Tag Archives: seasonal affective disorder

random comments on depression

with over 1,000 blog posts, my memory of what has been written here is getting a bit fuzzy. to remedy that, i thought that once in a while i’d write a post about old posts. these here are reader comments on the topic of depression from looong ago:

it’s hard to get past the stigma. my mother was diagnosed with bipolar about 13 years ago, but since then the diagnosis has changed to schizophrenia. i have jumped up and down and ranted about “not being ashamed” etc. but when it comes to my own depression, nope there’s nothing wrong with me. i think i’m only just coming to terms with it.

from the stigma of mental illness

there is a big percentage of people who are homeless and have a disability, and often their mental health is severely compromised. no wonder, of course – even if you start out semi healthy mentally, the tough life of being homeless can really grind you down. contrary to what is often believed, homelessness is rarely a choice.

regarding stress and depression … i often think that if we were to attack the reasons for this, it would turn into a revolution … [that was a comment contributed by myself in reply to others’ comments]

from vote for mental health

i love [the] analogy of an “emotional storm” [for depression]. i hope we can take note that self-isolation comes very easily, and sometimes without our noticing it. when i was in the throes of depression, i was isolating myself quite a bit. isabella shares ways we can “safely” connect with others and extricate ourselves from dangerous isolation (contributed by jane chin, who runs one of the oldest mental health sites on the internet)

from seasonal storms

industrial society destroys mind and environment.

the fast-paced, consumerist lifestyle of industrial society is causing exponential rise in psychological problems besides destroying the environment. all issues are interlinked. our minds cannot be peaceful when attention-spans are down to nanoseconds, microseconds and milliseconds. our minds cannot be peaceful if we destroy nature.

the link between mind and social / environmental-issues.

subject : in a fast society slow emotions become extinct.
subject : a thinking mind cannot feel.
subject : scientific/ industrial/ financial thinking destroys the planet.
subject : environment can never be saved as long as cities exist.

emotion is what we experience during gaps in our thinking.

if there are no gaps there is no emotion.

today people are thinking all the time and are mistaking thought (words/ language) for emotion.

when society switches-over from physical work (agriculture) to mental work (scientific/ industrial/ financial/ fast visuals/ fast words ) the speed of thinking keeps on accelerating and the gaps between thinking go on decreasing.

there comes a time when there are almost no gaps.

people become incapable of experiencing/ tolerating gaps.

emotion ends.

man becomes machine.

a society that speeds up mentally experiences every mental slowing-down as depression / anxiety.

a (travelling) society that speeds up physically experiences every physical slowing-down as depression / anxiety.

a society that entertains itself daily experiences every non-entertaining moment as depression / anxiety.

fast visuals /words make slow emotions extinct.

scientific /industrial /financial thinking destroys emotional circuits.

a fast (large) society cannot feel pain / remorse / empathy.

a fast (large) society will always be cruel to animals/ trees/ air/ water/ land and to itself.

from our bodies, our environment

knowing that pain can be linked to depression really doesn’t do me much good, unless i take that knowledge and start looking for ways to deal with those feelings. thank you for articulating this so well; it’s helpful to read things that clarify thoughts rolling around in my brain. (contributed by nickie)

from why, what and how

[about my office] this room is very colorful !! i love it !! it doesn’t seem to be the “norm” for a therapists’ room though. i’ve sought counceling in the past and the rooms i’ve always been in were basically eggshell white with a blah bookcase with blah books on it and blah seating arrangements. i’m not sure the lack of “distractions” helped, or hurt though. for example, if i’m seeking counseling for depression, going to a “vibrant, colorful” room such as yours, would force my spirts to be uplifted rather then enhance my current depressed state. the double edge sword of that would be, my true feelings of depression might be masked by the “brightness” of your room, forcing me to not fully elaborate on my inner feelings. would it be best to be in a “drab eggshell white” room with little or no “distractions” ? heck, this could be a whole new blog post !!! “counseling rooms, distractions or places of refuge ?”

from sharing water

8 points on emergency preparedness for winter depression

the days are getting shorter. it’s raining. cold creeps in.

for some people, yet another bout of winter depression, or SAD (seasonal affective disorder) is just around the corner.

chronic and recurring conditions – and for many people, depression falls under those categories – are manageable. we can learn from them: each time they happen, we can take note so that we can improve next time around.

it’s a little like emergency response. think about how hard places like japan used to be hit by earthquakes. yet today tokyo, for example, has a whole system of confidently building skyscrapers. it stands on shaky ground, just like people with mental illness often feel they stand on shaky ground, but with patience, experience and ingenuity, that didn’t prevent it from becoming one of the most vibrant, successful cities.

here are some ways to prepare for the depression emergency that my clients and i have found useful:

  1. make your mental health a priority. take an hour or so to think about what that means for you. if mental health is a big issue for you, you might have to make it priority number one – before work, before relationships. definitely before TV, computer use and whatever other “escape” activities you engage in.
  2. devise a ruse to get yourself outdoors for at least 30 minutes each day, during the daytime.
  3. don’t draw the curtains! drawing the curtains, together with the next point, not answering the phone, is perhaps one of the most typical activities of people in depression.it seems like a small thing but doing this helps in many ways. it keeps you connected with the world and with light, on a very physical level. when it feels like you don’t have the emotional connection, at least you can have the physical connection.
  4. answer your phone, for the reasons mentioned in 3. and 5.
  5. make sure to interact with people on a daily basis. talk and listen. the isolation that creeps in around depression is similar to the false protection our muscles try to give us after an injury. when you’re right in the depression, a lot of the things people say will irritate and bore you.however, if you can tell yourself before it gets too bad that staying connected will ultimately help you, you may not even fall that low, and you might just be able to stand the discomfort of these seemingly irritating interactions.
  6. make sure you have a trusted person from whom you can expect the understanding that you might not be able to get from others at this time. a friend, a spiritual director, a counsellor, a doctor.
  7. if you have a trusted mental health professional, make sure you stay in touch with her or him and do your best to follow any plans you’ve laid out together. this is probably not the time to experiment.
  8. most importantly, listen to yourself. what does your body need? what does your soul need? again, if you get yourself to train your inner ear now, you’ll have an easier time picking up on the messages should the numbness of depression set in more fully.

what are some ways that help you prepare for and live through the emergency of depression?