Recognizing The Winter Blues

“The winter trees are green, the winter snow is white … the winter moon is yellow and it shines throughout the night.”

But, the “winter blues” are warning signs. That’s why suffering from depression is called “having the blues.” It may mean feeling sad, unhappy, miserable or just plain “down in the dumps.” In any case, it’s not fun!

Depression can easily distort the way you see yourself, your life and even the people who are around you. Everyone has times when they feel that way for short periods of time, but when it becomes more than just a short period of time, it’s time to take notice.

When you’re on the road and get lost, what do you do? You look for signs. It’s the same with depression. The signs are there. All you have to do is recognize them…..

Five Warning Signs that Depression is about to rear its ugly head:

  1. Do you feel agitated, restless or irritable?
  2. Are you becoming withdrawn or isolating yourself from friends and family?
  3. Are you having difficulty concentrating?
  4. Has there been a dramatic change in your appetite causing weight loss or weight gain?
  5. Do you feel hopeless and helpless?

And worst of all …. #6 Do you have thoughts of death?

Feeling depressed can happen to anyone at any time. If you can relate to any of the following, seek help immediately. The sooner you receive help, the sooner you will be on your way to a yellow winter moon that is shining throughout the night!

As a health professional you know that depression is caused from many different reasons as outlined below. Most importantly depression is a battle in which you can become involved with and not even be aware of the changes. If your family or friends begin saying things like you’ve changed or we don’t spend time together anymore… – it may be time to ask yourself has something changed in my life that could be causing me to be depressed?

What Can Cause Depression:

  1. Alcohol or drug abuse
  2. Some medical conditions, such as underactive thyroid, cancer or long term pain
  3. Certain medications, including steroids
  4. Problems with sleep
  5. Stressful events happening in your life:
  • Breaking up with spouse, significant other, boyfriend, girlfriend
  • Death or illness of someone who is close to you
  • Divorce – yours or your parents
  • Childhood abuse/neglect
  • Loss of a job
  • Social isolation – this happens very often with the elderly

The complications of depression are severe. They may result in an increased risk of other health problems or they may result in suicide. If you have thoughts of harming yourself or others, seek help immediately. Call your local emergency number (911) or go to the hospital emergency room. There is also a suicide hotline everywhere in the United States. The line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week: 1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-999-9999.

Don’t wait until it is too late. Talk to another professional within your industry and seek help. Everyone goes through depression at some point in their life. Don’t think because of the profession you have chosen that this is abnormal for you. It’s just as important for you to seek help as it is your patients.

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