Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Depression and Christmas

Probably two of the most disparate concepts you can encounter; Depression and Christmas.
I have been fortunate this year and have managed to actually enjoy a lot of Christmas, but I know and remember how difficult Christmas can be when depression has a strong hold on you and your life. There's something about all the joy, jubilation and celebration in other people that can compound your depression and make you feel even more isolated from those around you. As jollity is expected at Christmas you can also find that other peoples reactions to you and your depression become less understanding; terms like Scrooge and Grinch are really unhelpful.
I really wish I could offer some good, helpful, constructive advice for how to deal with this, but I don't think I can. The best I can say is that, if people make you feel pressured to be happy just because it's Christmas, it's probably just because they care about you and want you to enjoy this time of year as much as they do. Now, that isn't always possible, I know, I'm not saying you should fake enjoyment to get people off your back. Try and find the things about the season that at least bring you peace if not joy; a slice of chocolate log (there should be no food related guilt at Christmas lol), a walk in a park that is deserted while everyone else in indoors, a tacky Christmas film. You should make yourself your priority, but do try to let those around you know how you feel, what you need and why you're doing what you do, so they don't misunderstand and get frustrated. If you need an afternoon to yourself that is ok, but explain that so that people don't think you're just being antisocial, and try not to completely cut yourself off, as depression breeds in solitude.

An important step in beating depression is understanding what you need and what makes you happy.

Unfortunately, I've always found New Year harder to deal with than Christmas, and I've still got that to deal with, but the same principles still apply.
I hope you are coping with the festive season as best you can. If you feel alone and like no-one understands, please use this blog as a reminder that that isn't true; so many people experience the same or similar feelings and there is always hope for getting better, even if you can't always see it. If you need to talk, to vent sadness, frustration, anger, anything, please do feel free to drop me an email  at betty_leopard@hotmail.co.uk or even leave a comment below, my followers are lovely and understanding people :)

I wish you all the best,

Monday, 5 December 2011

When emotions sneak up on you

Ok, so yesterday I was going on about how it was important to recognise things that bring you down so that you can prepare for them in the future. But, what happens when negative emotions sneak up on you, out of the blue, with no warning?
Today I have been struck by such unforeseen feelings. I know I had anticipated feeling low because of work, but that's not what this is. When I was out walking earlier I just felt like breaking down in tears, tight there in the street. All I have learnt about coping with depression focusses on identifying causes and tackling them, but right now I am lost as to the cause and solution to this.
A big part of me wants to sleep. Sleep might help, but it is also one of my key go-to strategies for avoiding feelings and situations I don't want to tackle.
Do you ever feel like, no matter how much you prepare yourself, sometimes depressed feelings just come over you from no where in particular?


Sunday, 4 December 2011

The Ups and Downs of my Weekend

A look at the things that have picked me up or knocked me down over the past two days.
I hope this is going to be a healthy retrospective. Remembering good things is very important when you're depressed, but I can also see the benefit of recognising the negatives; to try and avoid those circumstances in future or to recognise approaching bad patches so you can prepare. My therapist always reminds me that balance is important so I don't see why I should completely ignore bad things in favour of good things, that can't be healthy either.


The Ups

  • Not Working all Weekend - Yep, I did not uni work all weekend. It's usually the easiest way to take my mind off my work related troubles.
  • New Clothes - I bought some new clothes online earlier in the week and they arrived on Saturday. It might be the last time I can indulge myself like that for a while, due to suspending my studies, so it was even more special. One of the things I bought was a big chunky knit cardigan that is so soft and warm and cosy, I can see myself wearing this a lot over the winter! Big comforting knitwear can definitely make me smile.
  • Free Make-Up - I got a free Models Own lipgloss in Boots, for buying two bottles of Diet Coke. Definitely a reason to smile.
  • Baking - On Saturday evening I made Chocolate Truffles which will be Christmas presents. I enjoy baking, especially when trying new recipes that work well. I wrote about it on my other blog - Here.
  • Painting my Nails - This is more generally symbolic of taking time off and pampering myself a bit. I had a bath, used a face mask, washed my hair and painted my nails. It was nice.
  • Blogging - Through not working, I've had some free time for writing some blogs. I really enjoy writing my blogs, and having chance to write a few posts is great.
  • Talking to friends - I haven't exactly kept my recent wobbly period quiet, with a few miserable and sometimes vindictive facebook statuses, that I'm not proud of. At least there has been some positive effect, and a couple of friends have taken time to check how I am and talk to me about what's wrong. I find it hard to remember that people care when there isn't recent specific evidence of it, so having people take their time to talk to me will always make me feel better (unless I feel they're having a go at me).
The Downs
  • Not Working all Weekend - I have a presentation to give on Tuesday that I probably should have been working on. This is likely to catch up with me tomorrow.
  • New Clothes - Buying clothes on the internet doesn't always work out, especially if you buy jeans. I tried on my new size 12 jeans and they were a little on the tight side, not great for my mood. I spent most of the rest of the evening feeling fat and worrying about having to go into the city centre to exchange for a bigger size.
  • Jealousy - I don't want to go into too much detail on this. It's just that I know a lot of people who seem to have everything going right when it seems like so much is going wrong for me. Feeling jealous never helps my mood.

Overall, I can't really complain about my weekend. I have recognised the things that have made me feel bad and am working to remedy them, . I have also recognised the things that have helped me feel better, that I should remember for future reference.

I hope your weekend has had more ups than downs, or at least that you can pin point the causes of your downs to avoid them in future.
Best Wishes,