to her she was really supportive, and I needed that.’

 When Melissa was 14, her mom took her to a doctor. ‘At first I thought, No way! I don’t need a counselor. I’m fine! But I guess I wasn’t fine. When you’re depressed you don’t really realize there’s something wrong with you. And when you finally do recognize it, you’re so immune to it that it’s hard to deal with.’
Melissa has been in counseling for more than a year, and she looks forward to her once-a-week therapy sessions now. She’s glad she decided to get help. ‘I didn’t think I would ever need help. After a while I finally realized I needed to get down on my knees and ask for help. And that help came. I turned to my scriptures more often, and there would always be something there I needed to hear.”

With charity in our hearts and actions, even if we’re not qualified to aid someone with depression, we should still be able to be of help.

As always we welcome your comments.

To view a copy of the Neighborhood News for Monday 25 April, click here

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